PLANS are well advanced for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (RLPO) to perform in Asia in 2015.
It will follow its successful 2010 tour of China, during which it played a leading role in a gala concert to celebrate Liverpool’s presence at the World Expo in Shanghai.
The plans were revealed at the official announcement of an extension to the contract of RLPO chief conductor Vasily Petrenko, which will keep him at the Phil indefinitely.
Vasily, 36, said he wanted to stay to oversee some of the big developments taking place at the Hope Street concert venue over the next few years.
Those include a major £10m refurbishment of the Philharmonic Hall, due to start next year and be completed in time for the Phil’s 175th anniversary in 2015.
Vasily said he had turned down invitations from a number of other world-class orchestras to remain in Liverpool.
He added: “I would like to give a gesture by this extension, that there are endless opportunities for the orchestra, for the building itself and for what we are doing musically. It is a three-way relationship between us, the city and the audience.
“The major reason to stay is I feel at home here in Liverpool. It’s like a family and you don’t live in a family by three-year deals.”
As well as his work with the RLPO, Vasily’s international reputation as a conductor will continue to take him all over the world to wield the baton at different orchestras.
In addition to the planned visit to Asia with the RLPO, he will be going to Australia and New Zealand in 2015.
He said: “It is global work, but that is a feature of the job.”
Michael Eakin, chief executive of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, said: “We have achieved a huge amount over the last few years, but there is a shared view that there is a great deal more we want to do.”