Conductor Vasily Petrenko.

In Thursday’s (11/2) VAN Magazine, Hugh Morris writes, “In his time as the Chief Conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Vasily Petrenko threw himself into musical and civic life in Liverpool, and was garlanded for it … In 2021, Petrenko left to become Music Director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) in London…. The role of the conductor in society is discussed regularly, but less so how the conductor perceives that society. VAN: The city of Liverpool welcomes the conductor of its orchestra as a sort of civic leader, as opposed to a music director who turns up a couple of times a week and conducts some concerts. It’s a role that goes beyond the concert hall. Petrenko: It’s important anywhere you are; of course, you have to be professional on the podium when you rehearse or when they perform, but there’s a social aspect too. It’s an essential question: Why we are there, and what we are doing for the community? Concerts are concerts; OK, the people are coming, and they are enjoying it. But then, what are we doing in wider terms? What are we doing for schools, for education, for deprived people, for mental health, for everything else?”