Iranian Conductor Ali Alexander Rahbari to Conduct in Mariinsky Theatre

By Francisco Salazar

Conductor Ali Alexander Rahbari is set to perform at the Mariinsky Theatre, becoming one of the few conductors in the world to break the Sanctions on Russia.

The conductor told Slippedisc that his concert at the Mariinsky Theatre was an honor and he felt it was the right thing.

He said, “I am strongly convinced that I am doing the right thing. I go to Russia with pleasure and the greatest respect to Valery Gergiev and I hope that others will follow. The invitation of maestro Gergiev means a lot to me. As a professional, especially an opera conductor, I know that Gergiev is a fantastic and unique conductor. People can like or hate him, but he deserves great respect. If I compare him to politicians, I can’t see a single one being in the same league as Gergiev regarding merits and achievements. And, one should not forget, Gergiev was already Gergiev, one of the greatest artists of our time, long before many of the political leaders of today even appeared on the scene.”

When asked about the sanctions put on Gergiev, the conductor said, “Why now? Why not eight years ago after Russia annexed Crimea? I find the way Gergiev is being treated absolutely unfair, unjust and even ridiculous, especially the accusation of him prospering from Putin’s protection. Gergiev is far too great to take shelter behind Putin or any other politician. Artists like Gergiev don’t need that. I find sanctioning artists, as well as athletes, because of decisions made by politicians in their countries completely unhelpful and detrimental. Finally, I want to tell all my colleagues that the most stupid sting an artist can do is to sanction and boycott another artist.”

The conductor will conduct on July 15 and has been posting images on his official instagram account in anticipation of his upcoming concert.