Munich Orchestra Fires Conductor Gergiev for Refusal to Decry Russian Operation in Ukraine

© REUTERS / LISI NIESNERFILE PHOTO: Russian conductor Valery Gergiev attends a news conference in Vienna, Austria, May 30, 201
FILE PHOTO: Russian conductor Valery Gergiev attends a news conference in Vienna, Austria, May 30, 201 - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.03.2022
BERLIN (Sputnik) - The Munich Philharmonic Orchestra has dismissed Russia's Valery Gergiev from his position as principal conductor after he refused to officially denounce the Russian military operation in Ukraine, German news agency dpa reported on Tuesday, citing Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter.
According to dpa, Reiter announced that the contract of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra with Gergiev had been terminated.
Last Friday, Reiter said that if Gergiev would not "indicate his position by Monday, he will not be able to remain the principal conductor."
Over the past few days, the concert halls in Europe and the United States where Gergiev was scheduled to perform have canceled the events, ostracizing the conductor for failing to publicly decry the operation in Ukraine. Furthermore, on Sunday, Gergiev was left by his agent, Munich-based Marcus Felsner, who stressed that his agency could no longer represent someone "who will not, or cannot, publicly end his long-expressed support for a regime that has come to commit such crimes."
After Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine on Thursday, many Russian prominent artists abroad were urged to speak out against Russia's actions. On Sunday, New York City's Metropolitan Opera revealed that it would cut ties with artists who support the Russian leadership.
Russian opera singer Anna Netrebko spoke against military hostilities in Ukraine and called for peace, while adding that "forcing artists, or any public figure, to voice their political opinions in public and to denounce their homeland is not right. This should be a free choice."
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