Carnegie Hall & Vienna Philharmonic Drop Valery Gergiev From Upcoming Concerts

By Francisco Salazar

Carnegie Hall and the Vienna Philharmonic have announced that Valery Gergiev will no longer conduct the performances slated for Feb. 25, 26, and 27.

Following threats of protest by Ukrainian activists, the conductor and pianist Denis Matsuev have canceled their engagements. As a result, Yannick Nézet-Séguin will conduct all three programs which are unchanged. A pianist was not announced at this time.

The news comes as the Teatro alla Scala is pressuring Gergiev, a long-time supporter of Putin to speak out against the invasion and attack on Ukraine.

Gergiev voiced his support for Putin most prominently in 2014, where he favored the Russian president’s actions in Donetsk. He subsequently received the Stalin-era Hero of Labor of the Russian Federation prize. He also appeared in a Putin election campaign video. During the 2013-14 season opener at the Metropolitan Opera, he was received with protests and many petitioned against his appearance.

Russia’s Department of Culture has issued a decree stating that “speaking out against the invasion will be considered an act of treason.”