Zubin Mehta Pays Tribute to Murdered Conductor Yuri Kerpatenko

By Francisco Salazar

Zubin Mehta honored conductor Yuri Kerpatenko at a concert at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.

At the beginning of the concert in late October 2022, Mehta asked the audience to stand up for one minute in silence in honor of the conductor who was murdered by the Russian army. Mehta said Kerpatenko’s actions to refuse to cooperate with the Russian occupants were “heroic” and said the murder of his colleague was “horrible” and “unacceptable.”

Mehta joins Russian conductor Semyon Bychkov in condemning the action. Bychkov said, “The tragic irony of this is that talk about the superiority of Russian culture, its humanism. And here they murdered someone who is actually bringing beauty to people’s lives. It is sickening.”

Kerpatenko was murdered earlier in October by Russian soldiers in his home after he refused to take part in a concert organized by Russians in occupied Kherson.