Gergiev, Putin friend, out of Vienna Philharmonic US tour

By Associated Press |

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Valery Gergiev (Photo: Alberto Venzago / LSO)

NEW YORK (AP) — Carnegie Hall says Valery Gergiev, a conductor who is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, will not lead the Vienna Philharmonic in a five-concert U.S. tour that starts Friday night in response “due to recent world events.” The 68-year-old Russian conductor is music director of the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, and received a Hero of Labor of the Russian Federation prize from Putin. Metropolitan Opera music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin will replace Gergiev for the Carnegie concerts. Milan’s mayor has requested Gergiev make a clear statement in favor of a peaceful resolution in the Ukraine or else he would not be permitted to return to complete his engagement conducting Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades at La Scala.