Loyalty oaths are quick to arrive


Russia’s star conductor, Valery Gergiev, has been dropped by his management over his close ties to Vladimir Putin as he faces a looming deadline to publicly denounce the Russian president or lose yet another role in his rapidly crumbling career.

The 68-year-old Russian, an old friend and supporter of Putin, has faced increasing pressure to speak out against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine over the last week. He has been removed from performances around the world and faces more professional punishment if he does not condemn Putin’s aggression in the next 24 hours.

On Sunday, his manager, Marcus Felsner, announced he would be dropping Gergiev, who he called “the greatest conductor alive and an extraordinary human being with a profound sense of decency”, but who “will not, or cannot, publicly end his long-expressed support for a regime that has come to commit such crimes.”

“In the light of the criminal war waged by the Russian regime against the democratic and independent nation of Ukraine, and against the European open society as a whole, it has become impossible for us, and clearly unwelcome, to defend the interests of Maestro Gergiev,” Felsner said in a statement, calling it “the saddest day of my professional life.”

The move by Gergiev’s management comes just before a Monday deadline imposed by the mayor of Munich, Dieter Reiter, on Gergiev to publicly denounce the invasion. If Gergiev does not comply, Reiter said he would be fired as chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic.

faces more professional punishment if he does not condemn Putin’s aggression in the next 24 hours – I didn’t make this line up. It is a direct quote. The article really does say this.

Germany has the handy concept of Berufsverbot – just ask anyone who lived through the 1960s/70s maintaining a posture critical of the US war against Vietnam. As this article makes clear, however, cities in Italy, the Netherlands, and the US have already made the opportunity to direct music conditional upon public declarations of state-sanctioned political beliefs.


Republican Tom Cotton refuses four times to condemn Trump on Ukraine
The former president’s views are clear. Trump has repeatedly praised Putin and though at CPAC on Saturday he condemned the invasion, he again called the Russian leader “smart”.

Stephanopoulos cited Trump calling Putin “smart” and “savvy” and “say[ing] Nato and the US are dumb”, and asked: “Are you prepared to condemn that kind of rhetoric from the leader of your party?”

Cotton said: “George, you heard what I had to say about Vladimir Putin. That he is a ruthless dictator who’s launched a naked, unprovoked war of aggression.

Stephanopoulos asked: “Why can’t you condemn Donald Trump for those comments?”

The public instruction is clear: Putin is a „ruthless [as opposed to merciful] dictator“. Putin is not „smart“ or „savvy“. Nato and the US are not „dumb”. Presumably this means Nato and the US are „smart“ and „savvy“?

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