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Vasily Petrenko was born in 1976 and started his music education at the St Petersburg Capella Boys Music School – the oldest music school in Russia. He then studied at the St Petersburg Conservatoire and has also participated in masterclasses with such major figures as Ilya Musin, Mariss Jansons, Yuri Temirkanov and Esa-Pekka Salonen. 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 to 2007. He served as Principal Conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain from 2009-2013 The 2013/14 season marked his first as Chief Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, alongside which he maintains his positions as 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), 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. Petrenko has worked with many of the world’s most prestigious orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia, Russian National Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Czech Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Finnish Radio Symphony, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, NHK Symphony Tokyo, Sydney Symphony and Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. He has made frequent appearances at the BBC Proms, and toured with the European Union Youth Orchestra. Recent years have seen a series of highly successful North American debuts, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the San Francisco, Boston, Chicago and St Louis Symphony Orchestras. Highlights of the 2014/15 season and beyond include return visits to the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony, tour periods in Europe and Asia with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Oslo Philharmonic and his debut performances with the Israel Philharmonic and Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestras. Equally at home in opera house, and with over thirty operas in his repertoire, Petrenko made his debuts in 2010 at Glyndebourne Festival Opera (Macbeth) and the Opera de Paris (Eugene Onegin), and in recent seasons has also conducted Pique Dame at Hamburg State Opera, Boris Godunov at the National Reisopera, Eugene Onegin, La Bohème and Carmen at the Mikhailovsky Theatre and Carmen at the Zurich Opera, Tosca and Parsifal with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and Der fliegende Holländer with the Oslo Philharmonic and at the Mikhailovsky Theatre. Future plans include Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk for Zurich Opera and Boris Godunov for Bayerische Staatsoper Munich. Recordings with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra include a rare double bill of Fleishman’s Rothschild’s Violin and Shostakovich’s The Gamblers, Rachmaninov’s Second and Third Symphonies (winner of the 2012 ECHO Klassik German Music Award for Newcoming Conductor of the Year), the complete piano concertos, Symphonic Dances and Isle of the Dead, and a critically acclaimed series of recordings for Naxos including Tchaikovsky’s Manfred (winner of the 2009 Gramophone Award for Best Orchestral Recording), the Liszt piano concertos, and an ongoing Shostakovich symphony cycle. In October 2007 Vasily Petrenko was named Young Artist of the Year at the annual Gramophone Awards, and 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), awards which recognise the immense impact he has had on the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the city’s cultural scene. Season 2014/2015

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Vasily Petrenko was born in 1976 and started his music education at the St Petersburg Capella Boys Music School – the oldest music school in Russia. He then studied at the St Petersburg Conservatoire and has also participated in masterclasses with such major figures as Ilya Musin, Mariss Jansons, Yuri Temirkanov and Esa-Pekka Salonen. 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 to 2007. He served as Principal Conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain from 2009-2013

 

The 2013/14 season marked his first as Chief Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, alongside which he maintains his positions as 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), 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.

 

Petrenko has worked with many of the world’s most prestigious orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia, Russian National Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Czech Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Finnish Radio Symphony, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, NHK Symphony Tokyo, Sydney Symphony and Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. He has made frequent appearances at the BBC Proms, and toured with the European Union Youth Orchestra. Recent years have seen a series of highly successful North American debuts, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the San Francisco, Boston, Chicago and St Louis Symphony Orchestras. Highlights of the 2014/15 season and beyond include return visits to the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony, tour periods in Europe and Asia with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Oslo Philharmonic and his debut performances with the Israel Philharmonic and Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestras.

 

Equally at home in opera house, and with over thirty operas in his repertoire, Petrenko made his debuts in 2010 at Glyndebourne Festival Opera (Macbeth) and the Opera de Paris (Eugene Onegin), and in recent seasons has also conducted Pique Dame at Hamburg State Opera, Boris Godunov at the National Reisopera, Eugene Onegin, La Bohème and Carmen at the Mikhailovsky Theatre and Carmen at the Zurich Opera, Tosca and Parsifal with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and Der fliegende Holländer with the Oslo Philharmonic and at the Mikhailovsky Theatre.
Future plans include Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk for Zurich Opera and Boris Godunov for Bayerische Staatsoper Munich.

 

Recordings with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra include a rare double bill of Fleishman’s Rothschild’s Violin and Shostakovich’s The Gamblers, Rachmaninov’s Second and Third Symphonies (winner of the 2012 ECHO Klassik German Music Award for Newcoming Conductor of the Year), the complete piano concertos, Symphonic Dances and Isle of the Dead, and a critically acclaimed series of recordings for Naxos including Tchaikovsky’s Manfred (winner of the 2009 Gramophone Award for Best Orchestral Recording), the Liszt piano concertos, and an ongoing Shostakovich symphony cycle. In October 2007 Vasily Petrenko was named Young Artist of the Year at the annual Gramophone Awards, and 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), awards which recognise the immense impact he has had on the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the city’s cultural scene.

 

Season 2014/2015

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Reviews

"No previous recording of the 14th Symphony lays greater claim to beauty. Five stars, no question. - Shostakovich Symphony No. 14 Recording / Royal Liverpool Philharmonic / Naxos"

Norman Lebrecht, Sinfini Music, April 21st 2014

"The miracle of this performance is the thoughtfulness and sense of inner repose that Petrenko hears in the quieter music [of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7], […] The young maestro wields magisterial control over the overarching shape of this once despised, now rehabilitated and thrillingly dramatic symphony, with sensational results. Petrenko presides over a golden age of music-making in Liverpool. "

Hugh Canning, Sunday Times, May 5th 2013

"Petrenko has re-thought the symphony from the ground up; and there is not a second-hand thought in his concept and realisation. The precise word for this flawless and seamlessly sustained interpretation is "epic": in its tempos (unhurried) and particularly in its depth and extremely long-range view. It is both gripping and shattering, mellifluous and volcanic, unfolding like a landscape of the soul. "

Michael Tumelty, Herald Scotland | New RLPO Naxos Recording of Shostakovich: Symphony No. 7 'Leningrad'

"[Petrenko] inspired the orchestra to go well beyond its normal megawatt virtuosity, and this made for a blistering account of the Shostakovich. [...] He built the brooding melancholy of the first movement slowly and purposefully, scaling each climax so it registered even more intensely than the one before. [...] Seldom has the trajectory to the hollow triumph of the final pages been more exactingly plotted, or more excitingly conveyed. The orchestra gave Petrenko everything he asked for, and more. "

John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

"[This] was a remarkable account of a great British symphony – Elgar’s First. We know how gifted Vasily Petrenko is from his sterling work in Liverpool but I could not have predicted how sensitively and instinctively he would embrace the character of this tremendous work, how excitingly he would grasp the sweep and volatility of it. For want of a more elegant phrase, Petrenko knew precisely how the music went. And that’s something you don’t learn but feel. [...] Undoubtedly one of the great symphonic performances of 2012."

Edward Seckerson, October 2012

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Discography