Three Switzerland Organizations Release Joint Statement on Russian Artists

By Francisco Salazar

The Lucerne Festival, Verbier Festival, together with the OSR orchestra of Geneva have released a statement regarding Russian artists and have condemned the war in Ukraine.

The organizations said, “As three of Switzerland’s leading music institutions, we strongly condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As these disturbing events have unfolded, we have taken firm and impactful measures, including the cancellation of all artists aligned with or supporting the Russian regime’s actions. We wish to be clear about our position on the debate over programming of Russian artists and of Russian musical works in general, which has recently appeared in the press.”

They added, “collectively, we confirm our continued support of Russian artists. Those who have not aligned themselves with the actions of the Russian government do not deserve to be excluded from international musical life simply because of their nationality. Furthermore, we refuse to turn our backs on the rich heritage of Russian culture, including the great works of Russian composers that have so often been created as hymns to freedom, fraternity, and values we hold dear. We are united in our belief in the value of music and of artists as messengers of peace and dialogue.”

The statement comes after the Verbier Festival cut ties with Valery Gergiev as its Music Director and as many organizations have been firing Russian artists.