Grammy nominee and Echo Klassik winner George Petrou is a highly distinguished conductor with a remarkable international career.
Ηe is the Artistic director of the Internationale Händel Festspiele-Göttingen and the Artistic director of the renowned Athens based orchestra Armonia Atenea, with which he tours and records extensively, performing both on period or modern instruments.
From 2020 until 2022 he was the Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra of the Greek Radio.
In addition to his conducting activities, George Petrou has developed a vivid interest in stage directing and has signed several successful productions.
In the current season he will conduct Purcell’s “Miranda” at oper Köln, Gluck’s “Iphigenie en Tauride” at the Olympia theatre in Athens, Rossini’s “Aureliano in Palmira” at the Rossini opera festival in Pesaro and he will stage and conduct Handel’s “Semele” at the Internationale Händel Festspiele-Goettingen and Sakellaridis’ celebrated greek operetta “O Vaftistikos” (the Godson) at the Olympia theatre in Athens. Future engagements include performances at Komische Oper Berlin and Oper Zurich, and concert appearences at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, theatre Champs Elysees in Paris, Palau della Musica in Barcelona, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Theater an der Wien in Vienna and debut apearences in La Fenice in Venice and La Scala in Milan.
George Petrou recently staged and conducted Vivaldi’s “Giustino” at the Drottningholm Slottsteater in Stockholm, Händel’s “Giulio Cesare” at the Nederlandse Reisopera and the Internationale Händel-Festspiele Göttingen, Mozart’s “Idomeneo” at the Olympia Theatre in Athens.
Other highlights include Rossini’s “Barbiere” at Oper Köln, N. Porpora’s “Carlo il Calvo” and “Polifemo” at the Bayreuth Baroque Festival, Verdi’s “La Traviata” at Théâtre du Capitole du Toulouse, Rossini’s “La Donna del lago” in Lausanne, Wiesbaden and Zagreb, Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” at the Greek National Opera, Vivaldi’s “Orlando furioso” in Teatro Real in Madrid and Theater an der Wien, Handel’s “Alcina” at the Athens Festival.
Born in Athens, George Petrou studied piano at the Athens Conservatory and later at the Royal College and the Royal Academy of Music in London. After establishing a successful career as a concert pianist he turned into conducting.
As a conductor, he quickly gained international attention. Numerous awards and award-winning recordings for the world’s leading record companies (Deutsche Gramophon, DECCA, MDG etc) are a testimony to his extraordinary artistic success. In his work, particular emphasis is placed on historical performance practice and is currently considered one of today’s leading baroque specialists. However his vast repertoire extends to works from the late 19th and 20th c.
He has been a guest of major opera houses including the Leipzig Opera, the Strasbourg Opera House, the Opéra de Nice, the Theater an der Wien, the Lausanne Opera, the Korea National Opera, the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, the Royal Opera of Versailles, the Royal Swedish Opera, the Teatro Petrucelli, the Teatro lirico di Cagliari, the Teatro Verdi in Trieste and many others.
He has performed at major festivals including the Salzburg Whitsun Festival, the BBC Proms, the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, the Klara festival in Brussels, the Händel festivals of Halle and Karlsruhe, the festival di Valle d’Itria in Martina Franca.
George Petrou has been working with renowned orchestras including the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the New Russia Symphony, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre nationale de Capitol du Toulouse, the Filarmonica Toscanini, the Symphony Orchestra of the National Arts Center of Canada, the Gurzenich orchestra, the Munich Radio Orchestra, the Athens and Theassaloniki State Orchestras among others. He regularly conducts some of the most known period instrument ensembles like Il Pοmo d’Oro, Concerto Köln, B’Rock, la Lira d’Orfeo.
George Petrou was honored as an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, London (ARAM). He was awarded the title of “Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres” from the French government and the “Grand Prize” by the Union of Greek critics for music and drama.