Good news. Vasily Petrenko has signed on to become the longest-serving Chief Conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (RLPO) for 35 years.

The RLPO’s much-praised conductor’s contract had been due to expire in Summer 2015, but the Russian has agreed to stay at the helm of the RLPO, the UK’s oldest professional symphony orchestra, for another three years.

The new contract means that Petrenko, who took up the baton in 2006 and became Chief Conductor in 2009, will become the Orchestra’s longest serving conductor since Sir Charles Groves, who took up the position exactly 50 years ago and was principal conductor between 1963 and 1977.
 
Petrenko’s ongoing commitment will see him conduct 25 concerts a year in Liverpool and on national and international touring dates with the Orchestra, as well as recordings and other special concerts and events. The RLPO’s home, the Philharmonic Hall, is on the verge of a significant refurbishment in 2014.
 
The news has pleased the council too, who have praised Petrenko for working on free events such as Music on the Waterfront. At this year’s August bank holiday weekend the conductor will lead the RLPO in a free performance at Sefton Park at the first ever Liverpool International Music Festival.

Sounds good to use, literally. Here’s Petrenko conducting Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 6 in 2010.