Valery Gergiev, a Russian conductor, has been issued a public ultimatum to denounce Putin or lose his job after his management terminated him due to his strong relations to the President.

Valery Gergiev, Russia’s most famous conductor, has been dropped by his management because to his close relations to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and he is facing a deadline to openly oppose Putin or risk losing yet another role in his career.

Over the last week, the 68-year-old Russian, a long-time friend and supporter of Putin, has come under increasing pressure to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

He’s been pulled from shows all across the world, and if he doesn’t condemn Putin’s aggressiveness within the next 24 hours, he’ll suffer severe professional consequences.

Marcus Felsner, Gergiev’s management, stated on Sunday that he would be dismissing the maestro, whom he described as “the greatest conductor alive and an exceptional human being with a strong sense of decency,” but who “would not, or cannot” work with the orchestra.

Marcus Felsner, Gergiev’s manager, announced on Sunday that he would be dropping the conductor, whom he described as “the greatest conductor alive and an extraordinary human being with a profound sense of decency,” but who “will not, or cannot, publicly end his long-expressed support for a regime that has come to commit such crimes.”

“It has become impossible for us, and clearly unwelcome, to defend the interests of Maestro Gergiev in light of the criminal war waged by the Russian regime against the democratic and independent nation of Ukraine, and against the European open society as a whole,” Felsner said in a statement, calling it “the saddest day of my professional life.”

The move by Gergiev’s management comes just days before the mayor of Munich, Dieter Reiter, sets a Monday deadline for Gergiev to formally repudiate the invasion. Reiter stated that if Gergiev does not comply, he will be fired as the Munich Philharmonic’s head conductor.

Gergiev was “lightly booed” at a performance of Tchaikovsky’s opera The Queen of Spades at La Scala last Wednesday, according to Italian press.

As Russian tanks pushed into Ukraine the next day, Milan’s mayor, Giuseppe Sala, who is also the president of the city’s La Scala opera theater, encouraged Gergiev to criticize Russia’s invasion, warning that if he did not, “the collaboration will be over.”

On Friday, a La Scala representative told Variety that Gergiev had not yet answered and that if he did not speak out, he would be removed from a performance on March 5th. “We have yet to receive his response. We will be compelled to locate another conductor if he does not respond to our request,” stated the spokeswoman.

The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, which has hosted an annual Gergiev festival since 1996, has also stated that if he continues to support Putin, the festival would be canceled in September.

Gergiev is the music director of St Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre and a Russian Federation Hero of Labor. Since the early 1990s, he has been close to Putin and has openly backed him.

Gergiev is the music director of St Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre and a laureate of the Russian Federation’s Hero of Labor award. He has been close to Putin since the early 1990s and has publicly supported him on numerous occasions, including in a television ad for his 2012 presidential campaign, supporting the annexation of Crimea in 2014, and performing a patriotic concert in Palmyra, Syria, shortly after Russian airstrikes in 2016.

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