Press Release: General Music Director Vladimir Jurowski in an open letter against war and cultural boycott

Vladimir Jurowski, General Music Director of the Bayerische Staatsoper takes position on the current political situation in an open letter.
He thereby initiates an international plea to unite against Russia's war in Ukraine.
His appeal aims to counteract the proclamation of a boycott against Russian and Belarusian artists and calls out to refrain them to take a public position regarding this matter.
Vladimir Jurowski has already been joined by more than a hundred colleagues and artists, including General Manager Serge Dorny, Sir Simon Rattle, Barrie Kosky, Edward Gardner and Christian Gerhaher.
More signatures are being collected on change. org.


The unconscionable war that Putin’s totalitarian regime has unleashed against sovereign Ukraine, where Russian tanks and missiles are targeting innocent civilians, cannot be justified in any way. Bombing and assaulting civilian objects, such as hospitals, schools, theatres, universities, libraries, or churches, are war crimes, crimes against humanity, and must be unequivocally condemned without exception. Many of our colleagues, fellow artists, musicians, and composers in Ukraine are being robbed by the war of the ability to freely practise their art. The suffering of all those affected by this atrocious war is beyond measure. We understand that in these circumstances our appeal below may not be considered of the highest priority and, perhaps, even seem somewhat irrelevant or offensive to some – the paramount issue is, after all, to stop the war now and rebuild lives – but nevertheless, we would like to share our point of view.
We fully endorse the sanctions and diplomatic pressure being brought against Putin’s regime and its henchmen, against its advocates, propagandists and information-manipulators whose links to Putin and his government are clearly documented. However, not all Russians and Belarusians, and certainly not all cultural figures of these two nations, support this terrible invasion. Therefore, we find it unjust to condemn Russians or Belarusians for the actions of the dictator and his supporters without any direct evidence of their collusion. As it has occurred recently, it is impossible to exclude an artist from a performance based on his or her nationality and at the same time avoid harming that individual artist personally. Nationality should not matter – no one should have to justify their origin or nationality.
Not everyone feels able to make a clear statement against Putin’s regime because such a statement may substantially harm the person themselves or their loved ones, friends or working colleagues in Russia or Belarus, many of whom currently feel like hostages in their own countries. Indeed, before he invaded Ukraine, Putin had, in effect, already assaulted his own country, silencing any opposition and ideologically brainwashing the population. We can defeat the regime's hate-stirring disinformation campaigns by standing strongly united. Therefore, all artists who condemn this unlawful war and withhold support from the regime responsible for it, whether publicly or privately to avoid retribution, should be allowed to continue their artistic activities and thus reaffirm the universal message of peace.
We strongly raise our voices against the indiscriminate exclusion of Russian and Belarusian individuals just because of their nationality. Such actions are not only unworthy of a society that strives to eradicate all forms of discrimination, but actually serve to fuel Putin’s dangerous propaganda narratives.
We demand an end to the war on Ukraine immediately and we also urge that fairness and justice prevail with regards to subjects of Russia and Belarus who are unaffiliated to Putin's regime.

Vladimir Jurowski together with
Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Mark Elder, Sir Antonio Pappano, Franz Welser-Möst, Edward Gardner, Robin Ticciati, Omer Meir Wellber, Titus Engel, Cornelius Meister, Brett Dean, Serge Dorny, Simon McBurney, Andreas Homoki, Barrie Kosky, Tobias Kratzer, Benedict Andrews, Claus Guth, Dmitri Tcherniakov, Simon Halsey, Gijs Leenaars, Justin Doyle, Ralf Sochaczewsky, Barbara Hannigan, Efim Bronfman, Leonidas Kavakos, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Nicola Benedetti, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, David Geringas, Lars Vogt, Antje Weithaas, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Boris Garlitsky, Christian Tetzlaff, Tanja Tetzlaff, Alban Gerhardt, Jan Vogler, Ian Bostridge, Julian Prégardien, Clemens Schuldt, Sabine Devieilhe, Isabelle Faust, Alexander Melnikov, Boris Giltburg, Elena Dubinets, Sharon Kam, Elisaveta Blumina, Alexander Gordon, Gabriella Teychenne, Markus Becker, Isabel Karajan, Dagmar Manzel, Thomas Sanderling, Michael Sanderling, Boris Filanovsky, Anton Safronov, Sergej Newski, Alexander Meraviglia-Crivelli, Alice Sarah Ott, Thomas Reif, Renaud Capuçon, Christian Gerhaher, Alfonso Aijon, Maurizio Baglini, David Afkham, Patrick Lange, Anne Schwanewilms, Silvia Colasanti, Peter Paul Kainrath, James Gaffigan, Philippe Quint, Wynton Marsalis, Matthew Rose, Alison Balsom, John Daszak, Matthias Goerne, Maria Dribinsky, Marina Davydova, Yan Dribinsky, Jacob Reuven, Sasha Waltz, Jochen Sandig, Leif Ove Andsnes, Christine Fischer, Alice Lackner, Vitali Alekseenok, Victor Copytsko, Angelina Tkacheva, Andreas Bräutigam, Georges Edelman, Helen Collyer, Arne Jansen, Shi-Yeon Sung, Mauro Bucarelli, Thomas Ostermeierm, Johannes Klumpp, Karsten Witt, Fabio Luisi, Peter Phillips, Matteo D’Amico, Daniele Abbado, Kristjan Järvi, Rinaldo Alessandrini, Carlo Rizzi, Alexander Gadjiev, Paolo Carignani, Toni Florio, Timothy Brock, Antonino Fogliani, Jacopo Spirei, Paolo Pinamonti, Roberto Scandiuzzi, Alex Ollé, Tabea Zimmermann, Valerio Tura, Steven Sloane, Philippe Manoury, Winrich Hopp

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Max-Joseph-Platz 2 | 80539 München

Michael Wuerges
Direktor Strategische Kommunikation, Presse
[email protected] | +49 89 21 85 10 20

Sophia Lechner
Managerin Medien- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
[email protected] | +49 89 21 85 10 21