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To celebrate the announcement of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2012/13 Season, Neil Atkinson and John Gibbons were invited to chat with Chief Conductor Vasily Petrenko about his time in Liverpool, his love of the city, his plans for the future and also his one of his other great passions, Liverpool Football Club.

The award-winning Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2012/2013 season, announced on Tuesday to over 1000 guests at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, features compelling orchestral and choral music from across the classical repertoire, alongside some of the most exiting contemporary music performed by the Orchestra and its new music group, Ensemble 10/10, and Liverpool Philharmonic’s distinguished chamber music series. The Orchestra will welcome international artists to Liverpool, including a number of highly-anticipated Liverpool debuts. With a wide range of learning programmes complementing the concerts, the line-up continues to build on the successes of recent seasons.

“The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic are on a high and demand attention”
Fiona Maddocks, The Observer 2012

In his seventh season at the helm, Chief Conductor Vasily Petrenko will lead the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in 25 concerts in Liverpool and a further 9 concerts in cities across the UK and on tour to Spain in October 2012. Petrenko and the Orchestra will continue their critically acclaimed, signature journeys through the music of Rachmaninov, and Shostakovich performing his 10th Symphony, the recording of which is the Gramophone Awards Orchestral Recording of the Year 2011, and the 4th and 14th Symphonies, both of which will also be recorded for the critically acclaimed cycle. Petrenko will revisit Mahler’s spectacular and thrilling Symphony No. 1, which he last conducted with the Orchestra in 2010, and perform Symphony No. 10, the unfinished work completed by musicologist Deryck Cooke.

A performance of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring will be performed in the week of the actual centenary of the first performance, recreating the exact programme performed in Paris on that famous night in 1913. Petrenko will explore more music written by Stravinsky and others for the influential Ballets Russes, including The Firebird, Petrushka, Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances and Debussy’s Prélude a l’aprés-midi d’un faune.

An all-Wagner programme in the 200th anniversary year of the composer’s birth sees Petrenko voyage through Wagner’s great Ring Cycle. The concert includes a performance of Act III of Tristan and Isolde with Richard Berkeley-Steele (tenor, Tristan), Jeanne-Michèle Charbonnet (soprano, Isolde) and Phillip Joll (baritone, Kurwenal). And marking the Benjamin Britten centenary, Petrenko will conduct the composer’s Symphony for Cello and Orchestra with young German cellist Daniel Müller-Schott.
New Music

Petrenko will conduct the orchestra when Cormac Henry gives the world premiere of Kurt Schwertsik’s Flute Concerto co-commissioned with Brucknerhaus Linz, continuing Liverpool Philharmonic’s commitment to commissioning concertos for the Orchestra’s principal players. And Petrenko conducts the UK premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Cello Concerto, co-commissioned by Liverpool Philharmonic with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra and Gewandhaus zu Leipzig, and performed by Paul Watkins.

Liverpool Philharmonic’s award-winning Ensemble 10/10, under the direction of Clark Rundell will present another compelling season of contemporary music by international composers, including the world premiere of a new work by Liverpool Philharmonic’s former composer in residence, David Horne.

Must See Artists and Rising Stars

International soloists joining Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra include Viviane Hagner in Beethoven’s Violin Concerto; Simon Trpčeski performing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 2; Joaquin Achucarro in Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2; Giovanni Sollima in Haydn’s Cello Concerto in D and his own Vibrez! For Two Cellos and Strings performed with the Orchestra’s principal cello, Jonathan Aasgaard. Tine Thing Helseth performs Arutyunyan’s Trumpet Concerto and the violin virtuoso Jack Liebeck performs Sibelius’ Violin Concerto. Making Liverpool debuts are Leif Ove Andsnes in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, Behzod Abduraimov in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor K466 and Nelson Freire in Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor.

Liverpool-born Paul Lewis, internationally recognised as one of the leading pianists of his generation performs Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25 in C, K503 and continues his Schubert piano cycle in Liverpool Philharmonic’s chamber music series.

As part of the Britten Centenary celebrations, Richard Farnes, making his Liverpool debut conducts the Orchestra and young singers from the Liverpool-based European Opera Centre and the RNCM Choir in The Beggar’s Opera.

Other exciting Liverpool debuts by international artists include pianists HJ Lim, Denis Kozhukin, Alice Sara Ott and Yundi in Liverpool Philharmonic’s chamber music series. Violinist Guiliano Carmignola plays Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and cellist Mario Brunello performs Dvoràk’s Cello Concerto. The brother and sister duo Mari and Håkon Samuelsen make their UK debuts in Brahms’ Double Concerto.

Distinguished visiting conductors include baroque specialist Ottavio Dantone, who makes three appearances, including one with fellow-Italian Guiliano Carmignola, and leads a performance of Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir.

Liverpool welcomes back Thomas Dausgaard, Claus Peter Flor, Andrew Manze, Hannu Lintu, Alexander Shelley, Ryan Wigglesworth and film-music maestro Richard Kaufman. John Wilson conducts Tasmin Little in a performance of Delius’s Violin Concerto as well as leading three concerts in the Christmas season.

Conductors Alan Buribayev, Pietari Inkinen and Michal Nesterowicz all make their Liverpool debuts.

In addition to singing in Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle with an international cast of singers, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir will join the Orchestra for performances including Orff’s Carmina Burana, Dvořàk’s Te Deum and Liverpool Philharmonic’s annual performance of Handel’s Messiah.

Continuing the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s long tradition of performing film music live in concert, Carl Davis and the Orchestra accompany the screening of the magnificently restored black and white silent film version of Ben-Hur playing Davis’ own score. The award-winning American film music conductor Richard Kaufman returns to conduct a tribute to the king of film music, John Williams. Following a hugely popular debut in 2011, John Suchet, journalist, broadcaster, Beethoven scholar and the voice of Classic FM’s morning show presents the annual Carol Concerts with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir and Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Choir, with the Mexican tenor Jesús León as guest soloist.

New this Season – Coffee Concerts

A new series of three informal concerts at mid-day, lasting for one hour, are performed by the orchestra in casual dress, and the conductor chatting briefly about the works being performed. Vasily Petrenko conducts two concerts; excerpts from Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier with Mozart’s Symphony No. 35; and in the second concert, Brahms’ Symphony No. 4. The third concert will include Tchaikovsky’s Romeo & Juliet Overture.

Chamber Music

Liverpool Philharmonic’s chamber series performed in the beautiful setting of St. George’s Hall Concert Room in Liverpool features performances by some of the world’s finest chamber ensembles, vocalists and recital artists. Highlights include the continuation of Paul Lewis’ Schubert piano cycle; a rare UK concert performance by former Chopin Competition winner Yundi; recitals by Julian Lloyd Webber (cello) with John Lenehan (piano); Kate Royal(soprano) with Malcolm Martineau (piano); and Tine Thing Helseth (trumpet) with Kathryn Stott (piano). Joglaresa celebrate a Medieval Christmas and there are performances by the Brodsky Quartet, in a concert sponsored by the Rodewald Concert Society, the Parker and Pražák Quartets and the Arcanto Quartet making their Liverpool debut.

Family Concerts and Learning Programmes

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s imaginative and popular series of family concerts presented by Alasdair Malloy, and learning programmes including Classic Intros before concerts; Discover the Classics presented by Classic FM’s Creative Director, Tim Lihoreau; Lunchtime Learning presented by composer Ian Stephens; The Liverpool Philharmonic Experience, SuperSing and SuperOrchestra all complement the concert season, provide an introduction to the Orchestra and opportunities to participate in and find out more about the music.

Liverpool Philharmonic Capital Development Project

At the season launch event, Chief Executive Michael Eakin announced that Liverpool Philharmonic has been successful in securing £634,000 from Arts Council England (ACE) in 2012, the first step towards a major refurbishment of Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.

The seed funding from ACE will enable Liverpool Philharmonic to appoint a design team of architects and surveyors to develop the initial design phase of the project.  The capital development project will focus on three broad areas

Improving the experience for Liverpool Philharmonic’s audiences, participants and visitors
Improving the experience for Liverpool Philharmonic’s artists
Increasing sustainability

Liverpool Philharmonic has set an ambition for this project of up to £10million and plan to complete all of the works to the iconic Liverpool Philharmonic Hall by 2015. Liverpool Philharmonic will be making major applications for public and private support in 2013.


Public booking for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2012/13 season opens on Monday, 11 June 2012.

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