Petrenko (Kirill) gets the nod to head BPO

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jserraglio
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Re: Petrenko (Kirill) gets the nod to head BPO

Post by jserraglio » Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:27 am


John F
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Re: Petrenko (Kirill) gets the nod to head BPO

Post by John F » Mon Jun 22, 2015 12:35 pm

Well, well. I believe his name has been mentioned here, but only in a list of possibles. Yet come to think of it, and despite his name, Petrenko has spent most of his life in Austria and Germany, and made his career there; he has just started as General Music Director of the Bavarian State Opera, one of the top two or three houses in Germany if not #1. In fact, all of his positions since the beginning of his career have been operatic; he's the orchestra's first music director who has not previously held that post with a major orchestra, or any orchestra at all. I wonder how big his repertory is.
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Re: Petrenko (Kirill) gets the nod to head BPO

Post by piston » Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:16 pm

It is worth listening to this 2009 interview of K. Petrenko with Sarah Willis, who else?, conducting the interview in English. His first experience with the BPO was a performance of Rach's Second Symphony and, even though he was very shy at rehearsals, the musicians thoroughly enjoyed his approach. At the time of the interview, he was brought back to perform Elgar's Second Symphony and Beethoven's third piano concerto.
https://www.digitalconcerthall.com/en/interview/14-3
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Re: Petrenko (Kirill) gets the nod to head BPO

Post by slofstra » Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:40 pm

No relation to Vasily, I believe?

Kirill Petrenko has only guest conducted the orchestra on 2 occasions in the last five years. Given the number of guest conductors that work with the BPO, I wonder how they made the selection.

Press conference video of the announcement earlier today (in German and English).



Most of the press conference consists of the 5 people introducing each other in two languages. :lol:
Last edited by slofstra on Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jserraglio
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Re: Petrenko (Kirill) gets the nod to head BPO

Post by jserraglio » Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:01 pm

A very interesting, surprising choice to me. Only 43, no record contract, few recordings. Art trumps lucre?
But what I've heard from KP on ConcertArchive I like.
Last edited by jserraglio on Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:53 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Petrenko (Kirill) gets the nod to head BPO

Post by stenka razin » Mon Jun 22, 2015 4:27 pm

Petrenko also conducted the Berlin Philharmonic once in 2006. He has recorded three CDs worth of Josef Suk for CPO(Asrael, Ripening & A Summer's Tale), so we probably can count on him to not stick to the 'basic works.' Kirill also conducted a much praised live performance of one of my favorite operas, 'R. Strauss' 'Die Frau Ohne Schatten', as Music Director of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich.
I look forward to 2018 and his first year with the Berliners and by the way, he is the first Russian and first Jew to head the Berlin Phil. From what I have read, Thielemann was too devisive a choice for the Berliners who were equally split on choosing him, so Kyrill got the call and all of us were surprised. I am delighted.

Regards,
Mel 8)

P.S. I have his recording of Pfitzner's 'Palestrina' on Oehms and it compares favorably with Rafael Kubelik's legendary DG recording from the 1960's.
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Re: Petrenko (Kirill) gets the nod to head BPO

Post by Modernistfan » Mon Jun 22, 2015 6:57 pm

An interesting choice, to say the least. He has never recorded for a major label (his recordings are with CPO, Channel Classics, and Oehms), and he has made very few recordings. He has spent much of his career in the opera house. Were they trying to channel Carlos Kleiber?

As for the statements that he is Jewish, I have seen no documentation. (The surname "Petrenko," which is Ukrainian in origin, does not suggest Jewish ancestry, although I am aware of several Jews with surnames ending in the Ukrainian patronymic ending "-enko." Additionally, his first name, "Kirill," from one of the saints who tradition holds originally derived the Cyrillic alphabet, used to be pretty rare among Jews of Russian/Ukrainian origin; however, there are several current examples of Jews with that first name, including the pianist Kirill Gerstein and a politician in Maryland, originally from the Ukraine, named Kirill Reznik, so maybe that is not an indicator.) I am not sure how this part of the story got started. Of course, there were several other candidates, perhaps more plausible than Kirill Petrenko, who were clearly Jewish (Ivan Fischer, Vladimir Jurowski, and Daniel Barenboim, to name some of them). Really, his ethnic origin is a non-story.

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Re: Petrenko (Kirill) gets the nod to head BPO

Post by Guitarist » Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:23 pm

I'm disappointed that they didn't choose Christian Thielemann and went for another non-German. Oh well, I guess they know who they wanted!

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Re: Petrenko (Kirill) gets the nod to head BPO

Post by piston » Mon Jun 22, 2015 8:32 pm

Modernistfan wrote: As for the statements that he is Jewish, I have seen no documentation. (The surname "Petrenko," which is Ukrainian in origin, does not suggest Jewish ancestry, although I am aware of several Jews with surnames ending in the Ukrainian patronymic ending "-enko." Additionally, his first name, "Kirill," from one of the saints who tradition holds originally derived the Cyrillic alphabet, used to be pretty rare among Jews of Russian/Ukrainian origin; however, there are several current examples of Jews with that first name, including the pianist Kirill Gerstein and a politician in Maryland, originally from the Ukraine, named Kirill Reznik, so maybe that is not an indicator.) I am not sure how this part of the story got started.
The Russian Wikipedia page for Kirill Petrenko identifies the names of his parents (which information is not available in English sources). They are Harry (also Gari) Petrenko, violinist, and musicologist Olga Petrenko Davydovna, née Weintraub. This page also states that they were a Omsk Jewish family of musicians but it refers to a 2014 Bayerische Staatsoper of Munich webpage to support that claim.

According to Russia's wikipedia, Harry Petrenko and family left Siberia in 1990 because he was offered an orchestral position and a violin teaching job in Bregenz (population: 28,000). He later taught the violin to students in Mexico.
http://translate.google.com/translate?h ... rev=search
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Modernistfan
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Re: Petrenko (Kirill) gets the nod to head BPO

Post by Modernistfan » Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:30 pm

Thanks for that research. "Weintraub," of course, is a well known central/eastern European Jewish surname. Pretty much everyone listed in Wikipedia with that surname appears to be Jewish.

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Re: Petrenko (Kirill) gets the nod to head BPO

Post by Guitarist » Tue Jun 23, 2015 1:21 am

Modernistfan wrote:As for the statements that he is Jewish, I have seen no documentation.
I suppose someone who really cared could stand next to him at a urinal and find out for sure. :wink:

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Re: Petrenko (Kirill) gets the nod to head BPO

Post by otterhouse » Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:12 am

In 2018, that is... Seen the press conference live, yesterday.
Tried to find some recordings by Krill, what was difficult, as Vasily Petrenko recorded more.
No relation, as I understood.
Collected the recordings here

http://classicalspotify.blogspot.nl/201 ... liner.html

What do you think of them?

Rolf
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jserraglio
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Re: Petrenko (Kirill) gets the nod to head BPO

Post by jserraglio » Tue Jun 23, 2015 4:07 am

This blog has Kirill Petrenko's 2013 Bayreuth Ring (excerpts) so folks can judge for themselves. I found his Wagner conducting exciting despite mediocre singing and a stupid-looking mise en scene.

http://ximo.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/ba ... lungen-12/
http://ximo.wordpress.com/2013/08/03/ba ... lungen-22/

John F
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Re: Petrenko (Kirill) gets the nod to head BPO

Post by John F » Tue Jun 23, 2015 8:43 am

OK, so that's over, and the press can stop the hoo-hah about it. One way or another, it isn't going to have much effect on our musical lives, except for any of us who live in or near Berlin. They aren't making many recordings, the state of the classical recording industry being what it is, and apart from the occasional tour bringing them to Carnegie Hall, I'll have no opportunities to hear them in person.

Besides, I have concerns closer to home. Another great orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, needs a new music director to succeed Alan Gilbert when he steps down in 2017, and time's a-wasting. Any major conductor will be fully booked at least until 2017, and unless the Philharmonic moves quickly, the orchestra will have to get along without an artistic leader at just the time when it most needs one, being evicted from its home concert hall for two years' renovations and so far with nowhere else to go. This is no situation for an untested conductor, such as Gilbert was when he took over (and Nezet-Seguin was in Philadelphia). There hasn't been a whisper about who the next conductor may be, or even what kind of conductor the orchestra's search committee is looking for.
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Re: Petrenko (Kirill) gets the nod to head BPO

Post by piston » Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:14 am

John F wrote: Besides, I have concerns closer to home. Another great orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, needs a new music director to succeed Alan Gilbert when he steps down in 2017, and time's a-wasting. Any major conductor will be fully booked at least until 2017, and unless the Philharmonic moves quickly, the orchestra will have to get along without an artistic leader at just the time when it most needs one, being evicted from its home concert hall for two years' renovations and so far with nowhere else to go. This is no situation for an untested conductor, such as Gilbert was when he took over (and Nezet-Seguin was in Philadelphia). There hasn't been a whisper about who the next conductor may be, or even what kind of conductor the orchestra's search committee is looking for.
So, do they have a post-2018 plan, other than the appointment of Vin Cippola and his fund-raising campaign? I would think that what's most urgent is to come up with a logistical strategy following the "eviction."
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

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Re: Petrenko (Kirill) gets the nod to head BPO

Post by John F » Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:57 am

It's not either/or. But don't dismiss the importance of having a strong music director in place during the upheaval. With neither a home nor a conductor, an orchestra (the players, not the administration) can lose it, fast.
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Re: Petrenko (Kirill) gets the nod to head BPO

Post by jserraglio » Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:30 pm

“It seems we have fooled you all again,” said one [BPO] member. “Not that it was difficult, when you consider all the rubbish that has been written about the vote last month - particularly in your country!”
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/musi ... monic.html

If you believe this article, Petrenko was a top contender all along. He also is grounded in the German repertory.

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Re: Petrenko (Kirill) gets the nod to head BPO

Post by jserraglio » Tue Jun 23, 2015 1:41 pm

Kirill Petrenko's 2012 debut with the CSO
http://csosoundsandstories.org/when-kir ... h-the-cso/
Kirill Petrenko, the just-elected chief conductor designate of the Berlin Philharmonic and artistic director of the orchestra’s foundation, has a history with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The Russian-born conductor, who will succeed Sir Simon Rattle at Berlin in August 2018, made his CSO debut in March 2012 with an all-Russian program. Chicago critics were divided on his performance, with John von Rhein giving him a rave in the Chicago Tribune, and Andrew Patner of the Sun-Times and Lawrence A. Johnson of Chicago Classical Review expressing qualms.
Excerpts follow below.

Von Rhein: Whenever a conductor gets up in front of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for the first time, that person stands or falls according to his ability to meet certain criteria. Solidity of technique, quality of leadership, depth of musical ideas and ability to strike a firm rapport with CSO members (within only a couple of rehearsals) are among the most basic criteria.
By all these standards, Kirill Petrenko sent the needle off the symphonic Richter scale at his first concert with the orchestra Thursday night at Symphony Center. Too bad the CSO management has allotted him a measly two subscription concerts for his weekend debut. A talent this remarkable deserves better.
Petrenko, who turns 40 this year, has been making a name for himself, most notably as an operatic conductor. … [In 2013] he will succeed Kent Nagano at the helm of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. His symphonic career is progressing apace: Already under his belt are debuts with the Berlin, London and Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestras.
Petrenko conducts in a clear, purposeful manner that plays to the music and musicians, not the gallery. There was no mistaking the strength of his command, or the chemistry he has achieved with the orchestra. He had a fine opportunity to demonstrate both, in an attractive program representing three different faces of Russian music, with Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 3 (1936) as its pivot point.
Petrenko’s performance moved with tremendous sweep, spontaneity and cohesion. … He was always sure of his destination and knew exactly how to realize that certainty in the orchestra. The floodgates of melody were opened with just enough rubato and warmth of expression to keep it recognizably Russian, but not so much as to thicken the textures or to bog the musical flow down in swooning indulgence.

Patner: [Petrenko’s] conjuring of the mysterious and languorous prelude from [Khovanshchina] (in Dmitri Shostakovich’s 1958 orchestration) with the CSO was both moving and perfectly balanced.
But where was Petrenko in … the no-concerto-soloists-or-big-tunes-to-carry-you Rachmaninoff Third Symphony? This choppy and often dull reading of the composer’s last symphony was evidence either of a conductor with little to say or difficulty communicating with players in rehearsal. The Third is isolated in Rachmaninoff’s late composing career — after fleeing the Russian Revolution in 1917 he wrote nothing for nine years and then only six works in the remaining 17 years of his life. And this, and its falling in between the Romantic and Modern styles in music history, make it a piece that needs great insight and inspirational advocacy to succeed. Both were lacking here.

Johnson: Petrenko began the evening with two orchestral excerpts from Mussorgsky’s long-neglected opera [Khovanshchina]. For most of the past century, music from this bleak, uber-Russian work was best-known in arrangements by Rimsky-Korsakov. Petrenko wisely opted for Shostakovich’s 1958 retooling instead. The opening Prelude is less subtly colored than in Rimsky’s more iridescent version, but Shostakovich’s clear-cut scoring sounds more authentically like Mussorgsky. Petrenko led a refined and unsentimnetal account of the Prelude, followed by the opera’s frenzied Dance of the Persian Maidens.
[In Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 3] Petrenko proved a generally admirable guide through this work, opting for a mix of tonal refinement and sharp attacks at climaxes. At times one felt that he could have been less literal with markings — this attractive but rather uneven score needs all the help it can get — and some stodgy tempos and the overemphatic final chords made the work seem rather lumbering and episodic at times.

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Re: Petrenko (Kirill) gets the nod to head BPO

Post by piston » Tue Jun 23, 2015 6:46 pm

This whole story has been meaningful to me because of how it concerns who decides who constitutes the best music director for an orchestra and on what basis. The musicians of the BPO have, rightfully, been laughing at our different lines of reasoning: aesthetic tastes (where, I believe, came the outside support for Thielemann), ability to secure contracts with major recording companies, some intangible "public" popularity, and so forth. None of that appears to have mattered for the voting musicians of the BPO. Already, in the Sarah Willis interview I posted above, at least some of them were saying "This guy is no fake show man, no media-oriented artist with little attention to his own musicians. He's the "real thing," authentic as can be, whose orchestral direction is always essentially directed at us." In effect, the musicians have chosen on the basis of their own perception of the best director, with not a single thought about some specific repertoire, some recording contract, some prior monetary achievement.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

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Re: Petrenko (Kirill) gets the nod to head BPO

Post by jserraglio » Wed Jun 24, 2015 6:56 am

Kirill Petrenko - Recent Concerts by Composer:
an interesting repertory focused on German and Russian composers

Berg, Lulu BaSO München, 25. Mai 2015

Berlioz Corsair, Schoenberg Napoleon, Weber Cl Cto [Fröst], Tchaikovsky Manfred VSO 2011

Donizetti, Lucia di Lammermoor BaSO München, 26. Jan 2015

Janacek, Jenufa BaSO München 2009

Mahler Sym 4, Berio Folk Songs, Shchedrin Russische Zirkusmusik BPO Berlin, 5 November 2004

Mozart, Clemenza di Tito BaSO München, 10. Februar 2014

Shchedrin Russische Zirkusmusik, Stravinsky VC [Rachlin], Scriabin Sym 3 'Divine Poem' Munich BaSO 2014

Strauss, Frau ohne Schatten, BaSO München, 21. Nov 2013

Strauss Metamorphosen, Shostakovich Sym 14 OPhdRF 2010

Stravinsky Sym Psalms, Stephan Musik für Vn & Orch, für Orch, Scriabin Poeme de l'extase BPO 2012

Tchaikovsky , Eugen Onegin VSOO Wien, 5. Juni 2010

Wagner Rheingold Bayreuth, 27.Juli.2014

Wagner Walküre Bayreuth, 28. Juli 2014

Wagner Siegfried Bayreuth, 30. Juli 2014

Wagner Götterdämmerung Bayreuth, 1. August 2014

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Re: Petrenko (Kirill) gets the nod to head BPO

Post by Modernistfan » Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:13 am

This will be interesting. By naming Kirill Petrenko, the musicians of the BPO have basically given a collective "up-yours" to the commercialism and Macherei that have come to surround classical music. (Recall Richard Strauss's "Kramerspiegel", where the last song starts: "Die Händler und die Macher . . . .")

The only problem will come when the BPO feels it needs support from the commercialism and the Macherei, and it will not be there. Petrenko does not have a major-label recording contract, and is most unlikely to get one. He is too old to be a Wunderkind, and he lacks sizzle and "buzz." Yes, it is possible that he can record for the BPO's recently-launched own label, but we shall have to see how that plays out. (I do not expect that CPO would be recording the Berlin Philharmonic, but I concede that it is possible.) The BPO over the years had come to define major-label recording for prestigious internationally-ranked orchestras, and this will be a wrenching change.

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Re: Petrenko (Kirill) gets the nod to head BPO

Post by THEHORN » Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:04 am

Not having heard Petrenko conduct yet, I can't pass judgment on him . But from what I hear, he seems to be a conductor of considerable gifts , and see no need to worry about the choice .

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Re: Petrenko (Kirill) gets the nod to head BPO

Post by jserraglio » Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:11 am

Modernistfan wrote:[snipped] The BPO over the years had come to define major-label recording for prestigious internationally-ranked orchestras, and this will be a wrenching change.
They certainly were dominant, but those days are long past -- many of the younger BPO players may now be tuned into what will most likely be the future: streaming audio and video, in-house produced CDs and DVDs, and lucrative touring engagements and residencies. No one orchestra will be able to dominate a fragmented market anymore, no more than any one network the news. Ironically, video and new tech is exactly what HvK was looking into in his last years.

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Re: Petrenko (Kirill) gets the nod to head BPO

Post by John F » Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:38 pm

And the royalties from the Philharmonic's Karajan recordings will continue for many years to come.
John Francis

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Re: Petrenko (Kirill) gets the nod to head BPO

Post by piston » Thu Jun 25, 2015 2:35 pm

To finish our little bit of Petrenko geneological research, Modernistfan, in another interview from when he first conducted in Israel, Petrenko revealed that his two grandmothers live in that country, apparently in the same apartment, which does suggest that he is of Jewish extraction on both sides of his family. I confess to having found this interview on Lebrecht's site (yes, I do go there on a regular basis). You will find his mention of his two grandmothers at 6:03:
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

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