Edinburgh International Festival Cuts Ties with Valery Gergiev

By David Salazar

The Edinburgh International Festival has announced that it has accepted the resignation of conductor Valery Gergiev, effective immediately.

“The board of trustees of the Edinburgh International Festival has asked for, and accepted the resignation of, Valery Gergiev as Honorary President of the Festival. Edinburgh is twinned with the city of Kyiv and this action is being taken in sympathy with, and support of, its citizens,” said the Festival’s press department in an official statement.

The Festival is the latest arts organization to cut ties with the Valery Gergiev, a known supporter of Russian president Vladimir Putin. Other festival to shut him out of their future programming include the Verbier Festival, the Philharmonie de ParisCarnegie Hall, the Lucerne Festival and Riga Jurmala; even Gergiev’s own management company Felsner Artists has left him behind.

Despite pressure from numerous organizations to speak out against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Gergiev has remained silent. Meanwhile, his compatriot Anna Netrebko, also a known Putin supporter, did state that she was against the war, though she felt it wrong to be forced to speak out against her country, citing that she was a not “political person. I am not an expert in politics. I am an artist and my purpose is to unite across political divides.”