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Vasily Petrenko (Conductor)

Vasily Petrenko, acknowledged as the leader of the younger generation of conductors, is due to appear at the Mikhailovsky Theatre once again.

Petrenko, a native of St. Petersburg and a graduate of the Conservatory, is returning to the theatre where his professional career began in the mid-1990s — only now as an international star. Last December, the maestro conducted a stunning gala concert featuring music by Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin in a programme entitled “American Masterpieces”. This summer Vasily Petrenko will conduct the operas Eugene Onegin (13 June), La Bohème (22 June) and a concert performance of Carmen (17, 18 July).

One of the most successful young conductors, whose name is on the lips of everyone in the music world, Vasily Petrenko achieved international status by winning first prize in a conducting competition in Barcelona in 2002. In 2006 he was appointed Principal Conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and the orchestra’s fortunes were magically turned around: this phenomenon is now known as the “Petrenko effect”. In 2007 the conductor was named Young Artist of the Year in the Gramophone Awards; in 2009 he received honorary doctorates from the University of Liverpool and Liverpool Hope University. The title of Honorary Citizen of Liverpool, which was conferred on him at the same time, was a token of recognition of his immense contribution to and influence on the city’s cultural life. In the same year (2009), when he made a scintillating debut with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, the Guardian wrote: “Petrenko here delivers a clarity of expression that sounds as if he has been at the helm of the NYO for years”. In 2010 Petrenko was named Male Artist of the Year at the Classical BRIT Awards. In 2011 he received the Gramophone Award for Best Orchestral Recording. His contract with the Liverpool Philharmonic has been extended until 2015. Their recordings are regularly near the top of the international charts. From August 2013 Vasily Petrenko will take up the position of Principal Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra.

Vasily Petrenko has been collaborating with European opera houses since 2004. He made his debut in The Queen of Spades at the Hamburg State Opera. He has also conducted operas at the Dutch Reisopera (Puccini’s Le  Villi, Verdi’s I due Foscari and Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov), and taken charge of a production of La Bohème in Spain. In 2010 Vasily Petrenko made his debut at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera with Verdi’s Macbeth and at the Paris Opera with Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. The conductor’s plans for the near future include his debut at the Zurich Opera with Bizet’s Carmen. His repertoire now includes over thirty operas.

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