(PresidentialInsider.com)- Valery Gergiev, a conductor with connections to Russian President Vladimir Putin, has reportedly been removed from an upcoming concert tour of the United States. Gergiev was all set to tour with the Vienna Philharmonic this year, conducting in five concerts across the country.
The tour started on Friday at Carnegie Hall in New York City without him. The Associated Press reports that his removal from the concert tour was decided based on the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“This change was made due to recent world events,” Synneve Carlino, a spokesperson for Carnegie Hall, told the Associated Press.
Gergiev was also expected to conduct in Tchaikovsky’s “The Queen of Spades” in Milan on March 5.
His removal from the United States tour comes after he was asked to issue a statement by the Teatro alla Scala opera house about the crisis. He was asked to issue a statement supporting peace in Ukraine before he was able to conduct in Milan.
Milan’s Mayor Giuseppe Sala told the Associated Press that they had asked him to “take a clear position against this invasion.”
The 68-year-old conductor is also the music director at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia as well as the chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic. He has received the Hero of Labor of the Russian Federation prize. He has long expressed his support of Russian President Vladimir Putin. His support, however, has become problematic following Putin’s decision to send Russian troops into Ukraine.
Social media posts had indicated that protests would take place outside of Carnegie Hall unless the conductor disavowed Putin or expressed his support of establishing peace in Ukraine. Something which he evidently did not do.
A notice from Carnegie Hall said that the concert would be conducted by Yannick Nezet-Seguin instead.