Teodor Currentzis is once again invited to the Vienna Festival Weeks

Teodor Currentzis is once again invited to the Vienna Festival Weeks
Teodor Currentzis

The background is the protest of the Ukrainian maestra Oksana Lyniv, who, according to an idea from festival director Milo Rau, should have conducted the requiem “Babyn Yar” by her compatriot Jevhen Stankovych ten days before her Greco-Russian colleague. This had recently underpinned their negative attitude.

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“In discussions over the last few days, it has become clear that presenting both concerts as part of the Vienna Festival is currently not feasible,” said a statement from the Festival on Monday. Now only the Stankovych work will be heard in the Konzerthaus as planned on June 2nd. “We respect Lyniv’s wish not to be placed in a contextual context with Currentzis at the moment. Unfortunately, this meant that there was no alternative to our decision to cancel the planned concert under the direction of Teodor Currentzis, whom we value very much as an artist,” emphasized Milo Rau.

“I have nothing against Currentzis”

“I have nothing against Currentzis, but I cannot accept that my name and that of musicians who come from a country that is still bombed daily and has so many deaths, should be associated with that of someone, who has never openly spoken out against the war and whose artistic ensembles are financed by banking institutions that are very close to the Kremlin,” Oksana Lyniv recently emphasized to ANSA.

Shortly after Milo Rau presented his idea of ​​two anti-war requiems, the 46-year-old made negative comments to the music journalist Axel Brüggemann and emphasized that it had not been agreed with her that the two concerts would be brought into a thematic context. “I have been working on this project since May last year, but it was only in the last few days that I was informed about the presence of Teodor Currentzis,” underlined the conductor in Italy.

Contemporary Ukrainian piece

The artist now welcomed the festival’s decision and also announced that a contemporary Ukrainian piece by a student of the composer Yevhen Stankovich would now be composed for the Vienna performance of the Requiem. A statement also came from SWR program director Anke Mai on Monday about the cancellation of Currentzis’ concert with “her” SWR symphony orchestra: “I understand that Oksana Lyniv and the members of the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra have made a public commitment from Teodor Currentzis against the Russian war of aggression. Given the consequences that such a commitment would have for Currentzis in Russia, we never asked him to do so.” We accept the decision of the Wiener Festwochen and hope to see you again in more peaceful times.

To date, Currentzis has never publicly spoken out against Vladimir Putin’s war of aggression. Rau had already emphasized at the time of the announcement in the APA conversation that there was no intention of avoiding the obvious discussion: “If we were a weak, cowardly institution, we would say: Currentzis is causing too many uncontrollable discussions.” Since that is not the case, accompanying discussion formats are being planned, for example on questions of boycotts in art. “It could then be the result that we look at such a ‘case’ differently the following year.” Now the question has already been clarified before the festival weeks begin.

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