Putin Supporter Valery Gergiev Awarded Major Russian Prize

By Francisco Salazar

Valery Gergiev has been awarded the Order of Merit to the Fatherland in Russia.

The award was signed by dictator Vladimir Putin and published on the Kremlin’s website.

According, to the decree, the award was given to Gergiev for “his great contribution to the development of national culture and art, and many years of fruitful activity.”

The decree strengthens Gergiev and Putin’s relationship, which cost the conductor work in the West when he was unwilling to denounce the war in Ukraine. Since then Gergiev has spent most of his time conducted in Russia and China.

Gergiev will celebrate his 70th birthday by conducting a gala at the Putin-funded Mariinsky II, celebrating the theater’s 10th anniversary. The gala will include such singers as Hibla Germava and Ildar Abdrazakov as well as Alexey Markov and Yulia Matochkina.