Kirill Petrenko conducts Beethoven, Brahms and Schoenberg

Kirill Petrenko (photo: Stephan Rabold)

After Beethoven’s Seventh and Ninth Symphonies, Kirill Petrenko now conducts the Eighth with the Berliner Philharmoniker, in which the composer humorously toys with the audience’s expectations. The programme also presents two splendid sets of orchestral variations: the good-humoured Haydn Variations by Johannes Brahms and Arnold Schoenberg’s Variations for Orchestra, in which the composer applied his twelve-tone technique for the first time. The work, which was premiered by the Berliner Philharmoniker under Wilhelm Furtwängler in 1928, shows not least how much Schoenberg was inspired by Brahms – a fascinating juxtaposition.

Berliner Philharmoniker

Kirill Petrenko conductor

Johannes Brahms

Variations on a Theme by Haydn in B flat major, op. 56a

Arnold Schoenberg

Variations for orchestra, op. 31

Ludwig van Beethoven

Symphony No. 8 in F major, op. 93

Dates and Tickets


Kirill Petrenko

Kirill Petrenko has been chief conductor and artistic director of the Berliner Philharmoniker since the 2019/20 season. Born in Omsk in Siberia, he received his training first in his home town and later in Austria. He established his conducting career in opera with positions at the Meininger Theater and the Komische Oper Berlin. From 2013 to 2020, Kirill Petrenko was general music director of Bayerische Staatsoper. He has also made guest appearances at the world’s leading opera houses, including Wiener Staatsoper, Covent Garden in London, the Opéra national in Paris, the Metropolitan Opera in New York and at the Bayreuth Festival. Moreover, he has conducted the major international symphony orchestras – in Vienna, Munich, Dresden, Paris, Amsterdam, London, Rome, Chicago, Cleveland and Israel. Since his debut in 2006, a variety of programmatic themes have emerged in his work together with the Berliner Philharmoniker. These include work on the orchestra’s core Classical-Romantic repertoire, most notably with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony when he took up his post. Unjustly forgotten composers such as Josef Suk and Erich Wolfgang Korngold are another of Kirill Petrenko’s interests. Russian works are also highlighted, with performances of Tchaikovsky’s operas MazeppaIolanta and The Queen of Spades attracting particular attention recently.

Schönberg’s op. 31

The rehearsals a hullabaloo - the premiere a minor fiasco.