Vasily Petrenko, the Russian conductor at the helm of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra since 2006 has become Liverpool’s latest Citizen of Honour in a special ceremony today (Wednesday 23 November).
Vasily, chief conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra), has been added to the Roll of Citizens of Honour and presented with an official scroll by the Deputy Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Malcolm Kennedy and Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson.
He was nominated to receive the accolade for his commitment to music and the city, and his partnership with the UK’s oldest continuing professional symphony orchestra which has attracted international acclaim.
Councillor Kennedy said: “I’m delighted to have presented Vasily with this honour. His contribution to Liverpool’s cultural scene is invaluable and his partnership over ten years with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra has really put the city on the map, attracting acclaim from across the globe for their concerts, broadcasts and recordings.
“This city has become home for Vasily and his passion and ambitions for Liverpool are clear in everything he does. He has already been given the civic title of ‘honorary scouser’ back in 2009, and I hope he will be pleased with this latest acknowledgement of his role as a fantastic ambassador for the city.”
Vasily said: “I’m deeply honoured to receive this recognition from the city which my family and I have made our home. I have always known Liverpool to be one of the world’s great music cities, and since coming here in 2006, I’ve experienced first-hand the great passion for music that is at its heart.
“I would like to offer my thanks to the city, Mayor Anderson and his colleagues, our audiences and supporters. They continue to believe in and support Liverpool Philharmonic’s vision to be one of the world’s great music-making organisations, deeply rooted in our city, and an ambassador for Liverpool as a great place to live, work, study and invest in.”
Vasily took up the conductor’s baton as Liverpool Philharmonic’s Principal Conductor in 2006, becoming Chief Conductor in 2012. His dynamic musical partnership with the orchestra, now in its tenth year, continues as a golden age in Liverpool Philharmonic’s 176-year history. He has led the orchestra on international tours to Japan, China and the major European cities and together they have made a number of award-winning recordings.
The Citizen of Honour title is the latest acknowledgement of Vasily’s contribution to music and Liverpool’s cultural scene. He has also been awarded Honorary Doctorates by the University of Liverpool and Liverpool Hope University and an Honorary Fellowship by Liverpool John Moores University
Recognising his recordings with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, he was the Classic BRIT Awards Male Artist of the Year 2012 and 2010, Germany’s Echo Klassik Awards Emerging Artist of the Year 2012, and Classic FM/Gramophone Awards Young Artist of the Year 2007.
The Citizen of Honour Awards were introduced in 2008 to formally recognise those individuals who have made a significant, exceptional or unique contribution to enriching the image of the city and/or its citizens. To date there are 27 Citizens of Honour including Bill Shankly, Liverpool World War Two veterans, April Ashley, Dr David France and Lewis Biggs.