Vasily Petrenko
Photo: Mark McNulty

Russian conductor Vasily Petrenko has suspended work in his home country over the « tragedy unfolding in Ukraine ». The State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia’s artistic director said he would not work there « until peace has been restored ».

Here is his statement: « The tragedy unfolding in Ukraine is already one of the greatest moral failures and humanitarian disasters of our century. The historic and cultural ties between the Russian and Ukrainian peoples, of which I am proud, can never be used to justify Russia’s invasion.

In response to these terrible events, I have decided to suspend my work in Russia, including all future commitments as Artistic Director of the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia ‘Evgeni Svetlanov’, until peace has been restored. I believe in the promotion of friendship and understanding across all boundaries. Peace must be restored as soon as possible. »

Petrenko is Music Director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Chief Conductor of the European Union Youth Orchestra and Conductor Laureate of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

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