EUYO Chief Conductor
Born in St Petersburg, and educated at the St Petersburg Capella Boys Music School, the oldest music school in Russia, Vasily Petrenko studied at the St Petersburg Conservatoire and has also participated in masterclasses with such major figures as Ilya Musin, Mariss Jansons, and Yuri Temirkanov. Following considerable success in a number of international conducting competitions including the Fourth Prokofiev Conducting Competition in St Petersburg (2003), First Prize in the Shostakovich Choral Conducting Competition in St Petersburg (1997) and First Prize in the Sixth Cadaques International Conducting Competition in Spain, he was appointed Chief Conductor of the St Petersburg State Academic Symphony Orchestra from 2004 to2007.
In 2021, Petrenko will take up the position of Music Director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London and the 19/20 season will see him work on numerous projects with the orchestra both at home and on tour. Currently, Petrenko holds the position of Chief Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra (appointed in 2013/14), Chief Conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (a position he adopted in 2009 as a continuation of his period as Principal Conductor which commenced in 2006), Chief Conductor of the European Union Youth Orchestra (since 2015) and Principal Guest Conductor of the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia (since 2016). Petrenko has also served as Principal Conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain from 2009-2013, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Mikhailovsky Theatre (formerly the Mussorgsky Memorial Theatre of the St Petersburg State Opera and Ballet) where he began his career as Resident Conductor from 1994 to 1997.
Highlights of the 2019/20 season and beyond include his debut with the Metropolitan Opera of New York with a production of Tchaikovsky’s Pique Dame, his debut with the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, and return visits to the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic and Rotterdam Philharmonic orchestras. He will also make an anticipated return to the Asia-Pacific region, returning to the New Zealand Symphony, and debuting with the West Australian and Singapore Symphony orchestras. Petrenko will lead the Oslo Philharmonic through their 100th Anniversary year, including on an extensive tour of European cities. Ten years on from his landmark Mahler cycle in the 2009-2011 seasons, Petrenko returns to the composer’s symphonies, presenting all nine in chronological order across 2020 with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
In September 2017, Vasily Petrenko was honoured with the Artist of the Year award at the prestigious annual Gramophone Awards, one decade on from receiving their Young Artist of the Year award in October 2007. In 2010 he won the Male Artist of the Year at the Classical Brit Awards. He is only the second person to have been awarded Honorary Doctorates by both the University of Liverpool and Liverpool Hope University (in 2009), and an Honorary Fellowship of the Liverpool John Moores University (in 2012), and Honorary Doctorate from the University of York (2018), awards which recognise the immense impact he has had on the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the wider cultural scene.
Petrenko has worked with many of the world’s most prestigious orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Czech Philharmonic, NHK Symphony Tokyo and Sydney Symphony. He has appeared frequently at the BC Proms, George Enescu Festival, Edinburgh Festival and Grafenegg Festival. He has a strong presence in North America, having worked with the Philadelphia, Cleveland and Minnesota Orchestras, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the San Francisco, Boston and Chicago Symphony orchestras, as well as appearaning at the Aspen, Blossom and Ravinia summer festivals.
Equally at home in the opera house, and with over thirty operas in his repertoire, Petrenko has lead productions at the Bayerische Staatsoper (Boris Godunov), GlyndebourneFestivalOpera(Macbeth), OperadeParis(EugeneOnegin), Staatsoper Hamburg (Pique Dame), Opernhaus Zurich (Carmen and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk) and the Mikhailovsky Theatre of St Petersburg (Eugene Onegin, La Bohème and Carmen). He has also conducted numerous concert performances of opera, including Falstaff, Tosca and Parsifal with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and Der fliegende Holländer with the Oslo Philharmonic.
Petrenko has established a strongly defined profile as a recording artist. His Shostakovich symphony cycle for Naxos Records with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (collated as a boxset in the autumn of 2015) has garnered worldwide acclaim, and his has been documented in award-winning surveys of Rachmaninov’s symphonies, orchestral works and complete piano concertos with Simon Trpceski, Elgar’s symphonies and orchestral music, Tchaikovsky’s complete symphonies, piano concertos and Manfred (winner of the 2009 Gramophone Award for Best Orchestral Recording), and works by Rimsky-Korsakov, Respighi, Britten, Offenbach, Higdon and Tavener. With the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra he has released the Shostakovich cello concertos with Truls Mork (Ondine), the Szymanowski violin concertos with Baiba Skride (Orfeo), Scriabin’s complete symphonic cycle, and Prokofiev’s complete Romeo and Juliet ballet. Future releases include the continuation of his series of Strauss’ tone poems, Prokofiev and Miaskovsky symphonies with the Oslo Philharmonic, and works by Stravinsky, Zemlinsky and Beethoven with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic