Verbier Festival Cuts Ties with Music Director Valery Gergiev

By Francisco Salazar

The Verbier Festival has accepted the resignation of Valery Gergiev as the Music Director of the Verbier Festival Orchestra.

The festival released a statement on Feb. 28 in which it noted that it had asked Gergiev to resign and he accepted.

The festival’s Founder & Director, Martin T:son Engstroem also added, “The Verbier Festival, its staff, management and Board, strongly condemns Russia’s gruesome aggression against Ukraine. We follow with sadness and horror the violation the Russian regime is imposing on the people of Ukraine. We pray for them and the courage they show in refuting the aggressor. The Verbier Festival has always been an advocate of building bridges through music between young and old of all nationalities, backgrounds and beliefs.”

Additionally, it noted that among the measures implemented by the Festival with immediate effect are the return of donations from any individual sanctioned by a western government and the exclusion from the Festival of all artists who have publicly aligned themselves with the Russian government’s actions.

This is the latest organization that has cut ties with Gergiev after Carnegie Hall, Lucerne Festival, and the Philharmonie de Paris. The Verbier Festival is also the latest organization to cut ties with artists who support Putin following the Metropolitan Opera’s statement on Feb. 27.