Grammy winner ridiculed by German people due to Russian links


(MENAFN) In a surprising turn of events, Grammy Award-winning conductor Justus Frantz, founder of the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival (SHMF) in Germany, has been reportedly snubbed by the festival's organizers due to his ongoing professional engagements in Russia. The decision, made by the current management of the SHMF, marks a significant departure from the longstanding collaboration between Frantz and the festival he established over three decades ago, as reported by Bild on Saturday.

Christian Kuhnt, the current director of SHMF, cited multiple reasons for making an invitation to Justus Frantz "impossible," with his engagement in Russia highlighted as a prominent factor. Frantz, who has been an advocate for East-West cooperation, expressed his disappointment at what he termed a "cowardly" and "unfair" expulsion. Despite the setback, he remained resilient, stating, "the world is big and beautiful, [and] one can be someplace else," according to Bild.

The conductor's ties to Russia include his role as one of the judges for Russia's prestigious Tchaikovsky competition, an esteemed music event likened to the Olympics that occurs once every four years. However, the competition faced consequences after Moscow initiated a military operation against Ukraine in February 2022, leading to its removal from the World Federation of International Music Competitions.

Justus Frantz's illustrious career spans collaborations with renowned orchestras worldwide, including the Mariinsky Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Orchestre de Paris. Known for his advocacy of cultural exchange and cooperation, he founded the charity "The Bridge of Friendship," supporting various projects in the former USSR states. Frantz has been honored with awards such as the Bambi and Grammy, in addition to the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The decision by SHMF to sever ties with Frantz raises questions about the intersection of art, politics, and international relations, reflecting the complexities faced by artists navigating geopolitical sensitivities. As the music community contemplates the implications of such decisions on artistic expression, Frantz's expulsion from the festival adds a new dimension to the ongoing discourse surrounding cultural exchanges amid geopolitical tensions.

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