Gay Rights Protesters Follow Gergiev to Carnegie Hall

Friday, October 11, 2013 - 10:00 AM

Gay rights activists protest Valery Gergiev at Carnegie Hall on Thursday night Gay rights activists protest Valery Gergiev at Carnegie Hall on Thursday night

A hundred years after Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring sparked a riot at its Paris premiere, another noisy outburst has greeted the iconic piece – though it had nothing to do with the work itself.

Gay rights protesters brought their campaign against conductor Valery Gergiev to Carnegie Hall on Thursday night at a performance by the Mariinsky Orchestra of St. Petersburg. The protests were against Gergiev's support of Vladimir Putin, who earlier this year signed a law that prohibits public events promoting gay rights.

Shortly after Gergiev walked on stage to conduct a program of three Stravinsky ballets, several protesters from the group Queer Nation began to shout from the upper balconies, "Gergiev, your silence is killing Russian gays!" Gergiev kept his back to the audience and waited for the commotion to stop. Some members of the audience applauded the protesters; others booed. Security guards led them out and the rest of the performance proceeded without incident.

Earlier, outside Carnegie Hall, another group of about 20 protesters unfurled a rainbow banner that read "support Russian gay rights" while chanting slogans like, “Hey hey, ho ho, Gergiev has got to go!”

In a press release, Queer Nation said, "Valery Gergiev should not be able to perform without being called out for his vocal support of Russia’s anti-gay president." It added that Carnegie Hall has refused to condemn the Russian government's anti-gay laws.

Carnegie Hall released a statement Friday acknowledging that it has been the site of numerous political events throughout its history, but "as an artistic institution, its primary mission is to feature performances by the world’s greatest artists and ensembles, including Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra.

"Carnegie Hall firmly opposes all instances of discrimination, including discrimination against the LGBT community; however these concerts, as musical events, are not the appropriate setting for political comments."

This is the second time a Gergiev-led performance has been delayed by protests this month, the first being at the opening night of the Metropolitan Opera. In both cases, protesters cited an artistic justification for their actions: the Met performance featured the opera Eugene Onegin by Tchaikovsky, whom general manager Peter Gelb described as "Russia's great gay composer." At Carnegie Hall, the Stravinsky scores – The Firebird, Pétrouchka and The Rite of Spring – were commissioned by Serge Diaghilev, who was also gay, for his company, the Ballets Russes (whether Stravinsky himself was gay has also been debated recently).

Gergiev has not commented on the recent protests. The conductor, who campaigned for Putin's reelection in 2012, is the artistic director of the Mariinsky Theater, home to a ballet company, opera house and orchestra, all of which receive state support.

WQXR is a broadcast partner of Carnegie Hall.

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Comments [42]

Continued from previous post:
8. It is legal to say our organs should be buried or burned as “unfit for the continuation of human life”, and if you are Dmitry Kiselyov and say this to a cheering Russian TV audience, you will be promoted to CEO of Vladimir Putin’s national news network http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1cLcyams1g http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/09/putin-appoints-homophobic-presenter-kiselyov-head-news-agency-homosexuals
9. It is legal to defame homosexuals as pedophiles, especially if you are President of Russia: http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2014/01/19/22358854-russian-president-putin-links-gays-to-pedophiles?lite
10. A new law is waiting for re-introduction in the Duma after Sochi ends, by United Russia party member Andrei Zhuravlyov that will seize even the biological children from their lesbian or gay parent and place that child in the care of Russia’s notorious orphanage system: http://en.ria.ru/russia/20130905/183185396.html and http://atrl.net/forums/showthread.php?t=465238
11. At the next federal Russian elections, there will be a referendum sponsored by the Russian Orthodox Church, to make same sex relationships once again a criminal offence. Recent opinion polls show support for this is likely to exceed 80%, making it a certainty to be carried: http://www.buzzfeed.com/lesterfeder/russian-orthodox-church-spokesman-endorses-referendum-to-rec

Apr. 02 2014 05:45 PM

If you place your private enjoyment of the first 2-3 minutes before a concert even starts, ahead of the human rights of others, just because we are to small in number to be able to defend ourselves, then I consider you a disgrace.

1. It is illegal in Russia to say you are gay openly, if a person under 18 years of age even MIGHT be present. A 14 year old girl Maria Novikova was recently charged with “homosexual propaganda to minors” after she came out as a lesbian to her classmates: http://www.channel4.com/news/sochi-gay-laws-14-year-old-fights
2. Even though the Age of Consent for same sex relationships is currently 16, the same as for heterosexuals, it is illegal to provide counselling to 16-17 year old LGBT on this matter.
3. It is illegal to protest against your mistreatment if you are disadvantaged by Russia’s recriminalisation of homosexuality, and you will be arrested and fined if you hold up a piece of paper in the street; Dimitry Isakov was reported to the authorities by his own parents: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/05/dmitry-isakov-charged-russia-anti-gay_n_3868060.html. Likewise for the Italian politician Vladimir Luxuria visiting Russia for the Sochi Olympics http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/feb/17/sochi-vladimir-luxuria-gay-rights-banner
4. It IS however, lawful for you to sack someone from their employment solely because they are gay or lesbian: Russian newscaster Anton Krasovksy was sacked on the spot after coming out as gay. This would not happen to a heterosexual: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2393001/Russian-television-presenter-Anton-Krasovsky-sacked-coming-live-television.html
5. It IS legal to evict us from our living accommodation because we are LGBT http://www.buzzfeed.com/davidtuller/far-from-russias-biggest-cities-being-gay-means-being-always
6. When gangs attack young gay men and post thousands of videos of the torture online that identify the crime in progress, and recruit hundreds of gangs in all major cities across Russia to do the same or worse, the police take no action. http://www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches/4od#3651833 and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZ_aSl3ktjg. The one and only person ever charged for violence against gays was given a suspended sentence, and was cheered out of the courtroom by his supporters.
7. It is legal to incite violence against LGBT people, and to call for all gays “to be burned alive in ovens”. Celebrity actor Ivan Okhlobystin was cheered by the audience when he called for this: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/dec/16/russian-actor-ivan-okhlobystin-oven-homosexuals-burned-alive

Continued next post...

Apr. 02 2014 05:44 PM

Human rights belong to everybody, not just the majority. If that were not so, then African Americans who are a mere 14% of the US population would have their rights determined by the tyranny of the white majority.

In Russia it is legal to sack someone from their job if you find out they are gay. You can also evict us from our living accommodation for the same reason, and assault us with impunity, knowing the government will charge your gay victims with "homosexual propaganda", "extremism" and "hooliganism".

Since LGBT minorities have been stripped of their civil rights in Russia, and it has been made illegal for them to protest at this, it falls to those outwith Russia to help them by directly targeting their exports.

Now Winter Olympics at Sochi are over, and the spotlight will disappear from Russia and it can set about passing two more laws currently waiting in the Duma till after Sochi, to finalise the annihilation of LGBT as a disliked and suspect class:
1. A new law sponsored by MP Alexei Zhuravlyov to seize even the biological offspring from lesbian and gay parents, and place them in care. Foreign adoption was already outlawed last year by Putin's presidential decree.
2. A referendum sponsored by the Russian Orthodox Church that will make same sex relationships once again, a criminal offence in a return to the Stalin laws. With opinion polls showing over 80% popular support for this move, and the authorities failing to take any action whatsoever against those hunting and assaulting gays, the passage of this referendum into law is an absolute certainty.

Russians have been lied to by their government and their church, so they now honestly believe:
1. Homosexuals are made and not born
2. Homosexuals are predators who are after their children
3. Homosexuals are out to make the whole straight world into homosexuals
4. Homosexual orientation is directly linked to immorality
5. Homosexuality is spread via "propaganda"
6. Homosexuality is a Western phenomenon, and is "anti-Russian"
7. Homosexuals can be turned into heterosexuals by persecuting us
8. By converting gays 'back' into straights, the declining Russian birth rate will be reversed.

All of these statements are 100% wrong. These are not facts, they are misperceptions, and they are being used as excuses for abuse.

Apr. 02 2014 05:41 PM

Sorry for the typos on last post, small keyboard on my tablet, please excuse. God Speed and Good Opera to everyone. Charles Fischbein

Oct. 17 2013 01:02 PM

I arrived at the Met and saw Oneigen last night and will be seeing Norma Norma on Friday night. I could not agree with you more, simply holding hands and a friendly good bye would offend no one I know. However it is when one is involved in very intimate activities publically which I have seen in New York City, and frequently in Key West from same sex couples that the norm is broken and most people would be offended.
Sometimes people let their hormones get the best of them and do not realize that the general public does not want to be taken into their most intimate moments
It is natural, I believe for the majority of the population to be offended by public displays of affection from same sex individuals. When 97% of the population does not indulge in homosexual of lesbian behavior it is easy to see how the majority of us could be greatly offended by being forced to see their actions in public.
As far as the Opera last night, I fully realize now why Maestro Giregev is such a world treasure. He did not conduct last night performance of Onegan and the performance lacked the precision in the orchestra and timing with the singers that was so present under Maestro Giergev. While the performers were excellent, it sounded like the great Metropolitan Opera Orchestra was struggling with the conducting to keep in time with the singing, and that the conductor did not have the control Maestro Giergev demanded. In all it was a wonderful experience in person, and thankfully no demonstrators, but I wish I had seen it earlier when Giergev was conducting.
I hope the malcontents do not realize that Bellini was considered homosexual also, and decide to come back and picket Norma on Friday night. Hopefully they will find solace together in their Greenwich Village and upper west side bars and leave the Met audiences alone.
God Speed Charles Fischbein
sent on my android device

Oct. 17 2013 09:30 AM

Wow. Just, wow.

Mr. Fischbein: "I assume that there are a number of gay students in our local High School [why Initial Caps?] and primary school districts, but they know better than to have public displays of their affections.

If a sovereign nation sets laws punishing people for espousing a gay lifestyle they do so to protect their young impressionable populations from having to deal with this perversion. [Really? Perversion?]

I personally have NO problems with people doing what they wish in private, but when 3% of the population holds the other 97% hostage, it is time for the states to strengthen their anti sodomy laws to provide jail time for PUBLIC displays of same sex affections."

Wow. There is a huge difference between "displays of affection" and "sodomy". Two girls (or boys) should be able to walk down the street holding hands, or give a quick good-bye kiss. That is a display of public affection. And should be OK anywhere.

DD~~

Oct. 17 2013 02:49 AM

Dear MAK, In my rush to leave I missed your remark about my "bigoted backwater" Is this the way a "KIND" person describes a vibrant region of the United States. One minute you are "KIND" the next arrogant, too may mood swings in a short time can be a sign of serious personality issues. Please relax this is just a blog, and decide if you are indeed "KIND" or arrogant. Taxi just got here, got to go. Relax don't get your blood pressure too high. God Speed, Charles Fischbein

Oct. 16 2013 12:15 PM

Dear MS. MAK, ( I thought you were for gender neutrality but you took time to mention your gender ) I maybe I am harsh at times, but that is how things get changed in this country. I have worked in Washington D.C. for many years and have learned that soft talk gets you nowhere.
When people try to disrupt peaceful events with screams, chants and other rude techniques they deserve harsh treatment. What has been learned on Capital Hill over the years is that sometimes might does make right.
I would never try to stop you from expressing your opinion, and frankly I wish that WQXR which I have listened to for nearly sixty plus years would stay away from political issues and stick to reviews of music and those who make it. Let the art form speak for itself. I will be leaving for New York in a few hours, I do hope that I will not be met in Lincoln Center by a bunch of coddled malcontents and degenerates.
As far as Mr. Plotkin, lets assume a man of his abilities can speak for himself. Increasing hotel taxes for visitors like me to New York City who already pay nearly 20% hotel taxes will hurt everyone. Why not stop spending on welfare Queens, and promoting unwed children through the welfare system, then maybe there will be more money available from The City for the arts.
Lets talk music that is what WQXR does best. And please try FOX NEWS rather than MSNBC, you might be enlightened. The mind is a precious thing to waste. God Speed, Charles Fischbein

Oct. 16 2013 11:57 AM
concetta nardone from Nassau

If a coin is minted or a monument erected to honor gays, will they go away and stop busting chops. Just wondering.

Oct. 16 2013 09:44 AM
MAK

Mr. Fischbein,
You assume a great deal.

I am a "kind" LADY, and I, like you, have a master's degree, with Post- graduate work at Princeton. I have immersed myself into different cultures and have worked, lived, learned and travelled throughout the country and the world, also including the Middle East. I have friends of many different stripes and locales with whom I share ideas and my heart. I was also raised in the Catholic church, but I hope that I practice and live by what I have learned. On that, I base MY opinions and position, but I hope that a resume` isn't necessary to the conversation and that my words will speak for me.

It does seem that you do have a problem with other people's lives and differences. Your demonizing words and narrow, derisive assumptions speak for themselves, and the person that you are, in a way that I couldn't possibly describe. I thought your comments on another blog page by Fred Plotkin, were just arrogant, rude and insulting. I think that your words here are dangerous and disturbing. I am appalled by your hateful rant. The insinuation that you would wish harm to someone, trespassing in your bigoted backwater, is the reason we have hate crime laws here on the books. It is a sorry shame that we need to legislate decency.

I believe the WQXR family is more cultured, inclusive and caring than you might expect or credit. It is you, sir, who has continued and denigrated this conversation, about the right to peaceful protest, into a base, crass and classless place - beyond the pale of what I could ignore- Margaret Anna

Oct. 15 2013 11:23 PM

Dear MAK, You have a right to your opinion, be it correct or incorrect. When a small minority creates havoc for the majority that is when the STATE should step in. I do not seek my moral positions from strangers on the internet. What I have learned as a Masters Degree student in Conflict Resolution years ago at George Mason University, is that there are certainly times when might makes right.
The Met uses duty New York City Police and fire fighters for their internal security and they had every right to do whatever was necessary to expel these people.
It is estimated that the Gay community in the United States comprises slightly less than 3% of the total population.
While I have not heard nor seen anyone posting here in favor of genocide against gays, gay men and women should consider themselves quite lucky to be in the United States. Some fast research shows that there are at least nine countries, ( NOT RUSSIA by the way )
It seems like many of these gay demonstrators want to be arrested, so they can wear their civil arrests as a badge of honor.
No need to worry about my nine grand children kind sir. We are active in our local Catholic parish and they are just fine thank you.
I would really suggest that if you see the world only from the perspective of New York City, you realize that this is a very large nation, and what is the norm for some small communities in New York City is considered off limits in most parts of the country.
I assume that there are a number of gay students in our local High School and primary school districts, but they know better than to have public displays of their affections.
If a sovereign nation sets laws punishing people for espousing a gay lifestyle they do so to protect their young impressionable populations from having to deal with this perversion.
I personally have NO problems with people doing what they wish in private, but when 3% of the population holds the other 97% hostage, it is time for the states to strengthen their anti sodomy laws to provide jail time for PUBLIC displays of same sex affections.
We set zoning limits on adult bookstores and mandate what they can and cannot display in their windows for all to see. It is time I believe to do the same for public displays of deviant sexual proclivities.
I am glad you are concerned about my family, but sleep well kind sir, all is well in Front royal, Va. I hope that when I arrive in Manhattan tomorrow I can say the same thing. God Speed.
Won't it be nice to get back to what WQXR is know for, current issues on music, not urban sociology. Charles Fischbein

Oct. 15 2013 06:37 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Some more to this debate. Yes, there is genocide going on all over the world. We too have been killing thousands with our bringing "democracy" to some parts of the world. Democracy in some countries only means burning churches and killing Christians. But that seems to be OK. MSNBC never reports on this. Very little in the rest of the media. I do not watch that channel. We also have 64 drone bases in the ready to be used on US.
Folks, this old lady is enjoying this debate but not in a malicious sense. However I am having fun.

Oct. 15 2013 08:10 AM
MAK

Mr. Cellostudent, You are lucky to have a granddaughter.
What I remember most about my grandfather is not the trip to the gift shop. It is the respect, kindness and generosity in his example of how he treated every person, every day. That is where I got my values. Perhaps you will consider the example you are setting.

Oct. 14 2013 09:55 PM

Dear Mark, Yes Virginia is for "lovers" but not perversion. There is no genocide of Gay's in Russia, please stop watching MSNBC. Charles Fischbein

Oct. 14 2013 08:52 PM
MAK

I always thought "Virgina is for Lovers"-I guess someone didn't get the message.

I could never fathom how seemingly "civilized" people, throughout history, could turn a blind eye to genocide, persecution and human suffering (which is what I thought was the issue)-but now I understand. Thy vitriol runneth over.

Oct. 14 2013 07:13 PM

Duck, Gay's in this country have more rights than most other Americans, The Metropolitan Opera hires many gay employees, and there are open "questions" about the sexuality of some of the most well known persons who have top positions at the Met. Why in heavens name do these psychos have to bother those of us who want to attend a performance without conflict.
I worked in Washington D.C, for 20 years, and believe me if a gay person has a Government job they can get away with virtually any behavior. The Federal Government is so politically correct that no one would dare discipline a gay employee for any behavior. They can flirt, follow co-workers to the bathrooms, and proposition one another and no supervisor would dare to discipline them.
I only wish some of them would come to rural Virginia or neighboring West Virginia, and try their antics in my neck of the woods, they would get a swift taste of Southern Hospitality that would send them to a real Hospital. They pick there locations for safety knowing they are protected, but would not dare expresses themselves outside of Liberal venues.
God forbid however that a member of the Tea Party ever showed his/her membership card and you could bet they would be out of a Federal job in a minute.
Look what the IRS has done to Conservative 501 c 3 and 4 non profits, but I do not see any "tax exempt" gay rights groups audited or denied their tax exempt status. This is just one more example of a few psycho "drama queens" taking an in your face stance for NO reason at all and spoiling things for the majority.
I was thinking of taking my 10 year old grand daughter who lives on our farm with us to New York City, to walk around Lincoln Center Plaza, to see Juilliard, and the Met gift shop, and then have a family member watch her while I go to the Opera a few nights, but decided not to because I do not want to explain the reasons a group of malcontent biological misfits are chanting their slogans at her.
They have too many rights in New York City, why don't they go to Russia to demonstrate, and face the consequences? They don't know when they have it good, and if they keep up their insanity one day someone will get badly hurt.
WQXR is one of the BEST remaining classical music stations in the United States, I wish they would focus on the arts and not give headlines to a few misfits who have nothing better to do with their time but scream on street corners and bother the rest of us. It would be nice to get back to issues of music and not feed the flames ignited by misfits, and drama queens. Charles Fischbein

Oct. 14 2013 03:47 PM

"I do not want any demonstrators to spoil my walk around the Plaza as I recall so many wonderful times in my past. I have a right to quiet enjoyment."

Um, not really. I'm pretty sure the protestors (if they show up) have a right to protest in public.

DD~~

Oct. 14 2013 02:44 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Enjoy the opera Cellostudent.Hope the chronic malcontents do not ruin your trip. Wish I could go.
Best wishes to you and Carol.

Oct. 14 2013 02:43 PM

Thank you Concetta, Having grown up in Manhattan in the mid fifties and early sixties ( moved to Virginia in 1969 for work after College ) I have as a birth right the New York City liberal strain in my blood. But working on Capital Hill as a Middle East Correspondent in and out of war zones for 20 years before going back to University to study Cello, I have seen a lot. I tend to leave political correctness behind and tell it like it is. I have lived in a very rural town some 75 miles Northwest of D.C. for 30 plus years, although I get to New York City frequently.
In the early 1970's when I moved here I saw a lot of harsh Southern feelings to any minority group, but today most of the people living in my part of rural Va. are just to busy working and feeding their families too deal with the sexual proclivities of others, so long as they do not throw it in their faces.
The average person living in the Shenandoah Valley and Appalachia like I do, does not seek out personal friendships with those who proclaim their sexual preferences for people of the same sex, but then again they do not bother them. We have had no crimes based on a persons sexual preference, however the local population whose life is focused on blue collar jobs, and getting ready for deer hunting season would be no where as nice to gay demonstrators in their midst as most New Yorkers are. I am sure if gay pride advocates tried to picket a Friday night High School football game things could easily turn ugly, the protestors should be happy that most New Yorkers will just look the other way. It would be very different down here.
I will be leaving for New York City in two days to attend several Met Operas, I hope I can have the benefit of quiet enjoyment. I asked my wife of 40 years to marry me at the fountain outside of The Met in 1972, after a performance of Madame Butterfly, she is not going up with me due to her work but I do not want any demonstrators to spoil my walk around the Plaza as I recall so many wonderful times in my past. I have a right to quiet enjoyment. Charles Fischbein

Oct. 14 2013 01:51 PM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

Hi Concetta,
Yes, it looks like we have a lively little debate going! Discussion is always good!

Oct. 14 2013 12:53 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Just adding to this debate. Most of the media, tv,films,etc.portray gays as being so adorable and sweet with a monopoly on virtue. The film Philadelphia was ruined by these portrayals. Gays are like the rest of us, some are really nice and others are nasty, just like the demonstrators.
Hi Carol, glad there has been some juice added to this debate.

Oct. 14 2013 11:19 AM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Thank you cellostudent. You have written better than I ever could. As for children being taken away, not in this country. Russia is not our neighborhood. As for children being adopted by gays, male and female are both sides to the coin of life. I think it would be confusing for a growing child to have two mommies or two daddies. The chronic malcontents should go home and stop busting chops. My gay friends do not go around advertising what their preferences are and are not too happy with these demonstrations. I cannot repeat what they think of the gay pride parade. Gays are not being persecuted in these United States. Yes, there have been hate crimes.

Oct. 14 2013 10:22 AM

Someone recently posted herein there protestations that the Russians are taking children from their Gay parents. Please explain how it is humanly possible for a gay couple to have natural children, or am I missing something? If someone wishes to adopt a child they must conform to the parameters set by the State for adoptions. I hate to tell you, but very few countries allow Gay couples to adopt, children need a mother and father, remember what started populating this planet we presently reside on was Adam and Eve, not ADAM AND STEVE. Charles Fischbein

Oct. 13 2013 01:32 PM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

Cellostudent, that was well-said! Many people hesitate to say this because it is not "politically correct" nowadays. Whatever people do in their private lives is their own business, but the rest of us do not want a small group's lifestyle choices to be continually shoved in our faces.

Oct. 12 2013 10:40 PM
Frank from UWS

Good for the protesters. It's not going to hurt audiences to wait 2 extra minutes in a three-hour program. If Gergiev is going to campaign for Putin and his sick policies, he needs to understand there are consequences when abroad.

I hope the protesters keep the pressure on him when he returns to the Met this fall. I for one won't be buying a ticket, just as I don't buy tickets for the Vienna Philharmonic when they travel with their men's club year after year.

Oct. 12 2013 10:27 PM

Beth, I am astounded by your response, that Gergiev "should take his lumps " What in heavens name did this world class artist do. He befriended Putin, whom he needs for sustained funding. In Russia, the Government pays a major role in funding the arts and someone in disfavor can jeopardize his/her entire Opera Company. Those are the facts in Russia like it or not.
Maestro Gergive is not only a National treasure but a World treasure, and if he has to be careful of his internal political alliances so be it. Russia is a sovereign country and if there are protests against the policies of the Russian Government the protests should take place where the so call human rights violations if any occur, in Russia, not the West Side of 57th Street.
The majority of this country does not reside on the upper west side of Manhattan, and as a transplanted New Yorker living in thr rural South, I can assure you few outside of New York and several other Northeastern cities and of course California are concerned with the plight of the sexual deviants of Russia.
When people step outside the traditional norms of civilized behavior PUBICALLY, they do so at their own risk. I have traveled in Russia extensively, and can assure you that what happens within the privacy of ones home remains a private matter. I have a number of friends active in the Art's In Moscow and St. Petersburg. However when deviant behavior overflows onto the public arena a sovereign Government has every right to enforce their norms within the bounds of reason. Russia may politically and economically persecute those whose sexual urges are displayed in public, but I can assure you they do not peep into windows looking for pervasions. The situation in Russia today is much like that in our Armed Forces under President Clinton, Don't ask, don't tell. Most civilized heterosexual persons do not advertise their pleasures with their partners publically, it should be the same with the gay community, no one really cares until the gay community makes a major issue out of their preferences, and then it is only human nature for the vast majority of heterosexuals to display an equal amount of displeasure and indignation about any public displays of sexual preference. Civilized people would not enjoy spending an evening with friends hearing about the most intimate details of their pleasure seeking in the bedroom, so why should we allow the Gay community to not only bore us with their preferences, but interfere with a concert that thousand's have spent their hard earned dollars to attend.
The rights of the minority should not overshadow the rights of the majority, that is just human nature. I don't ask, so please don't tell me what you do in your bedroom. What goes on inside Russia should be dealt with inside Russia not on 57th Street, or Lincoln Center Plaza. Charles Fischbein

Oct. 12 2013 09:43 PM
beth from lancaster, pa.

Carnegie Hall can host whomever they like, and rationalize it any way they please, but kudos to those who understand the opportunity to protest and take advantage of displaying their deep concern and disgust with violations of human rights. Music and politics have always mixed, and it is important to have these worlds collide sometimes to educate, inform, and enlighten. If Gergiev wants to show-up on the doorstep of New York City, then I'm sure he can take his lumps and would reasonably expect to have confrontation on this level. If you are disappointed with the interruption of your precious concert, have invested your hard-earned money on a concert ticket, train fare, and a hotel room, perhaps see "The Little Mermaid" if you want to avoid reality.

Oct. 12 2013 09:03 PM

Unlike my propensity when I was a published Journalist paid by the line or the word, now that I am a musician ( of sorts ) I will make this short and sweet. IF WAGNER CAN BE PERFORMED IN ISRAEL, there is NO reason for the gay rights community to interrupt ANY CONCERT, regardless of the passport the Conductor carries in his pocket. To those who wish to intrude on an artistic endeavor I say, MIND YOU OWN BUSINESS, GO HOME, LOCK YOUR DOORS AND DO WHATEVER YOU WANT, but leave the rest of us alone.
I hope I do not see any of the demonstrators next Friday night when I attend the Met Performance of Norma, at the Met, with the price of tickets, Amtrak and Hotel, for a few nights in New York City to attend the Met, I am entitled to a peaceful time, without a bunch of psychos screaming at me. I would hate to have to give someone a taste of MY Southern Hospitality. Charles Fischbein. A loyal internet listener, South of the border.

Oct. 12 2013 07:33 PM
LES from WDC


A viscious circle ensues if performing arts centers begin booking acts based on politics. Yet discretion must be exercised. The question is under what circumstances -- when revenues are impacted or when moral conscience is violated? Would Carnegie Hall have permitted, say, the Nazi Symphony Orchestra, the NSO, had it existed, to perform? As was recentlty reported in the media, many members of the Germanic Orchestras of the Nazi era, e.g.,the Berlin Philharmonic and the Vienna Philharmonic, were card carrying party members. No doubt these orchestras performed in various American venues. Perhaps members believed that party afiliation was necessary to keep their job. Perhaps Mr. Gergiev, while not a Nazi, so far I know, feels similarly situated, or perhaps he is a true believer. It really doesn't matter. The symbolism is what matters. And at some point a line of moral acceptability is crossed. Other than supporting Putin during the election (perhaps before anti-gay laws were on the books), I'm not sure if Mr. G has expressed any negative views on gays at all, or whether he himself is gay. On the other hand, if he were crisscrossing the globe espousing anti-gay rhetoric, one wonders whether Carnegie Hall would drop the curtain.

Oct. 12 2013 12:23 PM
Milka

The so called conductor knows on what side his bread is buttered .

Oct. 12 2013 08:57 AM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Adding some more comments to this very enjoyable donneybrook, why don't these chronic malcontents demonstrate against the 64 drone bases we have in these united states. Yes folks, these drones will be used against us, what is going on overseas is just practise against us. Love the comments about all the civil liberties being violated by our Beloved Leader.

Oct. 12 2013 07:32 AM
David

Plan Zero from You're Mom's House: No one here is hating on gays; our comments about this protest have NOTHING to do with gays. And I don't see anyone here who is a teabagger. Would you please tell us whom you are referring to?

BTW, speaking of gays, how come it took "liberal" Obama FOUR YEARS (conveniently around the time of his re-election campaign) to finally turn around and support gay marriage like many of us have for YEARS? Hmmm?

Oct. 12 2013 01:10 AM
David

More on "How come those gays aren't protesting their own awful president Obama?":

Obama Administration suing to keep Black people in prison‏
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jul/23/us-v-blewett-obama-justice-department-shame

Obama's War on whistleblowers
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/06/obamas-whistleblowers-stuxnet-leaks-drones

Obama's War on civil liberties
http://m.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/26/drones-yemen-fbi-occupy-terrorism

Obama protects Wall Street bankers from going to jail
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/23/untouchables-wall-street-prosecutions-obama

Obama promised to close Guantánamo. Instead, he's made it worse
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/06/obama-promise-close-guantanamo-worse

Obama Has Already Broken His Pledge on Surveillance Reform
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/08/obama-has-already-broken-his-pledge-on-surveillance-reform/278613/

Oct. 12 2013 01:02 AM

Taking children from gay parents, refusing to allow gay people to adopt kids, this is the kind of activity the German Nazi's engaged in. People who support imperialism really ought to turn themselves in for confinement; they are the
enemies of humanity.

Oct. 12 2013 12:59 AM
David

Bernie from UWS: "The fact is, Obama isn't perfect but he's a whole lot preferable to the Tea Party wackos who are constantly trying to undermine everything he does."

So I may presume, Bernie, that you felt the exact same way when Bush was doing these same horrendous things to people that Obama is currently doing?

"Obama isn't perfect." I'm sure the innocent civilians whose lives have been taken from them in Asia or whose lives have been ruined in this country due to the immoral, destructive War on Drugs would find your cavalier comment insulting, to say the least.

Oct. 12 2013 12:40 AM
Plan Zero from You're Mom's House

Hmm, I would pick a side here, but you're all nutjobs. Hating on gays; bad. Hating on insanely talented musicians for reasons that have nothing to do with music; also bad. Just stop it. All of it. You too, teabaggers.

Oct. 11 2013 10:44 PM
Bernie from UWS

@David - you can find faults with any politician in this country. The fact is, Obama isn't perfect but he's a whole lot preferable to the Tea Party wackos who are constantly trying to undermine everything he does.

Also, activism isn't an either/or proposition - there are always a lot of injustices in the world to choose from. These protesters chose Putin (and his henchman, Gergiev). With the Olympics coming up soon, it's important that the world know about what's happening in Russia right now. It's not a pretty picture.

Oct. 11 2013 08:28 PM
David

How come those gays aren't protesting their own awful president Obama?

Obama's War on medical marijuana
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/obamas-war-on-pot-20120216

"But over the past year, the Obama administration has quietly unleashed a multi¬agency crackdown on medical cannabis that goes far beyond anything undertaken by George W. Bush."

New Report Finds Obama Spends $180K Per Day Undermining State Medical Marijuana Laws
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steph-sherer/obama-medical-marijuana-cost_b_3443095.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false

“Last month, President Obama quietly did something that should shake every American to the core. Seeking to enforce federal crack cocaine laws that have since been repealed, the Obama administration asked a federal appeals court to ensure that thousands of human beings, mostly poor and mostly black, remain locked in prison – even though everyone agrees that there is no justification for them to be there.”

Obama's Drone War on innocent civilians in Asia
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/14/public-editor/questions-on-drones-unanswered-still.html

"The Bureau of Investigative Journalism in Britain has estimated that, in the first three years after President Obama took office, between 282 and 535 civilians were credibly reported killed by drone strikes — including more than 60 children."

http://droneswatch.org/2013/01/20/list-of-children-killed-by-drone-strikes-in-pakistan-and-yemen/

http://www.democracynow.org/2013/1/22/dirty_wars_jeremy_scahill_and_rick

"We’re looking right now at a reality that President Obama has essentially extended the very [drone war] policies that many of his supporters once opposed under President Bush," says Scahill."

Obama is Bad on Civil Liberties, But That Shouldn't Surprise Anyone
http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/06/obama-bad-civil-liberties-shouldnt-surprise-anyone

“Obama voted for the 2008 FISA amendments, a position that outraged liberals at the time. He continued the Bush-era surveillance of communications networks. He ramped up the war in Afghanistan. He vastly increased drone use overseas. He's declared a war on leakers. He participated in the assault on Libya. He's approved the assassination of American citizens abroad. His DOJ has aggressively made use of the state secrets privilege. He's fought relentlessly to block lawsuits challenging privacy violations and presidential abuses.”

Oct. 11 2013 07:47 PM
Scott Rose from Manhattan

It is shocking to see other WXQR site commenters siding with the unforgivable Maestro Gergiev. As a Putin supporter, Gergiev has actually spoken in favor of the sentencing of two young female members of "Pussy Riot" to years in hard labor camps, as punishment for a 30 second protest of the Russian Orthodox Church's marionette strings hold over Putin and Russian society. No matter one's opinion of Pussy Riot, no person with a serious-minded commitment to freedom of speech will agree that sending young women to hard labor camps as punishment for political speech is acceptable. Gergiev made himself a political figure by campaigning for Putin and by supporting Putin's extremist political punishments for young female protesters. He is shameless, too, refusing to be interviewed by The New York Times -- even about musical matters -- because he knows that his political behavior is dimly viewed by New York intellectuals. Shame on him for not speaking out against Russia's scapegoating of gay minorities.

Oct. 11 2013 05:10 PM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

You're right, Concetta - here we go again! I agree with the Carnegie Hall management that this is not the place for political protests. There are many people throughout the world who are being persecuted for various reasons. It is not the responsibility of Carnegie Hall or anyone who performs there to make political statements. If people want to protest, they should stay outside and peacefully state their case, and not disrupt a concert. I'm also tired of the references to Tchaikovsky as "Russia's great gay composer." He is Russia's greatest composer, period, and nothing more needs to be said. He should not be used by these politically-correct activist groups to promote their agenda.

Oct. 11 2013 04:27 PM
Neil McGowan from Moscow, Russia

A disgraceful and repulsive piece of yankee-doodle idiocy.

The moustachioed misfits who performed this piece of gutless yankee thuggery should be dispersed by the police.

It's clearly a bit of New World Order fascism organised by the Obama whackjobs - keen to smokescreen their coutry's own Neanderthal criminality at the Gitmo Gulag.

But it will be a cold winter in HELL before you hear these worthless whackjobs complaining about the Gitmo Gulag, or their scumbag hero's drone attacks on teenagers in Pakistan.

Because they are GUTLESS STINKING AMERICAN SCUM.

Oct. 11 2013 03:55 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Here we go again. We all should be demonstrating at this government that takes in 300 Billion a month and spends 400 Billion. This affects us all. And don't tell me that demonstrating against Gergiev is more important. Go home or go to a soup kitchen and help the hungry. I used to when I was OK.

Oct. 11 2013 03:53 PM

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