Bolshoi Theatre's chief conductor quits after pressure to condemn Ukraine invasion

Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Bolshoi Theatre Tugan Sokhiev attends a ceremony opening a new season in Moscow, Russia on Sept 12, 2017.
PHOTO: Reuters

OTTAWA - Tugan Sokhiev, the chief conductor at Moscow's prestigious Bolshoi Theatre, announced on Sunday (March 6) he was quitting his job after coming under pressure to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Sokhiev also said he was resigning as conductor of an orchestra in the French city of Toulouse, where officials had pressed him to clarify his attitude to the invasion.

"Today I am forced to make a choice and choose one of my musical family over the other. I am being asked to choose one cultural tradition over the other," he said in an English-language post on Facebook.

"I have decided to resign from my positions as Music Director of Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow and Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse with immediate effect."

Last week the Munich Philharmonic dismissed chief conductor Valery Gergiev with immediate effect after he did not respond to calls to condemn the invasion.

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