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Famous Russian conductor returns internationally — RT Games & Culture

Famous Russian conductor and opera company director Valery Gergiev has returned to China after being fired in Germany last year for his refusal to condemn Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine.

“It’s like coming home” Gergiev said at a press conference this week as he launched a three-day program at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing.

His shows with the Mariinsky Orchestra of Russia marked the first time a foreign group has performed in China since the country reopened to foreign artists this month after Covid, according to domestic media, which praised the performance by Gergiev as a sign of growing ties between Moscow and Beijing. .

Gergiev was previously chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra in Germany. However, like many prominent Russian artists in the West, he was sacked in March 2022 after refusing to publicly denounce President Vladimir Putin and the Russian military offensive in Ukraine. Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Opera in New York also banned Gergiev, and other Russian musicians and organizations, from performing in their halls.

Since the start of the conflict at the end of February 2022, the United States, the EU and their allies have imposed unprecedented sanctions against Moscow, targeting almost all sectors of the Russian economy. Personal sanctions were also imposed on many Russian officials, as well as business and public figures.

The crackdown, which was propagated from Kyiv, has also affected the country’s athletes and artists, many of whom have been banned from performing in the West, participating in international competitions or gaining access to Western markets.

Last month, Ukrainian authorities asked the Swedish audio streaming service Spotify to remove all songs by Russian artists that “support the war” while other nations demanded a general ban on Russian culture, or “mental quarantine” on it, as Lithuanian Culture Minister Simonas Kairys first suggested.

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