Vladimir Putin and David Silvester seem not to understand what a gay person is – so here’s a handy guide. Putin’s winter Olympic comments and Silvester’s flood warnings remind us that one can get remarkably far in life while being utterly confused about gay people. THe Guardian explains in its occasional series “Can you explain..? I confused!”
“Why I won’t attend Gergiev’s concerts” – David Nice. When a conductor unequivocally endorses a murderous state policy, it’s time to draw the line. Last Thursday I was giving a talk before a concert in Birmingham, decently but not inspiringly conducted by the much-liked Vasily Sinaisky. Had I been in London I could have taken my pick between two greater interpreters, Valery Gergiev launching his Berlioz series with the London Symphony Orchestra and veteran Yury Temirkanov returning to one of his standard programmes with the Philharmonia. Both appeared on the list of 549 “trustees” supporting Vladimir Putin’s 2012 re-election campaign.