MOSCOW, October 20. /TASS/. The Swedish Royal Academy of Music's decision to strip Russian conductor Valery Gergiev of his foreign membership title will forever leave a shameful stain on the institution's reputation, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Thursday.
"The Swedish Academy’s decision to disassociate itself from the great conductor will leave a stain on its reputation forever," Zakharova said at a briefing.
According to the Russian diplomat, the decision to expel Gergiev was made at a regular meeting of the Academy, and the formal reason behind it was "the reluctance of this world-famous musician <...> to make political statements needed by the collective West."
Amid the situation in Ukraine, numerous global cultural institutions have stopped working with the Russian conductor. The Munich Philharmonic Orchestra dismissed him from his post as principal conductor after he had refused to express his position on current events, the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg canceled his concerts scheduled for next spring, and the Bavarian State Opera cut ties with him.