The Russian conductor, currently chief conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, is due to take up the position of artistic director of the Evgeny Svetlanov Orchestra on 21 September this year. Before that, in August, he will assume the role of music director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London, taking over from the Swiss conductor Charles Dutoit, who opened last year’s 68th Ljubljana Festival with a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Third Piano Concerto.
Petrenko has been working closely with the Evgeny Svetlanov Orchestra since 2016, as one of its principal guest conductors. Russian culture minister Olga Lyubimova offered the following comment on his appointment: “[Petrenko] always approaches a work with the perfect combination of responsibility and creativity. I am convinced that as artistic director he will maintain the orchestra’s magnificent tradition and lofty reputation and enrich it with new projects.”
For his part, the conductor commented: “It is a great honour for me to become the artistic director of one of the world’s finest orchestras, to continue the proud history it represents, from its foundation by Alexander Gauk and expansion under Evgeny Svetlanov and many other conductors, and to develop its profile into the future, in Russia and on the international stage. The orchestra boasts a magnificent team of musicians, and a huge artistic potential. I am so much looking forward to our many concerts together in Moscow and beyond in the upcoming years. Classical music, especially that of the Russian tradition, deserves an even wider recognition and will become a very important source of inspiration and optimism in such difficult times. Our art is a vital force in making the world a better place!”