Mariinsky Theatre Resident Conductor Resigns

By Francisco Salazar
(credit: Bassel Jadaa)

Gavriel Heine, a resident conductor at the Mariinsky Theatre at the Mariinsky Theatre, has resigned from his post in St. Petersburg.

The conductor, who worked for the company for three decades, resigned on Saturday after a five minute conversation with his mentor Valery Gergiev. According to the New York Times, Heine said, “He was very nice to me. He gave me a handshake and a hug and wished me well. And of course I thanked him for giving me such a huge chance pretty early in my career.”

The Mariinsky declined to comment on Monday, and said it could not yet confirm Heine’s resignation. The company has removed Heine’s biography from its website.

Heine told the New York Times that his reason for him leaving was because “There’s no way I could ever be in denial of what is happening in Ukraine. Russia is not a place where I want to raise my son. It’s not a place where I want my wife to be anymore. It’s not a place I want to be anymore.”

In the interview with newspaper Heine also spoke about the two times he was in the theater when President Putin attended performances and said, “I just assumed that culture is a priority for this government, for whatever reason. And they feel very strongly about it, and that’s the relationship.”

He added that even though Gergiev had done some political concerts he was never bothered by the relationship between him and Putin.

He said, “I never felt that we were at the service of the state. It just seemed like the state trusted Gergiev for his artistic priorities, and he convinced them that his priorities were good priorities, and they funded that.”

Heine next conducts in London, where his family has been since March.