Berlin Phil posts Kirill Petrenko ‘interview’

The incoming chief conductor has a well-known aversion to media. He gives no interviews, appears on no TV shows.

For his first season launch, he allowed the Berlin Philharmonic website to carry a so-called interview.

No questions are asked and not much information is volunteered.

Sample: ‘The special feature of the Berliner Philharmoniker is the skill and courage of every single musician, whether solo or tutti, to radiate so much freedom while making music. A freedom that always keeps an eye on the whole structure, a controlled risk in which the great order does not waver, yet which allows a total unleashing at the moment of performance.’

More here, if you’re still awake.

An ‘interview’ like this restores one’s faith in journalism.

share this

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on google
  • I can well understand people like Radu Lupu, Carlos Kleiber and now KP rarely wanting to speak to the press for fear of being misrepresented and to have to listen to a load of boring questions being asked.

    But – yes – this cut and paste approach shown above does no favours either.

    • Very true, as also of the magnificent Grigori Sokolov. Thankfully, the one interview with him I’ve come across stuck closely to the subject of MUSIC! And very interesting it was, very specific questions appropriate for Sokolov and very interesting answers. But today, interviews like that one are like emeralds in a sea of sand dunes.

  • He is much more communicative than Abbado at least. Simon Rattle, on the other hand, seemed just as comfortable talking as making music.

  • Kirill Petrenko has a hell of a lot to say through making music. That should be enough.

  • There are several interviews/discussions with him from his earlier Berlin Phil guest stints that are quite good – in both English and German. I don’t care if he doesn’t talk to journalists but I hope he’ll at least talk to the DCH camera or Berlin Phil players on occasion.

  • “the skill and courage of every single musician”

    Now “courage” is a term that is being thrown around freely these days. (The CSO strikers also used the word to describe themselves.)

    I don’t know if the Berliners had it in the 1940s (or for that matter, if the Chicagoans had it in the 1950s), but I’m glad they all have an abundance of it today.

    • Can you specify, what ‘courage’ from your POV for a Berlin Phil musician specifically would have entailed, and what you feel was missing in that regard?
      It’s so easy to speak ignorantly from one’s armchair, made in China by cheap labor…

  • Petrenko has the job because the BPO believe him to be the best available, given his years in Munich they are probably not wrong. In order to bring out the best in what will now be seen as his orchestra he really does not need to be media friendly he needs to serve the orchestra in the best possible way which is through their playing. There are far too many ‘star’ conductors, jetting from one orchestra to another via the more gilded opera houses who might satisfy the craving for pizazz and marketing potential but who are more shadow than substance. Maybe a touch of reticence in this world of gush and glamour might do us all a power of good.

  • When the orchestra is of such quality you wonder what more a conductor can bring.
    You can’t improve perfection.
    Humility and skill ,discretion with the media is the best attitude.Let the music speak.

  • I’ve just watched some footage of him and am truly appalled. The BPO actually voted for this poser…? Rarely have I seen such ridiculous conducting.

    • Just a suggestion. Try a ‘blind test’: listen to something conducted by him without watching. Then judge.

      • I might amend that and say make it double blind. Compare with a few others without knowing which one you’re listening to.

  • “Maybe a touch of reticence in this world of gush and glamour might do us all a power of good.”

    Dear ‘Cynical Bystander’. you’re not that cynical you know. This is one of the best posts I’ve read here in some time !!

    I get a good feeling about KP. Let’s all of us open our ears to what he will offer.

  • On the Digital Concert Hall website there are at least four excellent interviews of Petrenko done by members of the orchestra.

  • >