Kirill Petrenko Withdraws from Berlin Philharmonic’s New Year’s Eve Concert 

Israeli conductor Lahav Shani will step in for Petrenko, who is unable to participate due to health reasons

Kirill Petrenko (Photo credit: Chris Christodoulou)


“It is with great regret that chief conductor Kirill Petrenko has to cancel his participation in the New Year’s Eve (NYE) concerts of the Berliner Philharmoniker at short notice due to acute back pain,” the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO) stated on their website. 

“The orchestra is very grateful to the young Israeli conductor Lahav Shani for taking over as conductor,” they continued. “The program has been partly changed.”

Petrenko made his BPO debut in 2006 and began his chief conductor role in 2019. Originally, the NYE concerts were to include the overture to Erich Korngold’s “Much Ado About Nothing” and pieces from the “Schlagobers” orchestral suite by Richard Strauss, which have been replaced.

BPO’s NYE performance will now feature Johann Strauss’ "Die Fledermaus, Ouverture," Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Fritz Kreisler’s "Liebesleid" with soloist Janine Jansen, Stravinsky’s 1919 Firebird Suite No. 2, and Ravel’s "La Valse."

This will be Shani’s second time conducting the BPO following his debut with the ensemble in September 2020. Shani is currently the music director of the Israel Philharmonic.

He studied both piano and double bass from a young age and attended Israel’s Buchmann-Mehta School of Music and Berlin’s “Hanns Eisler” Academy of Music. Shani’s mentors have included Hannah Shalgi, Arie Vardi, Christian Ehwald, Fabio Bidini, and Daniel Barenboim. 

BPO’s NYE concert will be broadcast in cinemas, on the radio, and on television. 

For more information and to watch the concert, click here.