The Fort Worth Press - Paris concert hall cancels star Russian conductor

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Paris concert hall cancels star Russian conductor
Paris concert hall cancels star Russian conductor

Paris concert hall cancels star Russian conductor

The prestigious Philharmonie concert hall in Paris became the latest arts institution to bar star Russian conductor Valery Gergiev on Monday over his close ties to President Vladimir Putin.

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The concert hall said in a statement it was revising its programme for the coming months "in solidarity with the Ukrainian people" following the invasion of the pro-Western country by Russia.

It said it had cancelled two concerts in April by Gergiev and the orchestra of the Mariinsky theatre in Saint Petersburg where he is chief conductor and artistic director.

Gergiev, known to have warm ties with the Kremlin, has yet to issue a statement on the invasion.

Last week, he was told by the authorities in the Germany city of Munich that he risked losing his role as chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic if he failed to condemn the war.

Gergiev was dropped on Sunday by his agent in Germany, Marcus Felsner.

The agency could no longer represent someone "who will not, or cannot, publicly end his long-expressed support for a regime that has come to commit such crimes", Felsner said in a statement.

Gergiev was also told last week he would be sacked from performances of Tchaikovsky's opera "The Queen of Spades" in Milan's Teatro alla Scala if he did not publicly denounce the war in Ukraine.

The mayor of Milan and president of La Scala, Giuseppe Sala, on Monday said Gergiev had "not responded".

When asked about an upcoming performance on March 5, he replied: "I don't think he will be there, I think we can exclude him at this stage."

Gergiev has also been dropped from concerts at the Vienna Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall in New York.

T.Mason--TFWP