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Kirill Petrenko to lead Berlin Philharmonic
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Berlin Philharmonic Names Kirill Petrenko as Chief Conductor

Monday, June 22, 2015 - 08:00 AM

The Berlin Philharmonic has chosen its next chief conductor. The orchestra announced today that 43-year old Russian maestro Kirill Petrenko will succeed Simon Rattle as chief conductor and music director when Rattle steps down in 2018. 

Petrenko is best-known for his work in the opera pit; he spent five years at the helm of the Berlin Komische Oper, and has been general music director of the Bavarian State Opera since 2013. The Berlin Philharmonic, whose 123 members elect their conductor, was unable to choose a successor when they first met to do so five weeks ago. But the musicians met again yesterday and elected Petrenko by what the orchestra’s website reports was “a large majority.”

The Berlin Philharmonic has had only three chief conductors in six decades – Herbert von Karajan from 1954-89, followed by Claudio Abbado and then Rattle, who arrived in 2002.

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