Vasily Petrenko

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Vasily Petrenko

Vasily Eduardovich Petrenko (Russian: Васи́лий Эдуа́рдович Петре́нко; born 7 July 1976) is a Russian-British conductor. He is currently chief conductor of the European Union Youth Orchestra, music director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and principal conductor of the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Russian Federation.

Biography[edit]

Petrenko was born in Leningrad, USSR. He attended the Capella Boys Music School and the St Petersburg Conservatoire.[1] Petrenko studied conducting principally under Ravil Martynov,[2][3] also learning from Mariss Jansons, Yuri Temirkanov, Esa-Pekka Salonen, George Benjamin and Roberto Carnevale.[4] He was resident conductor at the St. Petersburg Opera and Ballet Theatre from 1994 to 1997. He has served as chief conductor of the State Academy of St Petersburg since 1994.[5] In 2002 he won the first prize of the Cadaqués Orchestra International Conducting Competition.

Petrenko made his conducting debut with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (RLPO) in November 2004.[6] After this appearance, in July 2005, he was named the RLPO's principal conductor, the youngest-ever conductor in the post, effective with the 2006–2007 season for an initial contract of 3 years.[7] Since taking up the post, the orchestra's financial situation and attendance have improved.[8][9] He has also received critical praise for revitalising the orchestra, in Russian repertoire (especially Shostakovich) [10] as well as standard repertoire such as Brahms, and in English music.[11] In May 2007, the RLPO announced that Petrenko had extended his contract with the orchestra to 2012.[12] In September 2009, the orchestra announced a further extension of his contract to 2015, with a change of Petrenko's title to Chief Conductor.[13] In March 2013, the RLPO announced the conversion of Petrenko's contract into an extended open-ended agreement with no specific scheduled time of conclusion, and where Petrenko is to give an advance notice of 3 years of when he wishes to conclude his tenure.[14][15][16] His first conducting appearance at The Proms was with the RLPO in August 2008.[17][18] Petrenko and the RLPO have recorded several compact discs for Naxos.[19][20] Petrenko's recording of Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony won the Gramophone orchestral recording of the year in 2009.

In April 2007, Petrenko was one of eight conductors of British orchestras to endorse the 10-year classical music outreach manifesto, "Building on Excellence: Orchestras for the 21st Century", to increase the presence of classical music in the UK, including giving free entry to all British schoolchildren to a classical music concert.[21][22] From December 2008 to 2013 Petrenko served as Principal Conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, conducting his first concert with them at the 2009 BBC Proms.[23]

Petrenko first conducted the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra in December 2009.[24] In February 2011, the Oslo Philharmonic announced the appointment of Petrenko as its next chief conductor, as of the 2013-2014 season, with an initial contract of 4 years.[25][26] His initial Oslo contract called for 7 weeks of appearances in his first seasons and 10 weeks of appearances in subsequent seasons.[27]

In August 2013, comments attributed to Petrenko in a Norwegian newspaper that appeared to denigrate female conductors caused controversy,[28][29][30] including calls for his resignation from the RLPO.[31] Petrenko subsequently apologised for how some people chose to construe his remarks, and stated that his comments were in specific reference to the situation for conductors in Russia, rather than female conductors in general. He also indicated that part of the controversy was due to the fact that the interview was conducted in English, rather than Norwegian.[31] Petrenko also subsequently stated publicly:

"I'd encourage any girl to study conducting. How successful they turn out to be depends on their talent and their work, definitely not their gender."

In November 2015, Petrenko's Oslo contract was extended through 2020.[32] In October 2019, the orchestra announced the scheduled conclusion of Petrenko's Oslo tenure at the close of the 2019-2020 season.[33]

Petrenko first guest-conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) in March 2016. He returned for a subsequent guest-conducting engagement in April 2017. In July 2018, the RPO announced the appointment Petrenko as its new music director, effective with the 2021-2022 season, with an initial contract of 5 years. He is to hold the title of music director-designate for the 2020-2021 season. In parallel with this RPO announcement, Petrenko is scheduled to stand down as chief conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic at the close of the 2019-2020 season.[34] Simultaneously with the RPO announcement, the RLPO announced that Petrenko is to conclude his RLPO chief conductorship at the close of the 2020-2021 season, and subsequently to take the title of conductor laureate with the RLPO.[35]

Petrenko became principal guest conductor of the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Russian Federation in 2016. In January 2021, the orchestra announced the appointment of Petrenko as its next principal conductor, effective 1 September 2021.[36] In response to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Petrenko suspended his work with the orchestra stating "In response to these terrible events, I have decided to suspend my work in Russia... until peace has been restored."[37]

Personal life[edit]

Petrenko lives on the Wirral Peninsula with his wife, Evgenia Chernysheva-Petrenko, who is herself a conductor, and their two children, Alexander (Sasha) and Anya.[38] He is a football aficionado and follower of the club FC Zenit Saint Petersburg and Liverpool F.C.[39] In March 2009, Petrenko was awarded an honorary professorship and Doctor of Letters degree from Liverpool Hope University.[40] In April 2009, Petrenko was made an 'Honorary Scouser' by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool.[41] In November 2016, the city of Liverpool made Petrenko a new Citizen of Honour.[42] He became a British citizen in 2015.

Discography[edit]

Avie Records

  • Tchaikovsky: Ballet Music (from Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker) (2008)
  • Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos. 1–4, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini; Simon Trpčeski, piano (2010, 2011)

Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

  • Jennifer Higdon, Tchaikovsky: Violin Concertos; Hilary Hahn, violin (2010)

EMI Classics

  • Tavener: Requiem (2009)
  • Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances / The Isle of the Dead / The Rock (2011)
  • Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 2, Dances from Aleko (2012)
  • Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 3, Caprice Bohemien, Vocalise. (2012)
  • Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 1, Prince Rostislav (2013)

Ecstatic Records

  • Torke: Concerto for Orchestra (2014)

LAWO Classics

  • Scriabin: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4 Le Poème de l'extase (2015)
  • Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet (2016)

Liverpool Philharmonic

LPO Classics]

  • Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto (2017)

Mercury Classics

  • Horner: Pas de Deux (2015)

Naxos Records

  • Liszt: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2, Totentanz (2008)
  • Tchaikovsky: Manfred Symphony / The Voyevoda (2008)
  • Shostakovich: Symphony No. 11 (2009)
  • Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 9 (2009)
  • Shostakovich: Symphony No. 10 (2010)
  • Shostakovich: Symphony No. 8 (2010)
  • Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 6 & 12 (2011)
  • Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 3 (2011)
  • Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 15 (2012)
  • Shostakovich: Symphony No. 7 (2013)
  • Shostakovich: Symphony No. 4 (2013)
  • Shostakovich: Symphony No. 14 (2014)
  • Shostakovich: Symphony No. 13 (2014)
  • Shostakovich: The Complete Symphonies (2015)
  • Shostakovich: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2; Boris Giltburg, piano (2017)
  • Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 ; Boris Giltburg, piano (2019)
  • Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 5 'Emperor'; Boris Giltburg, piano (2022)

Ondine Records

  • Shostakovich: Cello Concertos Nos. 1 & 2; Truls Mørk, cello (2016)

Onyx Records

  • Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2; Simon Trpčeski, piano (2014)
  • Elgar: Symphony No. 1, Cockaigne Overture (2015)
  • Tchaikovsky: Symphony Nos. 1, 2, and 5 (2016)
  • Elgar: Symphony No. 2, Carissima, Mina, Chanson de Nuit and Chanson de Matin (2017)
  • Tchaikovsky: Symphony Nos. 3, 4, and 6, Pathetique (2017)
  • Prokofiev: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 3, Overture on Hebrew Themes; Simon Trpčeski, piano (2017)

Orfeo Records

  • Szymanowski: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2; Baiba Skride, violin (2016)

PENTATONE

Rubicon

  • Wolf-Ferrari: I Quatro Rusteghi (2018)

Sony Classical

  • Guinovart: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2, Valses Poéticos; Albert Guinovart, piano (2014)

Tritó Records

  • Albéniz: 'Poèmes d'amour' (2013)

Warner Classics

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mike Chapple, "Petrenko's mission to make the Phil the world's best orchestra". Liverpool Daily Post, 17 July 2007.
  2. ^ Norman Lebrecht (30 July 2008). "Russian to the rescue". La Scene Musicale. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  3. ^ Condy, Oliver. "A Russian Revolution: Vasily Petrenko". BBC Music Magazine, September 2009 (Vol. 17 No. 13): p. 26
  4. ^ Anthony Holden (17 September 2006). "Petrenko's Russian revolution". The Observer. Retrieved 5 May 2007.
  5. ^ Alan Weston and Laure Voiment, "The football-mad conductor taking the helm at Liverpool". Liverpool Daily Post, 12 July 2005.
  6. ^ Matthew Connolly (22 July 2005). "Vasily Petrenko signs for Liverpool!". The Times. Retrieved 1 January 2008.
  7. ^ David Ward (12 July 2005). "Orchestra's Russian choice". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 May 2007.
  8. ^ Tim Ashley (7 February 2007). "RLPO/Petrenko". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 May 2007.
  9. ^ Larry Neild (14 February 2007). "Beautiful music as Phil smashes box office record". Liverpool Daily Post. Retrieved 26 December 2007.
  10. ^ Geoffrey Norris (5 February 2007). "Dynamic visionary rings the changes". Telegraph. Archived from the original on 17 May 2007. Retrieved 5 May 2007.
  11. ^ David Fanning (12 February 2007). "Petrenko shows that he is a natural Englishman". Telegraph. Archived from the original on 24 February 2007. Retrieved 5 May 2007.
  12. ^ Geoffrey Norris (1 October 2007). "Vasily Petrenko: Why Liverpool is galvanised by the 'Petrenko effect'". Telegraph. Archived from the original on 11 October 2007. Retrieved 3 October 2007.
  13. ^ Catherine Jones (10 September 2009). "Conductor Vasily Petrenko signs up to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra until 2015". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
  14. ^ "Vasily Petrenko Extends Contract with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic" (Press release). Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. 13 March 2013. Archived from the original on 18 March 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  15. ^ Catherine Jones (13 March 2013). "Vasily Petrenko signs new Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra contract". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  16. ^ Sophia Lambton (13 March 2013). "Vasily Petrenko extends RLPO contract". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  17. ^ Vicky Anderson (1 August 2008). "Petrenko prepares for Proms date". Liverpool Daily Post. Retrieved 10 January 2009.
  18. ^ Gail Thomson (2 August 2008). "Music Review: RLPO / Vasily Petrenko, BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall". Liverpool Daily Post. Retrieved 10 January 2009.
  19. ^ Anthony Holden (9 November 2008). "Tchaikovsky, Manfred Symphony, The Voyevoda". The Observer. Retrieved 12 September 2009.
  20. ^ Tim Ashley (9 January 2009). "Liszt Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 2; Totentanz; Nebolsin/RLPO/Petrenko". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 September 2009.
  21. ^ "Pupils get free concert tickets". BBC News. 26 April 2007. Retrieved 5 May 2007.
  22. ^ Charlotte Higgins (26 April 2007). "Orchestras urge free concerts for children". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 May 2007.
  23. ^ Erica Jeal (9 August 2009). "Prom 31 – NYO/Petrenko". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  24. ^ Erik Bjørnskau (17 February 2011). "Vasily Petrenko ny sjefdirigent". Aftenposten. Archived from the original on 18 February 2011. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  25. ^ "Vasily Petrenko Oslo-Filharmoniens neste sjefsdirigent" (Press release). Oslo Philharmonic. 18 February 2011. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  26. ^ Laura Davis (17 February 2011). "Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra's Vasily Petrenko appointed chief conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  27. ^ Knut Olav Åmås (17 February 2011). "Et svært godt valg". Aftenposten. Archived from the original on 18 February 2011. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  28. ^ Maren Ørstavik (29 August 2013). "Vasily Petrenko, ny sjefdirigent i OFO: - Orkestermusikere reagerer bedre på å ha en mann foran seg. De har ofte mindre seksuell energi og kan fokusere mer på musikken". Aftenposten. Retrieved 31 August 2013.
  29. ^ Charlotte Higgins (2 September 2013). "Male conductors are better for orchestras, says Vasily Petrenko". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  30. ^ Hannah Levintova (23 September 2013). "Here's Why You Seldom See Women Leading a Symphony". Mother Jones. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  31. ^ a b Adam Sweeting (8 May 2014). "Petrenko: I don't believe women conductors are a distraction". Telegraph. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  32. ^ "Vasily Petrenko extends Oslo contract to 2020". Gramophone. 9 November 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  33. ^ "Klaus Mäkelä new Chief Conductor from 2020". Ofo. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  34. ^ "Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Announced Vasily Petrenko as Music Director from 2021–22 Season" (Press release). Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. 2 July 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  35. ^ "Liverpool Philharmonic announces Vasily Petrenko as Conductor Laureate from summer 2021" (Press release). Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. 2 July 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  36. ^ "Vasily Petrenko will become the Artistic Director of the Svetlanov Symphony Orchestra" (Press release). State Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Russian Federation. 14 January 2021. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  37. ^ "Statement from Vasily Petrenko". Vasily Petrenko. 1 March 2022. Retrieved 13 March 2022.
  38. ^ Catherine Jones (16 May 2016). "Vasily Petrenko marks 10 years at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  39. ^ Glyn Mon Hughes (15 September 2006). "Signs of old Phil magic as Petrenko makes his debut". Liverpool Daily Post. Retrieved 26 December 2007.
  40. ^ Richard Down (26 March 2009). "Conductor Vasily Petrenko made honoured by Liverpool Hope University". Liverpool Daily Post. Retrieved 9 April 2009.
  41. ^ "Liverpool's footballing legends among first round of Honorary Scousers". Liverpool Echo. 3 April 2009. Retrieved 3 April 2009.
  42. ^ "Vasily becomes Citizen of Honour" (Press release). Culture Liverpool. 21 November 2016. Retrieved 27 November 2016.

External links[edit]

Cultural offices
Preceded by
Vladimir Ashkenazy (music director)
Chief Conductor, European Union Youth Orchestra
2015–present
Succeeded by
incumbent
Preceded by Principal Conductor, State Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Russian Federation
2021–present
Succeeded by
incumbent