an blog | AJBlog Central | Contact me | Advertise | Follow me:

Breaking: Gergiev makes his move

The sphinx has yet to speak, but his associates are rolling into action.

The London Symphony Orchestra, in a statement just released to Slipped Disc, has accepted that Valery Gergiev will not be their principal conductor beyond 2016. The relationship remains warm and he will continue to work with them in the future but no longer as chief conductor.

He has other ambitions in mind from 2015, apparently the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra – though his people won’t say anything about that until the city council has met on Wednesday to ratify his appointment.

The news comes as a bit of a shock for the LSO, which may account for the brevity of their statement. But they have plenty of time to choose a successor and have run through the cream of Gergiev’s repertoire since he was appointed in 2005. Who’s next? (I have a candidate in mind but don’t want to jinx his chances.)



LSO statement:

The LSO has an excellent relationship with Valery Gergiev and we have ambitious plans through to the 2015/2016 season and beyond across the world.   He is contracted as Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra until the end of 2015.

We cannot comment on any other plans which Valery Gergiev may have.   What is clear, is that his relationship with the LSO is strong and it will sustain, just as has been the case for the LSO with other conductors such as Sir Colin Davis, Michael Tilson-Thomas and André Previn.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Can’t imagine who you’ve got in mind, Norman.

  2. Petros Linardos says:

    And yet you revealed the suspected candidate’s gender! There we go again…

  3. Graf Nugent says:

    It’s Owain Arwel Hughes, isn’ t it? We can read you like a book…

  4. I’m sure it’s John Axelrod that Norman has in mind ;)

  5. Let him go and get a fresh wind. His speciality is the Russian repertoire but his classics are really mediocre. There are so many young ones around like Petrenko, Nelsons and others.

    • It will be good for all of us (I include the audience!) to have someone fresh – and there are many excellent rising young conductors. More of an exciting opportunity, I’d say, than for the wearing of weeds…

  6. from the tone of recent posts here-on it must be a female to balance the gender equation

  7. itrinkkeinwein says:

    @Tristan: there are TWO Petrenkos.

    One is GMD of the Bavarian State Opera, starting in September. The other is at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.

    It is odd that the name “Petrenko” is mooted on Slipped Disc for top jobs in Berlin and London when the candidate is so low in profile that the presence of two of them hasn’t even been noticed!

    • Only one of the Petrenkos could be described as ‘young’. It’s the other one that is being mooted for the Berlin Phil :)

      Anyway KP doesn’t have much profile in the English-speaking world… which is the loss of the English-speaking world. They are extrememly different conductors with extremely different repertoire – stopping to think for 2 seconds should be sufficient to work out which is the subject of any comment here.

      • I saw Kirill Petrenko conduct the BP just a few weeks ago in Stravinsky, Stephan, Scriabin. It was a very good concert, very professionally conducted, but it didn;t strike me as extraordinary in any way, whatever that may mean. I really don’t think Petrenko is a serious candidate for this position. But maybe I am wrong. In any case, these discussions become pretty pointless if people just throw around any names they can think of.

      • itrinkkeinwein says:

        They were born in 1972 and 1976. Kirill Petrenko is known in New York, where they at least try to speak English.

      • itrinkkeinwein says:

        … actually, Kirill Petrenko had a triumph at the Met not too long ago with “Khovanshchina.”

  8. Who did that Britten Requiem thingy a year or so ago?

  9. Everybody.

  10. For the good of the orchestra, the Barbican’s cultural ambitions and London concert life in general, it ought to be Riccardo Chailly.

  11. Elizabeth Owen says:

    Well having read their statement I can’t see that they state categorically and he wont be with us after 2015. Are you reading to much in to this?

  12. Idle thought on a snowy afternoon: Sir Simon Rattle??

    • Robert Fitzpatrick says:

      OMG, I had the same thought but was too timid to express my innermost dark side. It actually makes sense.

      • Sir Simon has become accustomed to orchestras that have control of acoustically excellent concert halls, in which they are able to rehearse for any amount of time, not just on the days of their concerts.

        He went to the trouble of getting one built with EU money in Birmingham. Alas, London can’t offer these conditions.

        • Robert Fitzpatrick says:

          You have a point, but perhaps Boris will build a new one for SSR by 2018. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if Chicago starts working on him. Muti’s contract expires around 2016 and his health has been unsteady to say the least.

          • itrinkkeinwein says:

            Muti’s health has been “unsteady to say the least”?

            A misleading comment! The man has had a jaw fracture, a hernia, and the flu. Three unrelated maladies. A pacemaker was implanted in 2011 for precautionary reasons; the heart was declared at that time to be in good health.

            A more serious condition during 2010 led to a long absence, but it has been the only example in 45+ years of professional conducting, as far as I know.

            Muti is in fact *not* prone to cancel or get sick.

          • richard Hardingham says:

            Chicago working on him ?

            Are we talking about ssr or boris

          • Graf Nugent says:

            To reply to Mariandel below: Muti has also, in 45+ years of conducting, never been this old before. Things are starting to go wrong, sad as it may be. He may not be prone to illness, but he is, as we all are, prone to getting older.

          • When I spent a morning with him last summer, he looked healthier than he did 15 years ago at La Scala. He’s in fine physical shape, just a bit unlucky. That can happen at any age.

          • Robert Fitzpatrick says:

            Boris? I meant SSR

          • BTW, Muti has an autobiography out which is fairly brief, but very enjoyable to read. In it, he explains that his upbringing and education were very strict so people sometimes think he is very serious and aloof when it’s really that he is just a little shy…

  13. harold braun says:


    • So one half of of the conundrum is confirmed – Gergiev is joining the Munich PO. If he’s leaving the LSO, then my vote goes to Pappano.

  14. elizabeth owen says:

    Daniel Harding?

an ArtsJournal blog