Five More Years

Munich’s City Council, or Stadtrat, in January 2018

Published: February 21, 2018

MUNICH — Putting box-office steadiness ahead of artistic achievement, the city council here voted this morning to extend by five years Valery Gergiev’s contract as Chefdirigent of the civically run Munich Philharmonic, as requested by the orchestra’s managers. The move doubles the Russian’s tenure, to encompass the seasons 2020–25. No salary was disclosed, as usual, but past reports have shown €800,000 as an annual figure.

Matthias Ambrosius, spokesman for the musicians, and clarinetist, noted in writing that the “vast majority” of MPhil players had wanted to lengthen the collaboration with Gergiev. Nonetheless it is widely understood that the managers’ request stemmed from a desire to ease dislocation of the orchestra in 2020, when a massive project to reconfigure its Gasteig home begins. Gergiev will in this sense be doing the city a favor, gamely cooperating for seasons at a temporary concert hall.

Photo © Landeshauptstadt München

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