THURSDAY 14 JANUARY 2021 – It was announced today that the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation has approved the appointment of Vasily Petrenko as Artistic Director of the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia ‘Evgeny Svetlanov’. Succeeding Vladimir Jurowski, who has served in the role since 2011, he will take up the position on 1 September 2021, at the same time as he formally takes up the position of Music Director of London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Vasily Petrenko first conducted the State Academic Symphony Orchestra on 16 February 2008 at the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory, and in 2016 he became their Principal Guest Conductor. He has now conducted the orchestra in over 50 performances in Russia and abroad, in a wide range of repertoire, including some rarely performed masterpieces, and is also Artistic Director of the ‘Summer.Music.Museum’ which the orchestra hosts at the New Jerusalem Monastery of the Resurrection (Istra, Moscow Oblast). 

Olga Lubimova, Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation, stated: “We are very grateful to Vladimir Jurowski for the years he has dedicated to the development of the orchestra. Under his guidance the Svetlanov State Symphony Orchestra of Russia realised many outstanding projects, including numerous world premieres, and we look forward to a strong continuity in the leadership of the orchestra in the coming years. Vasily Petrenko is well known to the orchestra, bringing an ideal combination of great responsibility and a creative approach to their collaborations. I have no doubt that he will preserve the glorious traditions and the high reputation of the orchestra, and enhance their new projects together with his own distinctive abilities.”

Vasily Petrenko commented: “It is a great honour for me to become the Artistic Director of one of the world’s finest orchestras, to continue the proud history it represents, from its foundation by Alexander Gauk, and expansion under Evgeny Svetlanov and many other conductors, and to develop its profile into the future, in Russia and on the international stage. The orchestra boasts a magnificent team of musicians, and a huge artistic potential. I am so much looking forward to our many concerts together in Moscow and beyond in the upcoming years. Classical music, especially that of the Russian tradition, deserves an even wider recognition and will become a very important source of inspiration and optimism in such difficult times. Our art is a vital force in making the world a better place!”