It’s the leaving of Liverpool

It’s the leaving of Liverpool


norman lebrecht

May 05, 2020

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic has just rolled out its 2020-21 seaso, the 15th and last under music director Vasily Petrenko.

Vasily Petrenko curated ‘Signature Series’ celebrating his 15 years as Chief Conductor
Three new Artists in Residence – Baritone Roderick Williams, pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason and Welsh harpist Catrin Finch with Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita
World premieres including works by Dani Howard, Athanasia Kontou, Julian Joseph, Grace-Evangeline Mason and Robert Laidlow
A focus on major works by Mahler, Strauss, Stravinsky, Zemlinsky, and Piazzola

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s 180th season, and Vasily Petrenko’s final season as Chief Conductor, before assuming the role of Conductor Laureate, features a compelling programme across a wide variety of repertoire.

Vasily Petrenko’s ‘Signature Series’ concerts feature works by Elgar, Rachmaninov, Shostakovich and others, that he and the Orchestra are well-known for from concerts, recordings and tours. The series culminates in the final concert of the season (10 July) featuring a new composition by Grace Evangeline-Mason and the return of pianist Simon Trpčeski.

We celebrate significant composer birthdays in 2021. Marking 100 years since tango composer, Piazzolla’s birth, we feature the World Premiere of the orchestration of his Midsummer Night’s Dream Suite for Orchestra in a concert which also includes pianist Pablo Ziegler who collaborated with Piazzolla during the last decade of his life (6 February).

Vasily Petrenko champions the music of Austrian composer Alexander von Zemlinsky 150 years since his birth in 1871 with performances of The Burial of Spring (Frühlingsbegräbnis) (8 July) and Four Orchestral Pieces (12 November).

50 years after his death, we celebrate the genius of Stravinsky with performances of Firebird (8/11 April), his Violin Concerto (1 May) and Rite of Spring (8 July) and other works.

Two concerts mark 40 years to the day since John Lennon’s death (8/9 December), with a revival of the John Lennon Songbook, telling the story of his life through his music.

Also included are performances of Mahler’s 5th, 6th and 9th Symphonies (5 November / 3 December/ 11 March / 13 March) and Mahler’s Symphony No 8 performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall (18 October).



  • christopher storey says:

    Thank goodness for the end of Petrenko

    • MJA says:

      Well you’re certainly entitled to your opinion – but what a bizarre, dumb comment (my opinion of yours).

      • christopher storey says:

        Nothing bizarre about my view, although I recognise that it would be hotly disputed. When Petrenko first appeared as a ( very young ) guest at Liverpool, he pratted about , at one stage during a Sunday afternoon concert turning round and pretending to conduct the audience . I did not spend susbtantial amounts of money on having a box for complete seasons to be treated with that sort of tomfoolery , and when he was appointed full time we gave up the box and have never been back

    • Allen says:

      Well, “Christopher Storey”, if that is your real name, you might not want to use it when posting comments, but it is nice to see that you are out of jail:

      • christopher storey says:

        Allen : thank you for that link . Sadly, I was 33 years old very much more than 40 years ago, but curiously I do have a link to Teesside Crown Court, having sat there as a Judge many times! – and yes, it is my real name

    • Jaura says:

      Have you worked with him? If you had then you wouldn’t be saying this. He’s a fabulous conductor.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Curious you should dislike Petrenko. Many critics have rated some of his recordings very highly indeed (above much more esteemed orchestras). This is particularly true for Shostakovich and the Russian repertoire.

  • Cynical Bystander says:

    Given the dire warnings of closures of all large scale (more than 10 attendees) gatherings for the foreseeable future (sometime around 2025) better not rush to book your season tickets. Still, you’ve got to admire their optimism which is something I suppose in these times of all embracing pessimism.

    • Ludo says:

      Probably more like 2040…

    • Good One!! says:

      Best comment!!

      Had enough of all the people who have a sad life and wants everyone else to have a sad life as well by putting their frustration to annoying comments.

      I don’t know when live concerts will come back, and I sure hope it will be very soon (have a look at Linz for some optimism), but please, all of those people who are sending us artists to pack our bags and go to work at tesco until 2022, please stay with your bitterness at home also long after the virus will become history.

      I just have to wonder what do you need to go through in your life to get to the point that you look ONLY at the bad things.

    • Don Ciccio says:

      I am actually buying season tickets and subscriptions as I would normally do, fully knowing that many (most? all?) of the performances will be cancelled. But this is a way to support my local orchestras.

      Of course, not everyone can do that, and others may support the orchestras in different way.

      • Saxon Broken says:

        It depends where you live, but many areas will be able to return to some kind of normality in the next few months. And I suspect concerts will restart before the end of the year (perhaps earlier). For example, the Netherlands have announced they plan concerts to restart in September.

  • Amos says:

    Please assure us that the photo is archival.

  • lusingando says:

    Mahler’s 8th in October?

    • Peter San Diego says:

      Perhaps in Webern’s chamber orchestra arrangement.

    • Cynical Bystander says:

      If they keep it to “the Symphony of less than a thousand” they might be allowed to stream it from their living rooms. And of course as NL pointed out earlier they won’t even need a conductor 🙂