The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra have elected for Kirill Petrenko to replace Sir Simon Rattle as Principal Conductor when his contract with the world-renowned orchestra expires in 2017.
The announcement comes after the Orchestra initially failed to decide on a replacement conductor six weeks earlier.
Words cannot express my feelings – everything from euphoria and great joy to awe and disbelief. I am aware of the responsibility and high expectations of me, and I will do everything in my power to be a worthy conductor of this outstanding orchestra. I hope for many moments of artistic happiness in our music-making together which will reward our hard work and fill our lives as artists with meaning.
The Russian-born conductor currently resides in Bavaria, where he currently occupies the post of Director of the Bavarian State Opera. He is expected to take over from Sir Simon in 2018, when his contract at the Bavarian State Opera expires.
Petrenko is no stranger to Berlin, however, having previously guest conducted the Berlin Philarmonic in 2006, 2009 and 2012, as well as serving as Music Director at the Komische Oper from 2002 – 2007. He has also made appearances conducting the Vienna State Orchestra and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and has been named as ‘Conductor of the Year’ by German opera magazine Opernwelt several times, most recently in 2014.
Sir Simon Rattle announced his departure from the orchestra in March this year, confirming he’d be taking the position of Musical Director at the London Symphony Orchestra from September 2017.