The Vienna Festival has canceled the “War Requiem” concert with the Greek-Russian conductor Theodor Kourentzis at the Konzerthaus. Instead, the organizers will offer a concert “Kaddish Requiem” by a Ukrainian conductor Oksana Liniv. It is scheduled for June 2. A modern Ukrainian piece will be created and performed for the performance of the Kaddish Requiem.
This was reported on the website of the Vienna Festival. Earlier, Lyniv refused to perform at the same festival with Kourentzis.
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“We welcome interest and critical questions, which arose after the announcement of two concerts dedicated to war and genocideas well as understanding and reconciliation”, – commented the director of the festival Milo Rau.
|Oksana Lyniv. Photo: Public
In the address of the Vienna Festival, it was emphasized that the political and moral dimensions directly influenced the music that will be played at the festival. Yes, Lyniv and Currentzis are “representatives of their countries” for the organizers.
“This made us think about the issue of responsibility and limits of art as a utopian space at this year’s festival, including in the context of parallel discussion events“, Rau noted.
Thanks to the discussions, it became clear that it is impossible to hold two concerts, and as the director of the festival emphasized, he would like to preserve the central importance of Oksana Liniv’s performance in the 2024 festival program.
He also held a consultation with the orchestra and in the conclusion made a choice in favor of the Ukrainian conductor who refused to perform together with the Russian musician: “We respect the Lyns’ wish not to be put in context with Currentzis at this time. Unfortunately, there was no alternative to our decision to cancel the planned concert under Theodor Kourentzis, whom we greatly appreciate as an artist. We wish the SWR Symphony Orchestra and Theodore Kourentzis the best of luck in their planned tour of Germany with War Requiem“.
Oksana Lyniv herself also commented on this situation: “We are glad that the Vienna Festival has found a solution, and we are very pleased that we will finally be able to perform the Kaddish Requiem “Babyn Yar” in Vienna. All project participants are looking forward to this special concert on June 2 at the Vienna Concert Hall“.
Program director of the SWR orchestra Anke Mai, with whom Kourentzis was supposed to perform, said that she regretted the cancellation of the concert. She also added: “I understand that Oksana Lyniv and the members of the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra would like Teodor Kurentzis to make a public statement against Russia’s war of aggression. However, given the consequences that such a statement would have for Kurentzis in Russia, we never asked him to do so.”.
All purchased tickets for the concert of the Greek-Russian conductor will be canceled, and the money for them will be returned to the buyers.
Wiener Festwochen (Vienna Festival) is a cultural festival in the Austrian capital that takes place every year for five to six weeks in May and June. The opening of the Festival is an open-air event with free admission, which takes place on the square in front of the Vienna Town Hall. Every year the festival gathers more than 180,000 visitors.
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