Against violence and for peace
The immense suffering caused by the destruction and unimaginable atrocities of the war against Ukraine is shaking the world.
This suffering will strain relations between countries for generations and will change Ukraine, Russia and Europe as well. In the face of this dramatic situation, our attention must be focused primarily on the people whom we are called upon to help immediately. However, this attack on the territorial integrity of Ukraine must also be understood as an attack on the foundation of values of democratic, pluralistic and free Europe.
The inhuman aggression and war crimes trigger strong emotions. These emotions and the attempt to classify them do not stop at the Russian cultural institutions and musicians. Russian musicians, ensembles, orchestras and also repertoire of Russian composers are suspected of sympathizing with the injustice, especially in social media. This may appear to be an act of solidarity with those who are suffering, but it is not justified, because such an attitude also closes the doors to musicians who stand for humanistic values with their artistic activities.
It is undisputed that many areas of life, from economy to science to culture, are closely connected between Russia and Europe. For this reason, we are struggling on many levels to find an appropriate attitude towards Russia. This is not in the least about relativizing or even justifying the war. It is about responses to the enormous threat to the Western community of values posed by the war in Europe initiated by Putin.
Especially in this situation, we need people who stand for humanistic values and who can participate in the development of civil society in Russia. We must reach out to them instead of making sweeping moral judgments from afar. Only a differentiated assessment of the constellation can prevent us from making general judgments about the attitudes or actions of people in Russia from the safe distance of the West.
In any case, one thing is certain: the Vienna Konzerthaus will not offer a stage to artists or institutions that show solidarity with the war initiated by Vladimir Putin, just as it will not offer a stage to artists or institutions that contribute to the legitimation of the regime.
CEO & Artistic Director