Vasily Petrenko, Chief Conductor @EUYO

The European Union Youth Orchestra is delighted to announce that Vasily Petrenko and Bernard Haitink take up new positions with the Orchestra. Vasily Petrenko will take up the position of Chief Conductor of the Orchestra in September 2015 and that Bernard Haitink CH, KBE, is appointed as Conductor Laureate of the EUYO with immediate effect.

 Vasily Petrenko has established an impressive relationship with the Orchestra over a number of years. Last summer he took over a demanding and varied set of programmes with the EUYO at short notice to great critical acclaim at the BBC Proms and elsewhere in Europe. He will lead the Orchestra in projects on a regular basis in future years, working with the EUYO to help plan its music programme and ensure the maintenance of the highest standards in all aspects of its artistic work. His achievements as Chief Conductor Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Chief Conductor Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, and Principal Guest Conductor Mikhailovsky Theatre St Petersburg have shown him to have exceptional skills, both as a conductor and also as a leader of orchestras.

Bernard Haitink, who has a particularly distinguished history with the EUYO, first conducted the Orchestra in 1989, and was its Music Director from 1994-2000 following the Orchestra’s foundation under Music Director Claudio Abbado. Bernard Haitink returns to conduct the EUYO in the summer of 2016 as part of a celebration of the Orchestra’s 40th anniversary, and the EUYO is thrilled to be able to renew this association with such an eminent musician, conductor and teacher.

The Orchestra also takes this opportunity to thank Vladimir Ashkenazy for his tireless and generous commitment to the EUYO, both as its Music Director for the last fifteen years, and also as a conductor with the Orchestra for many years before that. As the Orchestra moves forward to the next chapter of its life, Vladimir Ashkenazy’s contribution as a teacher and friend of the players will remain as an inspiration to be remembered and honoured.

“It is a great pleasure for me to accept the invitation to assume the role of Chief Conductor of the European Union Youth Orchestra. Since our first collaboration in 2008, I have been impressed by their musical excellence, artistic versatility, constant commitment to education and their cultural role within the European Union. It is an honour to be given the opportunity to build on the extraordinary legacy of Maestros Claudio Abbado, Bernard Haitink and Vladimir Ashkenazy and, together with a dynamic and forward-thinking management, lead this remarkable Orchestra in the years ahead.”Vasily Petrenko

“The imposing quality of Vasily Petrenko’s work with the EUYO in 2014, together with his acclaimed performances with a number of top orchestras throughout the world, are testament to a conductor of prodigious vision, skill and musicianship. We are delighted to welcome him as the Orchestra’s Chief Conductor. At the same time I know that everyone involved with the EUYO is honoured that Bernard Haitink returns to the Orchestra as Conductor Laureate, and I would like to thank retiring Music Director Vladimir Ashkenazy for his extraordinary generosity of spirit and friendship through a long and distinguished association with the Orchestra.”Marshall Marcus, CEO, European Union Youth Orchestra