Just in: Berlin Phil flails as Petrenko signs new deal with Munich

It was always to be expected that Kirill Petrenko, the outside candidate, would not play entirely by their rules when the Berlin Philharmonic asked him to be their chief conductor.

Today, he renewed his contract as music director with the Bavarian State Opera until August 2021.

In a conciliatory gesture to Berlin, he will be known in 20/21 as guest conductor, not music director – albeit without diminishing his input.

Nikolaus Bachler also renewed today as general manager of Bavarian State Opera.

He said: ‘Kirill Petrenko and I agreed months ago to continue our work at Bayerische Staatsoper for another three seasons. We still have many ideas and joint projects that we look forward to in this very unique opera house with all its staff.

Kirill Petrenko said: ‘I feel very dedicated to Bayerische Staatsoper, to the Staatsorchester and not least of all to Munich’s wonderful public. For me, personally, it is important to work on a small, joint era in this house and with this orchestra.’

kirill-petrenko-portraet-500x341

UPDATE: Berlin Philharmonic reaction here.

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  • Mr. Lebrecht, why do you regularly perceive the plant the seed of division, mistrust and conflict, when the truth is actually a normal form of coexistence in the real world?
    Just look at the biography of HvK to understand, that these type of arrangements are no sign of failure, but actually business as usual.

    • I agree. Business as usual is not only Petrenko’s parallel positions in Berlin and Munich, but also the efforts of the press and bloggers to dramatize all this.

    • I don’t know what rule(s) Petrenko has contravened. Many of us have been appalled, and said so, by the number of conductors who have taken on two, even three, orchestras, often with an opera house to boot. The consequence is hard to miss, for many orchestras are as a result giving performances that are ill-prepared, if prepared at all. I can’t think of a better example than Gergiev. This has been ‘business as usual’ for a long time now, and it seemed to be largely assumed that Petrenko would stay with the BSO at the time of his Berlin appointment. This is another non-news item (presumably ‘exclusive’).

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