The transformational combination of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and its Chief Conductor, Vasily Petrenko, will continue from 2021 with Petrenko becoming the Orchestra’s Conductor Laureate.
By 2021, Petrenko will have led the Orchestra for 15 years, making him one of the longest-serving conductors in its 178-year-old history. During his time with Liverpool Philharmonic, Petrenko has been instrumental in raising its musical excellence and increasing the number of recordings, commissions and international tours undertaken by the Orchestra, all of which have radically raised its profile and standing.. Audiences in Liverpool have grown by 36% during this time.
Before opening his 13th season with the Orchestra in Liverpool on 20th September with Brahms’ First Symphony, commencing a survey of the complete Brahms symphonies, he leads the Orchestra on a five-concert tour to China, followed by their fifth performance together at the BBC Proms on 29 August. To close the 2018/19 season, he’ll conduct Elgar’s The Music Makers with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir which will also be recorded in his continuing Elgar series.
Other highlights with Petrenko in the 2018-2019 season include his celebrated interpretations of the works of Rachmaninov, Shostakovich and Prokofiev. He will also conduct Principal Cello, Jonathan Aasgaard, in the haunting Cello Concerto by Mieczysław Weinberg, to mark his centenary year. Recording plans include the next instalments of Stravinsky’s ballet music, following the release earlier this year of the Rite of Spring alongside Rachmaninov’s Spring and Debussy’s Printemps (ONYX) and his continuing survey of the music of Elgar with the release of his recording of the Enigma Variations.
Liverpool Philharmonic is actively engaged in planning future seasons with Maestro Petrenko. These will include a cycle of Mahler Symphonies, a wide ranging Beethoven project in 2020 and signature Petrenko repertoire through to the summer of 2021.
Vasily Petrenko said: “I love Liverpool Philharmonic and all my colleagues, our audiences, donors, funders and supporters. It is a great family which I’m proud to be part of. And I’m passionate about Liverpool, one of the greatest cities anywhere in the world. We’ve achieved so much and I’m looking forward very much to the next three years working together as one of the world’s great orchestras and the pride of Liverpool. By 2021, my family and I will have enjoyed 15 amazing years here and I’m proud to be one of the longest-serving conductors in the Orchestra’s long and distinguished history. Now the time feels right for me to take on new challenges. I am so honoured to be named as Conductor Laureate, and to maintain my links with Liverpool, of which our Orchestra is the jewel in the crown.”
Michael Eakin, Chief Executive of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic said: “To have retained one of the world’s most in-demand conductors for 15 years is a great testament to the Orchestra and to Liverpool, but it is right that Vasily should seek new opportunities and challenges to further develop his position as one of the world’s great musicians. We wish him well with his new appointment and future career. Vasily is deeply committed to providing opportunities for people to enjoy and participate in music from the earliest age. He is engaged in every aspect of our work, both on and off the concert platform and has helped build new audiences for classical music in Liverpool, including many young people. It is a great pleasure to work with him as a colleague, but he is also our friend, and in making him Conductor Laureate, we know our friendship will endure beyond 2021. We look forward to the next three years with Vasily as our Chief Conductor, and with the Orchestra playing at the top of its game, we will now begin our international search for a world-class candidate to succeed him.”
Petrenko has been appointed as the next Chief Conductor of London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, a role he will take up at the start of their 2021-2022 concert season.