Vasily Petrenko was born in 1976 and started his music education at the St Petersburg Capella Boys Music School – the oldest music school in Russia. Following considerable success in a number of international conducting competitions he was appointed Chief Conductor of the St Petersburg State Academic Symphony Orchestra from 2004 to 2007.
Petrenko is Chief Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra (appointed in 2013/14), Chief Conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (a position he adopted in 2009 as a continuation of his period as Principal Conductor which commenced in 2006), Chief Conductor of the European Union Youth Orchestra (since 2015) and Principal Guest Conductor of the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia (since 2016). Petrenko has also served as Principal Conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain from 2009-2013, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Mikhailovsky Theatre (formerly the Mussorgsky Memorial Theatre of the St Petersburg State Opera and Ballet) where he began his career as Resident Conductor from 1994 to 1997. From 2021, he wil become Music Director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Petrenko has worked with many of the world’s most prestigious orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia, Russian National Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Czech Philharmonic, Finnish Radio Symphony, NHK Symphony Tokyo and Sydney Symphony. He has appeared at the Edinburgh Festival with the Oslo Philharmonic, and the Grafenegg Festival with the European Union Youth Orchestra and the State Academic Symphony of Russia, and made frequent appearances at the BBC Proms.
Equally at home in the opera house, and with over thirty operas in his repertoire, Petrenko made his debuts in 2010 at Glyndebourne Festival Opera (Macbeth) and the Opera de Paris (Eugene Onegin), and 2016 saw a highly successful debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper with Boris Godunov, and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk with Zurich Opera.
Petrenko has established a strongly defined profile as a recording artist. His Shostakovich symphony cycle with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra has garnered worldwide acclaim, and his has been documented in award-winning surveys of Rachmaninov’s symphonies, orchestral works and complete piano concertos with Simon Trpceski, Elgar’s symphonies and orchestra music, Tchaikovsky’s complete symphonies, piano concertos and Manfred, and works by Offenbach, Higdon and Tavener. With the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra he has released the Shostakovich cello concertos with Truls Mork, the Szymanowski violin concertos with Baiba Skride, and Prokofiev’s complete Romeo and Juliet ballet.