Russian music students bravely condemn conductor’s pro-Putin stunt

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March 23, 2022, 11:21 | Updated: March 23, 2022, 11:26

Mikhail Khokhlov, director of the music school, with President Vladimir Putin.

Photo: Alamy / гнесинские Vиртуозы


Students, graduates and professors of the Gnessin School of Music in Moscow criticized the “heinous” political act of their director.

Last week, the Gnessin Moscow Music School YouTube channel posted a video in which the school’s principal, Mikhail Khokhlov, conducted an orchestra wearing a “Z” on his top.

The letter “Z” stands for support for Putin’s war in Ukraine and was also added to the title of the video. The orchestra playing in the video was the Gnessin Virtuosi, Russia’s first youth concert orchestra founded in 1990 by Khokhlov and made up of students from the school. The music in the video: the opening movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C minor.

In one social media post published on March 22Current students, alumni and teachers at the school condemned Khokhlov’s video, calling the political stunt “heinous” as the conductor “recruited underage students” as “a vehicle for the expression of his personal militaristic worldview”.

The video was removed from YouTube by the uploader, but the full performance still remains on the school’s website.

Founded in 1895, the Gnessin School was nationalized by the Soviet state in 1946 and was visited by Vladimir Putin to celebrate recent anniversary events.

Read more: A Ukrainian and Russian pianist plays a Mozart duet: “With music, we become connected”

Russian music school students

Students of the Russian music school.

Photo: Aliyah


In an open letter published yesterday, which was signed by more than a hundred artistic leaders in classical music, conductor Vladimir Jurowski writes:Not everyone feels able to testify clearly, because such testimony could potentially cause significant harm to the person themselves or to their family, friends and co-workers in Russia or Belarus.

So far, the post from students, alumni and teachers of the Gnessin School of Music has received thousands of likes and hundreds of comments, including one from composer Gabriel Prokofiev.

The Russian-British musician and grandson of Sergei Prokofiev commented: “Strength to you all. The truth must be heard. The respect to stand up for your beliefs. Prokofiev recently attended an orchestral flashmob in London’s Trafalgar Square in solidarity with Ukraine.

The open letter was published in Russian and English about the Gnessin graduate Facebook account of Dmitry Selipanov.

On March 16, 2022, the YouTube channel “Gnessin World Channel” released a video titled “Gnessin Virtuosi – MuZical Offer”. In this video, the “Gnessin Virtuosi” Orchestra of the Moscow Gnessin School of Music performed the first movement of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. The orchestra was led by the school director, Mikhail Sergeyevich Khokhlov, who for the occasion wore a t-shirt with a large letter Z.

We, former students and graduates of the Gnessin School, as well as its teachers, condemn this shameful action in the strongest possible terms and regard it as a horrible stain on the history of our school.

This action is a serious attack on the reputation of one of the best music schools in the world and an insult to the honor and memory of the famous former teachers of the Gnessin school.

We further consider it heinous for the principal to have recruited underage students for this horrific publicity stunt, as well as to have used the school as a vehicle to express his personal militaristic worldview.

The aforementioned video was removed from YouTube on March 21, but by then thousands of people around the world had watched it. Moreover, to this day it is still accessible on the official website of Gnessin School and through the VK social network.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind you, Mr Khokhlov, that our School is not just walls that you had painted, not just the building that you saved from takeover. The school, with force, is all of us, not you personally. Therefore, as representatives of the School, we reject your views and position on this matter in the strongest possible terms.
_________________________

George Avetisov
Magda Amara
Maria Andreeva
Boris Andrianov
Catherine of Antokolskaya
Ekaterina Apekisheva
Akhumyan-Balyan Tiger
Svetlana Balan
Michael Balan
Rostislav Balchunas
Maria Bogomolova
Alexander Brodsky
Mikhail Brodsky
Alexei Brunie
Dmitry Bulgakov
Phillip Weiman
Victoria Vartanova
Lina Vartanova
Elisabeth Vilkovskaya
Alexandra Vinnick
Alina Vorobyeva
Marianne the train
Ulyana Volkova
Alexei Volodin
Karina Garibova
Gregory Gerschfeld
Dina Goyfeld-Zemtsova
Maria Golovkina
Diana Gontarenko
Alexander Gordon (Zemtsov)
Sergei Grokhotov
Sophie Gulbadamova
Asya Gulua (Kozhevnikova)
State Catherine
Elena (Olesya) Doskina
Timur Jafarov
Alexandra Dzyubenko
Nikolai Dobkin
Andrei Doynikov
Elena DrabkinShagalova
Polina Egudin (Kozhevnikova)
Alexandra Elina
David Yejov
Ksenia Zhulyova
Maria Zaitseva
Michael Zakaryan
Ekaterina Zeynetdinova
Vladimir Zisman
Maxim Zlotnikov
Catherine Ignatova
Evgenia Ivanova-Dyatlova
Leo Iomdin
Lyalia Kandaurov
Tatiana Kalmykova (Menchikova)
Youri Kalnits
Michel Kaplohi
Denis Karpov
Anait Karpova
Marina Katarzhnova
Gregory Kesler
Eugene Kisin
Alexandre Cobrin
Daniel Kobylanski
Akmal Kosimov
Nelly Kravets (Litvinskaya)
Mikhail Krasnenker
Taras Krisa
Alexander Kudryavtsev
Cute Kuznetskaya
Alexandra Kuzma
Ivan Lazebny
sophie the swan
Mary the Swan
Elisabeth Leonova
Anna Lipkins
Constantin Lifshitz
Love from Lviv
Anna Elizabeth Majorga Voycekhovskaya
Viktor Maslov
Alexander Matveev
Roman Martynov
Daria Marshinina
Nune Melikian
Alexei Melnikov
Olga Moytlis
Mikhail Mordvinov
Miriam Milgram Harat
Romain Minz
Julia Musayelian
Alexandra The Memory
Varvara the Unforgettable
Viktor Omelianovich
Maryana Osipova
Maria Ostrokhova
Margarita Pavlova
Eugenia Peschanskaya
Alina Petrova
Anastasia Petrova
Sophia Pinaiva
Irina Pisareva
Nadezhda Podgornaya
Anna Prokopyeva (Selipanova)
Ella Pruzhanskaya
Nadezhda Podgornaya
Elena Portnaya
Anna Putnikova
Sergei Putnikov
Lola Rasulova
Dmitry Rakhmanov
Inga homeland
Alla Roizis
Michael Rudoy
Ilya Rubinstein
Alexei Savinkov
Sergei Samushkin
Cyril Sedov
Dmitry Selipanov
Diana Serbina
Pavel Serbin
Vladimir Sidorov
Dmitry Son
Katia Scanavi
Elena Skvortsova
Boris Slutsky
Elizabeth Smirnova
Taisiya Sokolova
Anastasia Sologub
Asya Sorshneva
Maria Spitkovskaya
Ekaterina Starodubrovskaya
Anastasia Stasevich
Alexei Steblev
Maria Surovtseva
Marina Tarasenko
Polina Tarasenko
Natella Thevdoi – Burmuli
Eugene Tonha
Daniel Trifonov
Vladimir Tropp, Jr.
Julia Faline
Elina Firetag (Palitskaya)
Elena Fatahutdinova
Julia Filhaber (Gotlib)
Elena Fishtengolts
Michel Fishtengolts
Natalia Fishtengolts
Eugene Franchuk
Anna Hanina
Dmitry Hamov
Benefits of Khakulina
She is a hwan
Tyr Hisambeev
Catherine Tsirempilova
Anastasia Cherniak
Andrei Shaporov
Mikhail Shaporov
Alexei Charykov
It’s a shekina
Leonid Chizhik
Roman Chistyakov
Andrei Cholokyan
Alexander Shaikin
Constantin Shamray
Daniel Shiposha
Dmitry Youdin
Igor Yusefovich
Timur Yakubov
Nikolai Yaouchev

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