London won’t hear world’s most sought-after conductor

The Bavarian state orchestra is going on a Europe-wide tour in September with its music director Kirill Petrenko, incoming chief of the Berlin Philharmonic.

The tour will take in Milan, Lucerne, Dortmund, Bonn, Paris, Luxembourg, Berlin, Vienna and Frankfurt.

Why not London?

Because the BBC Proms turned it down and neither South Bank nor Barbican was interested.

Fog over Channel. Little England reigns eternal.

bild petrenko

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  • Financial reasons? I assume that’s why the Proms aren’t having them; don’t know about the Barbican or South Bank.

    Normally these places are very happy to have the BPO visit.

  • Some pretty ignorant and blinkered comments here. There isn’t a music festival on earth more cosmopolitan and open than the Proms, or a classical audience less hidebound by local prejudices than the UK’s. (Though equally, they’re amongst the least likely to be taken in by hype…)

    The only reason why London venues wouldn’t have taken a gig with Petrenko and the Phil (even with programmes as unimaginative as those) would be financial or practical ones. They’ve either charged too much, or the diary hasn’t aligned. Simple as that. Come on, Norman, you’ve got the contacts – tell us the real reason instead of just feeding the trolls…

  • Perhaps UK will not be part of Europe in September ! Everything will be more difficult : passports, border controls ect …
    It’s better that only english artists could play in London. It fits the current ” little England ” mentality which is now abundently on display in England !

    • Do you know what? I do in fact hope that the UK votes to leave the European Union in June. Because – as a German who lives happily in the UK and who now for a month or so in his apartment spending the winter months in Nice in the South of France – I look around and here I am stuck in a sclerotic museum (France) from the 1980s, where most shops still close at midday, just when the working population needs them; where buying a postage stamp for a letter outside of France involves an expedition (because the post offices are always closed for some reason or other) and the food, frankly, has for many years been past its best; indeed one can eat better and with far more variety in New York or London.

      I can’t wait to get back to England, or to revisit the USA, where one can get a steak that isn’t as tough and as difficult to chew as the sole of a French Legionnaire’s boot the ghastly French “Entrecote”.

      • Ah!….I want an apartment in the South of France. (I’ll cook my own food.) When you get tired of being fleeced in the Latin Quarter, may I recommend the Marks and Spencer food shop on the Boulevard St Michel, near Place Sorbonne – if you can elbow the crowds of Parisians out of the way, that is.

          • Ha, ha! I just wanted to comment on my last disappointing visit to the ‘gourmet capital of the world’. I’m sure there must be edible, affordable food in French restaurants but I haven’t found it yet.

      • My sons did 3 wine vintages in France – Bordeaux (twice) and Orange. He had very uncomplimentary things to say about the country which I won’t repeat here. Suffice it to say, some of those things have already been stated in Furzwangler’s comments.

  • England and the U.K. arenot the same entity. Yes, I agree about the little England mentality but don’t assume that it applies to Wales and Scotland. We are simply led by the nose by whatever the English decide.

  • Wonderful it is to learn that Petrenko is an admirer of Pfitzner’s music.
    He says he gets goose bumps conducting Pfitzner and with no other composer.
    He has gone on record that Pfitzner’s Palestrina is the greatest opera he
    ever conducted. We have lived to hear it….shout aloud Hosanna!

    • If he ever brings it to Covent Garden, will the audience be asked to respect their immediate neighbours and snore quietly?

        • … who is of course another big Pfitzner champion. In fact there are several not-so-visible Thielemann/Petrenko commonalities!

          I don’t agree with Jaybuyer and NL that the opera is a snooze, but its Act III surely doesn’t balance and pay off what has gone before. Great sections of music. Not a masterpiece.

    • On of two operas I’d dearly love to see at the Met–Palestrina and Mathis der Maler. And I’m sure never to see. But we’ll sure get the latest Ades or Adams triviality. Though I admit the title parts of either opera aren’t easy to cast.

      • I saw Palestrina at the Met: it was presented there in July of 1997 by the Royal Opera on tour, when Covent Garden was undergoing renovation and the company was homeless, conducted by Christian Thielemann. It is a big and expensive opera to produce, and probably without the ticket sales the Metropolitan Opera can expect with a comparably massive Wagner score, so perhaps we won’t encounter it at the Met again anytime soon.

  • I didn’t think the Proms programme had yet been announced. Maybe it will contain a surprise or two. Afterall, nobody else will announce their Proms dates before the Proms official announcement.

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