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Berlin Philharmonic Elects Kirill Petrenko of Bavarian State Opera to Chief Conductor

by Ian Holubiak   Jun 23, 2015 10:16 AM EDT

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With the Berlin Philharmonic's chief conductor position still outstanding, it appears a decision has finally been reached. With the announcement make on Monday, Russian-born conductor and music director of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, Kirill Petrenko, will take the reins and succeed Simon Rattle.

As The New York Times reports, Mr. Petrenko was chosen on Sunday by a "large majority" of the 128-member orchestra. Peter Riegelbauer, one of the musicians on the board, commented, "I embrace the orchestra. The orchestra and the score itself are always the focus - not [Petrenko's] own person."

He continued, "He is always able to transform a concert hall with his unique charisma."

The Berlin Philharmonic's announcement came more than a month after orchestra members failed in a 12-hour deliberation on May 12. However, unlike the hung jury that stood before it, the election on Sunday took only four hours to reach a decision.

Sir Simon Rattle, who was not present at the press conference held by the Philharmonic, said in a statement:

"I have admired Kirill Petrenko for years, and I am delighted that he will be my successor with this wonderful orchestra. I congratulate the Philharmoniker on making such a forward-looking decision."

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