Rape charge Russian conductor cancels British concerts

5th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

Acclaimed Russian conductor Mikhail Pletnev on Thursday cancelled his appearance at two concerts in Britain following a rape accusation made against him in Thailand last month.

Pletnev was to conduct a concert by the Russian National Orchestra (RNO) in Edinburgh on Friday and another in August for the BBC Proms, a renowned classical music festival that runs over two months in Britain each summer.

"We can confirm that Mikhail Pletnev has withdrawn from the Edinburgh International Festival this year," said a spokesman for the Scottish festival.

The artistic director of the RNO was arrested in Thailand in July and charged with raping a teenage boy. Pletnev denies the charges.

A Thai court allowed Pletnev to travel overseas after he posted extra bail, but he is required to report back to the court every 12 days, starting from July 18.

Andrey Boreyko, a former member of the RNO Conductor Collegium -- a group of conductors led by Pletnev who shape the RNO's artistic policy -- has been named as Pletnev's replacement for both concerts.

"Mikhail Pletnev has decided not to conduct the Russian National Orchestra at the BBC Proms on 18 August," a BBC Proms spokeswoman confirmed.

"We are delighted that Andrey Boreyko will now conduct this concert," she added.

The programme for the August Proms performance, which includes Beethoven's Coriolan Overture, Rachmaninov's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and Tchaikovsky's Suite No 3 in G major, remains unchanged.

© 2010 AFP

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