Vasily Petrenko

Vasily Petrenko is music director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (since 2021), and chief conductor of the European Union Youth Orchestra (since 2015). He is conductor laureate of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, following his hugely acclaimed 15-year tenure as its chief conductor (2006–21), and has also served as principal guest conductor and subsequently artistic director of the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia (2016–22), chief conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic (2013–20), principal conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain (2009–13) and principal guest conductor of St Petersburg’s Mikhailovsky Theatre, where he began his career as resident conductor (1994–97).

Petrenko was born in 1976 and studied at St Petersburg Capella Boys Music School and St Petersburg Conservatory, where he participated in the masterclasses of Ilya Musin, Mariss Jansons and Yuri Temirkanov.

He has worked with many of the world’s most prestigious orchestras including the Berliner Philharmoniker, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, London Symphony Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic.

He has made frequent appearances at the BBC Proms. Equally at home in the opera house, and with over 30 operas in his repertoire, Petrenko has conducted at Glyndebourne, Opéra national de Paris, Opernhaus Zürich, Bayerische Staatsoper and The Metropolitan Opera.

On disc, his Shostakovich, Rachmaninov and Elgar symphony cycles with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra have garnered worldwide acclaim, and his recording of Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony (Naxos 8.570568) was named Orchestral Recording of the Year at the 2009 Classic FM Gramophone Awards. With the Oslo Philharmonic, he has released cycles of Scriabin and Prokofiev symphonies and Richard Strauss’s tone poems.

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Gramophone talks to Vasily Petrenko about Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony

The Triumph of the Good – Jeremy Siepmann interviews Vasily Petrenko