Kirill Petrenko was born in Omsk in 1972 where he studied piano at the College of Music. At the age of eleven he gave his first public performance as a pianist with the Omsk Symphony Orchestra. In 1990 his family (his father a violinist and his mother a musicologist) relocated to Vorarlberg. Petrenko first continued his studies in Feldkirch before moving to Vienna to study conducting at the Academy of Music and Performing Arts. His first job after graduation took him directly to the Vienna Volksoper where he was hired by Nikolaus Bachler.
From 1999 until 2002 Kirill Petrenko was General Music Director at the Meininger Theater. It was in 2001 in his role as conductor of Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen”, in the production by Christine Mielitz and with scenery by Alfred Hrdlicka, that he first achieved international acclaim. In 2002 Kirill Petrenko became General Music Director of the Komische Oper Berlin where, until 2007, he was credited with a series of highly significant productions.
During his time in Meiningen and Berlin his international career also began to flourish. In 2000 Kirill Petrenko made his debut at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, in 2001 at the Vienna Staatsoper and the Dresden Semperoper, in 2003 at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, the Opéra National de Paris, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, the Bayerische Staatsoper, the New York Metropolitan Opera and in 2005 at the Oper Frankfurt. In Lyon, in collaboration with Peter Stein, he conducted all three Pushkin-inspired operas by Peter Tchaikovsky (“Mazeppa”, “Eugene Onegin” and “Pique Dame”) from 2006 until 2008, which were also performed as a cycle in early 2010.
After moving on from the Komische Oper Berlin Kirill Petrenko worked as a freelance conductor. During this period his projects included conducting a new production of Leoš Janáček’s “Jenůfa” (Production: Barbara Frey) at the Bayerische Staatsoper in 2009. In Frankfurt he conducted Hans Pfitzner’s “Palestrina” (Production: Harry Kupfer) and Giacomo Puccini’s “Tosca” (Production: Andreas Kriegenburg). In 2011 he worked on two new productions of “Tristan and Isolde” at the Opéra National de Lyon and at the Ruhrtriennale.
To date, the most important orchestras Kirill Petrenko has been invited to conduct include the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Dresden Staatskapelle, the BR Symphony Orchestra, the Bayerisches Staatsorchester, the WDR Cologne Symphony Orchestra, the Hamburg Philharmonic and the NDR Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, the Frankfurt Opern- und Museumsorchester, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Santa Cecilia Orchestra in Rome, the RAI National Symphony Orchestra in Turin and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Kirill Petrenko has also conducted concerts at the Bregenz and Salzburg Festivals. From 2013 to 2015 he swung his baton for the new production of Richard Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen” during the Bayreuth Festival.
Since September 2013 Kirill Petrenko has been General Music Director at the Bayerische Staatsoper. Since 2013, he has taken to the rostrum for premieres of “Die Frau ohne Schatten”, “La clemenza di Tito”, “Die Soldaten”, “Lucia di Lammermoor” and “Lulu”, “South Pole” as well as a revisiting of Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen” among other works. In the season 2016/17 he will lead the new production of “Lady Macbeth von Mzensk” and “Tannhäuser” and as part of the repertoire “Die Fledermaus”, “Die Frau ohne Schatten”, “Der Rosenkavalier”, “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg”, “South Pole” and three Academy concerts, Since autumn 2019, Kirill Petrenko is Chief Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic.
As of June 2016