Kirill Petrenko in conversation with Raphael Haeger (5 min.)
The music of Ludwig van Beethoven and works of European modernism formed the focal points of Kirill Petrenko’s first season as chief conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker. The conductor and orchestra turned to a completely different repertoire for the traditional New Year’s Eve concert, when they delighted audiences with orchestral pieces from the world of Broadway. The soloist in songs by Kurt Weill, Steven Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein was the singer Diana Damrau. In this interview with the Philharmoniker’s percussionist Raphael Haeger, Kirill Petrenko explains why he considers Bernstein’s West Side Story to be a milestone in American theatre history, and which biographical experiences inspired George Gershwin to write his famous orchestral work An American in Paris.