Vasily Petrenko with his 5 year old son Sasha pictured after Vasily received an Honorary Doctorate at Hope University _460
CONDUCTOR Vasily Petrenko was last night made an honorary professor by a Liverpool university.
Dressed in colourful academic robes, he was also made a Doctor of Letters by Liverpool Hope University, recognising his impact as principal conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra since 2005.
University vice chancellor Gerald Pillay said: “He has made an indelible mark on the cultural scene.
“In honouring maestro Petrenko, we celebrate the unique relationship between the orchestra and the university which does not exist anywhere else.”
The university is the Philharmonic’s higher education partner, and members of the orchestra are “visiting Fellows” of the university and teach Hope's students.
Last night, the 32-year-old Russian said: “This is a very big honour for me as my mother was a professor in St Petersburg University – but this is more for the Philharmonic than for me.”
His gesture drew applause from a 200-strong audience at The Great Hall that included his wife, Eugenia, and scene-stealing five-year-old son, Alexander, whose blue robes and mortar won him special acclaim.