Vasily Petrenko

Vasily extends contract

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic is delighted to announce today that Vasily Petrenko, whose musical leadership has earned him an international reputation, and made him one of the most sought after conductors in the world, is extending his contract as Chief Conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, which is due to expire in Summer 2015.

A new, on-going agreement will see the charismatic Russian maestro stay at the helm of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the UK’s oldest professional symphony orchestra for the foreseeable future, with a minimum three-year notice period.

This new contract will make Vasily the Orchestra’s longest serving conductor since Sir Charles Groves, who took up the position exactly 50 years and was principal conductor from 1963 – 1977.

Vasily took up the baton as Principal Conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in 2006, and has twice extended his contract. He became Chief Conductor in 2009, in recognition of his commitment to the Orchestra and Liverpool.

In one of the most substantial commitments of any Chief Conductor of a UK orchestra, Vasily will continue his current commitment to conduct the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in at least 25 concerts in Liverpool and on national and international touring dates with the Orchestra, as well as recordings and other special concerts and events.

Vasily’s dynamic musical partnership with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra has earned a global reputation for excellence. Their concerts, broadcasts and recordings have attracted international critical acclaim, plaudits and awards.

Amongst many musical highlights have been their on-going explorations of the music of Shostakovich, Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky and Mahler; world premiere performances including Sir John Tavener’s Requiem, and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies Symphony No. 9 which they also took to the BBC Proms in 2012, and Proms in 2008 and 2010.

Playing for Liverpool on the world stage, Vasily and the Orchestra supported the City of Liverpool’s presence at EXPO 2010 in Shanghai during a tour of China, and have toured together at the invitation of concert halls and music festivals in Spain, Romania, the Czech Republic, Germany, France, Luxembourg and Switzerland. They were the soundtrack to Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture Year in 2008, playing a central role in the delivery and success of many of its festival programmes and events in Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and other city venues.

Since coming to Liverpool, Vasily has made a deep impression on the City and his galvanising impact on the Orchestra has drawn new audiences to classical music. In 2013, audience numbers for concerts by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in Liverpool are 17% higher than they were when Vasily took up the baton

Away from Liverpool, Vasily is Principal Conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and Chief Conductor Designate of the Oslo Symphony taking up the baton in the 2013/14 season and Principal Guest Conductor of the Mikhailovsky Theatre (formerly the Mussorgsky Memorial Theatre) in St. Petersburg, Russia, his native city and where his professional career began in the mid-1990s.

Lorraine Rogers, Chairman of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic said: “Vasily has forged a special bond with our brilliant musicians and staff, our audiences, partners and the City which has produced a golden era for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, so this new long-term agreement with him as our Chief Conductor is fantastic news.

“This is a remarkable time in the organisation’s history. We are looking forward to the major refurbishment and 75th anniversary of our home, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall in 2014 and the 175th anniversary of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic in 2015. As we develop our long-term strategy beyond 2015, Vasily’s musical leadership, vision and ambition for the development of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic will continue to be inspirational.”

Vasily said: “It’s a great pleasure for me to have the opportunity to stay in Liverpool as part of the Liverpool Philharmonic family. I am looking forward very much to continuing my relationship with our great Orchestra, and also with our wonderful audiences whose commitment to our music-making, along with our many partners, we are always grateful for. I really believe, as do our musicians and all our colleagues, that while we have such brilliant support, there is still so much that we can achieve together.”

Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for culture and tourism, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “This is fantastic news for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the city.

“Since coming to Liverpool in 2006, Vasily has had a huge impact on bringing classical music to a wide audience, inspiring people of all ages and from diverse backgrounds to discover a genre of music which may be new to them

“As a city council, we’re delighted to have worked closely with Vasily over the years, helping bring his music to thousands of people as part of free events such as Music on the Waterfront. We’ll be continuing this partnership during this year’s August bank holiday weekend, when for the first time, Vasily will lead the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in a free performance in beautiful Sefton Park at the first ever Liverpool International Music Festival.”

Liverpool Waterfront