George Petrou is one of the most sought-after conductors of his generation and one of the leading baroque specialists. For many years he has been artistic director of the renowned Armonia Atenea orchestra and the Greek Radio National Symphony Orchestra. Born in Greece, he studied at the Athens Conservatoire, the Royal College and the Royal Academy of Music in London and began his career as a pianist in a piano duo with Christos Papageorgiu. With his orchestra Armonia Atenea, he can be heard around the world with both historical and modern instruments.
In addition to his activities as a conductor, he is also active as a director of musical theater productions and he successfully performs at major opera houses such as at the Leipzig Opera, at the Théâtre de Capitole du Toulouse, the Opéra national du Rhin, the Opéra de Nice, at the Theater an der Wien, the Opéra de Lausanne, the Korea National Opera, at the Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari, at the Teatro Verdi di Trieste , at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées, the Opéra royal du château de Versailles, the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm and the Greek National Opera.
He regularly appears with renowned orchestras at important festivals including the Salzburg Whitsun Festival, the BBC Proms, the Klarafestival in Brussels and the Handel Festival in Halle and Karlsruhe.
His repertoire has been wide ranging from baroque to contemporary music. In recent years he has conducted Hasse‘s Siroe in Vienna, Versailles, Lausanne, Wiesbaden and in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Die Zauberflöte at the Greek National Opera, La Cenerentola and L'italiana in Algeri in Trieste, Medea in Nice, Handel's Scipione at the Handel Festival in Halle, Bernstein's West Side Story in Athens, Orfeo ed Euridice in St. Gallen, La gazza ladra at the Teatro Petruzzelli, Vivaldi's Orlando finto pazzo in Seoul, Sondheim's Sweeney Todd in Athens, Handel's Ottone, re di Germania and Zingarellis Giulietta e Romeo at the Theater an der Wien, Il barbiere di Siviglia and Lucia di Lammermoor at the Greek National Opera, La donna del lago in Lausanne, Wiesbaden and Zagreb, La traviata in Toulouse and Serse in Karlsruhe.
In 2021 George will work with the Toscanini Orchestra in Parma and will conduct Vivaldi's Orlando Furioso at the Teatro Real, Berlioz‘s Symphonie Fantastique at the Athens Festival, A. Scarlatti's Griselda at the Valle d'Itria festival, Martina Franca, a Bel-canto Concert at the Rossini Opera festival in Pesaro and Rossini's La Donna del Lago in Moscow.
George Petrou worked for renowned record labels such as Deutsche Grammophon, DECCA and MDG. His recordings have received numerous prizes including the renowned Echo Klassik award with Handel's Tamerlano in 2008 and “Recording of the Year” at the International Opera Awards with Handel's Alessandro. The recording of Handel's Ottone, re di Germania was nominated for a Grammy in the “Best Opera recording” category.
In addition, George Petrou was honored as an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in London (ARAM) and received the title of “Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres” by the French government. Starting in the 2021/22 season, he will lead the International Handel Festival in Göttingen as Artistic Director. He has also been the artistic director of Armonia Atenea for many years and musical director of the Greek RadioTV symphony orchestra since 2020.
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