Valery Gergiev dismissed as conductor of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
Russian conductor Valery Gergiev received an ultimatum from Dieter Reiter, the mayor of Munich. If he refused to denounce the invasion of Ukraine by Russian President Vladimir Putin, he would be removed from his position as conductor of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra.
Gergiev’s dismissal from the orchestra comes after he was sacked by its management and withdrawn from several concerts and festivals after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. His long-standing support for Putin and his refusal to denounce the regime led to his dismissal as musical director of the Verbier Festival Orchestra and the cancellation of appearances with the Metropolitan Opera and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and concerts at Carnegie Hall and the Lucerne Festival, among others.
The decision was taken by the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra to remove Gergiev from his post three years before his contract expired. He has held the position since 2015.
“I have clarified my position against Valery Gergiev and urge him to distance himself clearly and indisputably from the brutal war of assault, Putin against Ukraine and now especially against our partner city Kiev,” said Mayor Dieter Reiter on the social networks of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra. Friday. “If Valery Gergiev does not make his position known by Monday, he will no longer be able to remain the conductor of our Philharmonie.”
Dieter Reiter released a statement today saying, “I would have expected him to reconsider and revise his very positive assessment of the Russian leader. He did not do it. Gergiev will no longer give concerts with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, a decision that took effect immediately.