VASILY Petrenko has agreed a new open-ended contract to stay with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
The 36-year-old chief conductor’s current term at the Philharmonic Hall was set to come to an end in 2015 – the Phil’s 175th anniversary.
But today RLPO bosses revealed the Russian maestro has committed himself to stay with the orchestra for the foreseeable future.
It will make him the Phil’s longest serving conductor since Sir Charles Groves, who took up the position exactly 50 years ago and was principal conductor from 1963-77.
He said today: "The thing for me was to make an open-ended contract because everybody has been asking when I’m leaving!
"Obviously nothing lasts forever but we don’t have any plans to terminate the contract in the near future.
"I made the decision because it’s a pleasure to be on stage with those people and it’s a pleasure to play the music – not play the notes, but play the music and to get to the core of the piece and play emotional music rather than the technical aspects. And we’re getting more and more into the character and what the music is about rather than how it is written.
"I still see a lot of potential with the orchestra. We still have a lot of work to do.
"And the third thing was I feel the support from the audience, and I feel obliged to give them more and more pleasures and drama. Also we have exciting years ahead – 2013/14 when we have capital development on the hall and 2015 which is the anniversary of the orchestra and also of Tchaikovsky so there will be a lot of things happening."
St Petersburg-born Petrenko first joined the RLPO as its principal conductor on a three year contract in 2006. That was extended first to 2012 and then most recently by another three years to 2015.
He became chief conductor in 2009.