Gergiev comments on jailed feminist punk band

The principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and artistic director of the Mariinsky Theatre, Valery Gerviev, has decried the actions of the jailed feminist punk band Pussy Riot.

Valery Gergiev

Valery Gergiev has spoken out over the feminist punk band Pussy Riot. Members of the band were jailed earlier this year after staging a protest in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow in February.

Gergiev told The Independent: "I don’t think this is anything to do with artistic freedom. Why go to the Cathedral of Christ to make a political statement? Why with screaming and dancing? You don’t need to go to a place that is considered sacred by many people."

He added: "I am told by too many people that those girls are potentially a very good business proposition. Suppose that someone created all this in order to produce another touring group earning millions and millions?"

The protest was originally intended as a 'punk prayer' attacking the Orthodox Church's support of Russian president Vladimir Putin. Two members of the band are currently serving two-year sentences.

Gergiev's comments are in contrast to those of London Philharmonic Orchestra conductor Vladimir Jurowski who, earlier this year, spoke out against the band's imprisonment.

Valery Gergiev conducts the VPO