The musical future of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra has been strengthened following the announcement that chief conductor Vasily Petrenko is to extend his contract indefinitely.
Petrenko came to the RLPO in 2006 and has twice extended his contract. His present arrangement expires in summer 2015 but the new open-ended contract has a minimum notice period of three years.
The Russian maestro will have one of the most substantial commitments of any chief conductor to a UK orchestra, leading at least 25 concerts in Liverpool as well as national and international touring dates. There will also be special concerts and events as well as recordings.
‘It’s a great pleasure to have the opportunity to stay in Liverpool as part of the Liverpool Philharmonic family,’ said Petrenko. ‘I made the decision because it’s a pleasure to be on stage with those people, and it’s a pleasure to play the music ‒ not play the notes, but play the music and to get to the core of the piece and play emotional music rather than the technical aspects. And we’re getting more and more into the character of what the music is about rather than how it is written.
‘I still see a lot of potential with the orchestra though we still have a lot of work to do.’
Since coming to Liverpool, Petrenko has seen audiences rise 17% and his concerts, broadcasts and recordings with the RLPO have earned not only critical acclaim but also a number of prestigious awards. He and the orchestra supported Liverpool on the world stage, especially during Liverpool’s presence at EXPO 2010 in Shanghai as well as on tours to Spain, Germany, France, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Luxembourg and Switzerland.
A major Philharmonic Hall refurbishment is scheduled from 2014 and 2015 sees the 175th anniversary of the orchestra’s founding.