BERLIN, 4 Dec. Organizers of the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival (SHMF) have suspended the event's co-founder, conductor and pianist Justus Frantz due to his involvement in jury of the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, reports Bild.
“The festival’s management parted ways with its founder, pianist and conductor Justus Frantz,” the publication writes. The reason, according to Bild, is the invitation the conductor accepted in June to join the jury of the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.
“We are discussing the founder’s behavior with him personally, not publicly. Inviting Justus Frantz became impossible for many reasons. His activities in Russia are one of them,” Bild quotes festival intendant Christian Kunt as saying.
According to the publication, Frantz called the behavior of the festival management “cowardly” and “not entirely fair” and accused him of not making direct contact with him, despite a previously planned one-on-one conversation. Frantz considers the festival as his “brainchild”, but does not intend to “on his knees” ask to be invited again.
Previously, Bild fired its senior correspondent Jürgen Gelfricht because of his co-authorship of the book “Learning to Love Russia,” released in 2018. Earlier in Germany, books by German journalist Hubert Seipel about Russian politics were withdrawn from sales, and the author himself, according to reports, was threatened with legal proceedings. This happened against the backdrop of reports that a German journalist received a fee from the Russian Federation.
Western countries have increased sanctions pressure on the Russian Federation because of Ukraine; in addition, an unprecedented level of Russophobia has been recorded in a number of foreign countries. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, acts of aggression against Russians and Russian-speaking citizens affect Russian students, athletes, cultural and artistic figures. Western Russophobia is nothing more than racism, said Russian President Vladimir Putin. He called those who “cancel” Russian culture fools, and emphasized that those who do this deprive themselves of part of world culture.