Alexei Petrenko (1938–2017) was born in Chemer, Chernigov Region (Ukraine). He graduated from the Kharkov Theatre Institute in 1961 and appeared on stage regularly throughout his career. He made his film debut in 1967 and went on to perform over forty roles.
Petrenko was a People’s Artist of Russia, recipient of the State Prize of Russia, Knight of the order For Services to the Fatherland, the Order of Honour, the Imperial Order of St Anna, the Golden Eagle award, the International Stanislavsky Prize in the category ‘For Contributions to the Development of Russian Theatre Art’, and several times the recipient of prizes for the best male role at various film festivals in Riga, Tiraspol, Vyborg and Vladikavkaz.
In addition to his numerous stage and film roles, he took part in a performance of the song-cycle The War Letters by Vasily Gavrilin, and Abram Stasevich’s oratorio Ivan the Terrible based on music by Prokofiev (as the narrator and in a singing role).
(Biography courtesy of the Mariinsky Theatre, edited by Naxos)