Carnegie Hall said this afternoon that the prominent Russian conductor Valery Gergiev will not conduct the Vienna Philharmonic in concerts scheduled for Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoon. A spokesperson for the hall said the change was made “due to recent world events,” but declined to elaborate.
Gergiev is among the world’s most prominent conductors, but his close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to overshadow the concerts. On Facebook, protests outside the hall were being planned for Friday night.
Also out is Russian pianist Denis Matsuev, another Putin supporter, who was scheduled to perform with Gergiev and the Vienna Philharmonic on Friday.
Stepping in to conduct all three concerts is Yannick Nézet-Séguin, familiar to New York music lovers in his roles as music director of the Metropolitan Opera and the Philadelphia Orchestra. A replacement soloist for tomorrow night’s concert, which will be broadcast live by WQXR, has yet to be named.