As one of Russian’s most established music ensembles came to perform on campus, roughly a dozen protesters gathered outside in protest.
The Mariinsky Chorus, led by Artistic and General Director Valery Gergiev, staged a concert in Woolsey Hall on Friday night while a group of protesters — which included students and young children — held placards with messages such as “4,700 killed in Putin’s war against Ukraine” and “Russia, pull out your troops now.”
Azamat Kumykov GRD ’15, who was present at the protests, said he believes that the protests were targeted at the Chorus’s Artistic and General Director, Valery Gergiev. Gergiev has voiced public support of Putin’s annexation of Crimea, he explained.
“The protest called for Gergiev to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine but the sad truth is that in today’s Russia, speaking one’s mind openly leads to dire consequences,” Kumykov said.
Prior to the concert, assistant professor of Music Rebekah Ahrendt had expressed concern over the performance being “potentially politically problematic,” partly due to Gergiev’s known ties to the Russian government.
Events surrounding the concert also included a conversation with Gergiev.