Kirill Petrenko, Conductor

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(c) Wilfried Hösl

Kirill Petrenko has been chief conductor and artistic director of the Berliner Philharmoniker since August 2019. 

Previously, he was general music director of Bayerische Staatsoper for seven years after first engagements in his career had taken him to the Vienna Volksoper, Meininger Staatstheater and the Komische Oper Berlin. 

He has appeared as a guest at the Wiener Staatsoper, the Semperoper in Dresden, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Opéra Bastille in Paris. In 2013, he headed a new production of Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelungen at the Bayreuth Festival, which he conducted until 2015. 

In the opening concert of his first season at the helm of the Berliner Philharmoniker, Kirill Petrenko conducted Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony – not least as a programmatic declaration of intent for the exploration of the core Classical-Romantic repertoire with which he intends to begin each season in the future. Unjustly neglected composers such as Josef Suk and Erich Wolfgang Korngold play an important role in his concerts. Kirill Petrenko has frequently conducted world premieres of symphonic works and operas in addition to key works of the 20th century and has also committed himself to contemporary music during his tenure in Berlin: following on from a piece by Anna Thorvaldsdóttir, a number of works have been commissioned from contemporary composers. 

By directing projects of the Karajan Academy and concerts of the National Youth Orchestra of Germany, he is dedicating himself to the training of young musicians and introducing young people to different aspects of music. 

At the Easter Festival in Baden-Baden, he will continue to conduct operas as well as concerts. Outside Berlin, Kirill Petrenko can also be seen on tour with the Berliner Philharmoniker, at festival venues such as Salzburg and Lucerne, the European music capitals and soon in Asia – and of course in the Digital Concert Hall. 

In addition to concert recordings with music by John Adams and Gustav Mahler (Symphony No. 6), both as part of comprehensive presentations of the composers’ works, a CD/SACD edition has already been released with symphonies by Ludwig van Beethoven, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Franz Schmidt as well as Rudi Stephan’s Music for Orchestra; Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 Pathétique is still available as a single edition. Further releases of selected performances are in preparation.

July 2021

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