Vasily Petrenko steps away from post at Russian orchestra until peace is restored

The Russian conductor has chosen to halt all future commitments in Russia, including his role as artistic director of the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia 'Evgeny Svetlanov'

MOSCOW REGION, RUSSIA - JULY 14, 2021: The festival's artistic director, Chief Conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, principal guest conductor of Evgeny Svetlanov State Academic Symphony Orchestra, Vasily Petrenko performs at the 2021 Summer Music Museum open-air music festival dedicated to Russian composer Igor Stravinsky and his era, held at the New Jerusalem Museum near the town of Istra in Moscow Region. Sergei Fadeichev/TASS (Photo by Sergei FadeichevTASS via Getty Images)

Conductor Vasily Petrenko has announced that he will halt all his future concerts and commitments in Russia until ‘peace is restored’ with Ukraine.

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The Russian-British conductor referenced the ‘tragedy unfolding in Ukraine’ in his statement, applauding the ‘historic and cultural ties between the Russian and Ukrainian peoples’ and denouncing the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Petrenko will suspend all his work in Russia, including any future commitments as artistic director of the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia ‘Evgeny Svetlanov’. He took over the role at the orchestra from fellow Russian conductor Vladimir Jurowski this season. Also this season, he took on another new position as music director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, having previously been based in Liverpool with the RLPO for 15 years.

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The news comes after Valery Gergiev was removed from his post as chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic and has been dropped from concert programmes and festival line-ups for refusing to condemn Putin’s leadership and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.