Kirill Petrenko has been chief conductor and artistic director of the Berliner Philharmoniker since the 2019/20 season. He was general music director at the Bavarian State Opera from 2013 to 2020, following posts at the Volksoper in Vienna, the Meiningen State Theatre and the Komische Oper Berlin during the early part of his career. He has also conducted at venues such as the Vienna State Opera, the Semperoper Dresden, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera, New York, the Paris Opéra and the Salzburg Festival. From 2013 to 2015 he conducted Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Bayreuth Festival.
For the opening concert of his first season as head of the Berliner Philharmoniker, Kirill Petrenko conducted Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, offering a programmatic declaration of intent to explore the core Classical and Romantic repertory.
He makes guest appearances with the world’s most prestigious orchestras, among them the Vienna Philharmonic, the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome and the Israel Philharmonic.
Unjustly neglected composers such as Josef Suk and Erich Wolfgang Korngold also play an important role in his concerts. In addition to important works from the 20th century, Kirill Petrenko has conducted numerous symphonic and operatic world premieres. His commitment to contemporary music continues in Berlin. Russian works are also highlighted, with performances of Tchaikovsky’s operas Mazeppa, Iolanta and The Queen of Spades attracting particular attention recently.
Through his direction of projects for the Karajan Academy and concerts with the National Youth Orchestra of Germany, he is committed to the education of young musicians and teaching various aspects of music to young people.
Born in Omsk (Siberia), Kirill Petrenko received his training first in his home town and later in Austria.