Kirill Petrenko

“Because the beginning of an emotion is always connected to a story as well. We cannot detach ourselves from our surroundings and occupy ourselves with sounds on a purely musical level. There are simply historical and social associations which are incorporated into the music that one must call up again when one interprets it.” – Kirill Petrenko
a conductor, focusing intently, pauses. he extends his baton flat and joins the thumb and forefinger of his other hand.

Kirill Petrenko has been chief conductor and artistic director of the Berliner Philharmoniker since August 2019. Previously, he was general music director of Bayerische Staatsoper for seven years after first engagements in his career had taken him to the Vienna Volksoper, Meininger Staatstheater and the Komische Oper Berlin. He has appeared as a guest at the Wiener Staatsoper, the Semperoper in Dresden, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Opéra Bastille in Paris. In 2013, he headed a new production of Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelungen at the Bayreuth Festival, which he conducted until 2015. In the opening concert of his first season at the helm of the Berliner Philharmoniker, Kirill Petrenko conducted Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony – not least as a programmatic declaration of intent for the exploration of the core Classical-Romantic repertoire. 

Kirill Petrenko has made guest appearances with the world's leading orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic, the Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra Santa Cecilia in Rome, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and many more. 

Unjustly neglected composers such as Josef Suk and Erich Wolfgang Korngold play an important role in his concerts. Kirill Petrenko has frequently conducted world premieres of symphonic works and operas in addition to key works of the 20th century and has also committed himself to contemporary music during his tenure in Berlin. By directing projects of the Karajan Academy and concerts of the National Youth Orchestra of Germany, he is dedicating himself to the training of young musicians and introducing young people to different aspects of music.