Kirill Petrenko, Biography
Kirill Petrenko (Russian-Austrian, born February 11, 1972) is a conductor, who is the principal conductor of the Bavarian State Opera since 2013. In 2018, he the successor of Sir Simon Rattle as Chief Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic.
Childhood and Youth
The son of a violinist and of Jewish extraction, Petrenko studied piano as a youth, and made his public debut as a pianist at age 11 in 1983. At age 18, he and his family emigrated to Austria, where his father, who was born in Lviv (now in Ukraine), played in the Vorarlberg Symphony. Petrenko formally studied music at the 'Vorarlberger Landeskonservatorium in Feldkirch, Vorarlberg, graduating with honors in piano studies. He continued his musical studies in Vienna at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna, where his teachers included Uroš Lajovic. His other conducting teachers and mentors have included Myung-Whun Chung, Edward Downes, Péter Eötvös and Semyon Bychkov.
Adult Life of Harding
Petrenko made his conducting debut in opera at age 23 in 1995 in Vorarlberg with a production of Benjamin Britten's Let's Make an Opera. He was a Kapellmeister at the Vienna Volksoper from 1997 to 1999. From 1999 to 2002, he was Generalmusikdirektor of the Südthüringisches Staatstheater, Das Meininger Theater (Meiningen, Germany), where his work included conducting the four operas of Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen in 2001 on four consecutive days, his first professional conducting engagement with the operas of Wagner.
Petrenko was Generalmusikdirektor of the Komische Oper Berlin from 2002 to 2007. During this period he made his (2003) debut with the Bavarian State Opera, and he returned to the Munich company in 2009 for a Jenůfa, the success of which became a basis for his appointment, publicly rumored in July 2010 and confirmed in October 2010, as the company's Generalmusikdirektor, starting in 2013.
He has accepted an invitation to become Chief Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic after Sir Simon Rattle's tenure ends in August 2018, although no start date for his role has been set and a phased-in transition is likely due to a promised extension of his contract with the Bavarian State Opera, which also ends in August 2018.
During the 2014 Crimean crisis Petrenko called for a solution that would respect Ukraine's sovereignty.