ANDRIS NELSONS, WHO BEGINS HIS FIRST SEASON AS MUSIC DIRECTOR OF THE BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA IN SEPTEMBER 2014, WILL LEAD THE ORCHESTRA AT CARNEGIE HALL APRIL 15, 16, AND 17, 2015, AS DETAILED IN CARNEGIE HALL’S 2014-15 SEASON ANNOUNCEMENT
ANDRIS NELSONS’ PROGRAMS WITH THE BSO AT CARNEGIE HALL IN 2015 INCLUDE THE NEW YORK PREMIERE OF GUNTHER SCHULLER’S DREAMSCAPE, MOZART’S PIANO CONCERTO NO. 27 WITH SOLOIST RICHARD GOODE, AND RICHARD STRAUSS’S
ANDRIS NELSONS ALSO LEADS THESE PROGRAMS DURING THE BSO’S 2014-15 SEASON AT SYMPHONY HALL; MR. NELSONS AND THE BSO TO ANNOUNCE COMPLETE DETAILS OF HIS FIRST SEASON AS BSO MUSIC DIRECTOR ON MARCH 5, AT SYMPHONY HALL IN BOSTON
Carnegie Hall’s 2014-15 season announcement on January 29, including programs with Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra on three dates, April 15, 16, and 17, 2015, offers BSO fans a glimpse into Mr. Nelsons’ first season as the orchestra’s music director, as these programs will also be presented at Symphony Hall during the BSO’s 2014-15 season. Mr. Nelsons will announce complete details of his 2014-15 BSO season programs on March 5 at Symphony Hall.
When Mr. Nelsons takes on the title of BSO Music Director in the BSO’s 2014-15 season, at age 35, he will be the youngest conductor to hold that title with the orchestra in over 100 years. The fifteenth music director since the Boston Symphony Orchestra’ founding in 1881, Mr. Nelsons is also the first Latvian-born conductor to assume the post.
For his first Carnegie Hall concert as BSO Music Director on Wednesday, April 15, 2015, Andris Nelsons will open the program with the New York premiere of Gunther Schuller’s Dreamscape, a Tanglewood Music Centercommission, inspired by a dream the composer had and featuring Schuller’s characteristically kaleidoscopic mastery of the orchestra (Click here for the program note for Gunther Schuller’s Dreamscape). The Schullerwork will be followed by Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-flat, K. 595, with soloist Richard Goode, and Richard Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben. The following night, on Thursday, April 16, Mr. Nelsons and the BSO will be joined by Christian Tetzlaff, a longtime collaborator with both the conductor and orchestra, for a performance of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, on a program with Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10. Mr. Nelsons brings the BSO’s three-concert Carnegie Hall series to a close on Friday, April 17, with a performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 6.
DETAILS FROM MAY 16 ANNOUNCEMENT OF ANDRIS NELSONS AS NEXT BSO MUSIC DIRECTOR
Andris Nelsons made his Boston Symphony Orchestra debut in March 2011, leading Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 at Carnegie Hall in place of James Levine. During the 2012 Tanglewood season he conducted both the Boston Symphony Orchestra (in Ravel’s La Valse) and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra (in Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy with Anne-Sophie Mutter) as part of Tanglewood’s gala 75th-anniversary concert, following that the next day with a BSO concert pairing Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms and Brahms’s Symphony No. 2. Mr. Nelsons made his Symphony Hall debut with the BSO in January 2013, leading a program of Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with soloist Baiba Skride and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5.
ANDRIS NELSONS LEADS THE BSO DURING ITS 2013-14 SYMPHONY HALL AND 2014 TANGLEWOOD SEASONS
For his first Tanglewood festival appearances as BSO Music Director Designate, Andris Nelsons will lead four concerts, July 11, 12, 19, and 20. Mr. Nelsons’ first concert with the BSO will be an all-Dvořk program, with the composer’s symphonic poem The Noonday Witch, the Violin Concerto with soloist Anne-Sophie Mutter, and the Symphony No. 8 (7/11). For his second BSO program on July 19, Maestro Nelsons will be joined by Swedish trumpeter Hkan Hardenberger performing his compatriot Rolf Martinsson’s Trumpet Concerto, on a program with music by Brahms and Tchaikovsky. The following Sunday afternoon (7/20), Maestro Nelsons will open his BSO program with Christopher Rouse’s Rapture, followed by Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole, with violin soloist Joshua Bell, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. In a special gala concert on July 12, Andris Nelsons will lead a dance-inspired program featuring both the Boston Symphony and Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center, the BSO’s prestigious summer music academy. For the first half of the gala concert, Maestro Nelsons and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra will be joined by a group of acclaimed opera singers for excerpts from Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier; the program will also feature the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances and Ravel’s Bolero. Click here for the Tanglewood 2014 season press release and listing.
ANDRIS NELSONS BIO
In addition to Maestro Nelsons’ concerts and tours with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (Europe, Japan, and Taiwan), where he is currently music director, Mr. Nelsons has a very full guest conducting schedule in the 2013-14 concert calendar. In the fall of 2013, he led Royal Opera–Covent Garden performances of Strauss’s Elektra, and made appearances with the London Philharmonia Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic, Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, and the Berlin Philharmonic. Highlights of Mr. Nelsons’ schedule in the first few months of 2014 (in addition to his BSO appearance on March 6 leading Strauss’s Salome) include performances of Salome at the Vienna State Opera. He and the Vienna Philharmonic will bring a concert presentation of Salome to New York’s Carnegie Hall on March 1, after which he will lead that orchestra in concerts in New York and in Sonoma and Berkeley, CA. Additional guest conducting engagements in the 2013-14 season include dates with the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra and WDR Symphony Orchestra, Cologne.
Among a recording output of 30 releases, Andris Nelsons’ most recent CD and DVD releases include a recording of Dvořk’s Symphony No. 9, From the New World, and Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with soloist Hlne Grimaud, both with the Bavarian Radio Orchestra. In addition, Mr. Nelsons is featured on Andris Nelsons: Genius on Fire, a DVD documentary by Astrid Bscher (released on the ORFEO label on September 24); he can also be seen leading the Boston Symphony and Tanglewood Music Center orchestras in the Tanglewood 75th Anniversary Celebration DVD, featuring Ravel’s La Valse (BSO) and Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy, with Anne Sophie Mutter as violin soloist (TMCO).
Mr. Nelsons’ current work with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra involves major tours worldwide, including appearances at such summer festivals as the Lucerne Festival, BBC Proms and Berliner Festspiele. Together they have toured the major European concert halls, including the Musikverein, Vienna, Thtre des Champs lyses, Paris, Gasteig, Munich and the Auditorio Nacional de Msica, Madrid. Mr. Nelsons made his debut in Japan on tour with the Vienna Philharmonic and returns to tour the Far East with the CBSO in November 2013.
Nelsons and the CBSO are working towards releasing all orchestral works of Tchaikovsky and Richard Strauss for Orfeo International. The first Strauss disc, featuring Ein Heldenleben, garnered critical praise. Further releases include works of Stravinsky and Shostakovich. The majority of Mr. Nelsons’ recordings have been recognized with a Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik; in October 2011 he received the prestigious ECHO Klassik of the German Phono Academy in the category “Conductor of the Year” for his 2010 recording with the CBSO of Stravinsky’s Firebird and Symphony of Psalms. For audiovisual recordings, he has an exclusive agreement with Unitel GmbH, the most recent release is a disc of Britten’s War Requiem with the CBSO, released on DVD and Blu-ray.
Prior to his position as Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Nelsons served as principal conductor of the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie in Herford, Germany, from 2006 to 2009, and was music director of the Latvian National Opera from 2003 to 2007.
A Brief History of the Boston Symphony Orchestra
Today the BSO reaches millions of listeners, not only through its concert performances in Boston and at Tanglewood, but also via the internet, radio, television, educational programs, recordings, and tours. It commissions works from today’s most important composers; its summer season at Tanglewood in the Berkshire hills of Western Massachusetts is among the world’s most important music festivals; it helps develop future audiences through BSO Youth Concerts and educational outreach programs involving the entire Boston community; and, during the Tanglewood season, it operates the Tanglewood Music Center, one of the world’s most important training grounds for young professional-caliber musicians. The Boston Symphony Chamber Players, made up of BSO principals, are known worldwide, and the Boston Pops Orchestra—with its cabaret style festive atmosphere and food and drink served during the concerts—setsan international standard for performances of lighter music. The BSO’s winter season and the Boston Pops holiday and spring seasons take place in Boston’s Symphony Hall, widely acclaimed for its great acoustics and considered among the top concert halls in the world.
Launched in 1996, the BSO’s website, bso.org, is the largest and most-visited orchestral website in the United States, receiving approximately 7 million visitors annually on its full site as well as its smart phone-/mobile device-friendly web format. The BSO is also on Facebook and Twitter, and video content from the BSO is available on YouTube. An expansion of the BSO’s educational activities has also played a key role in strengthening the orchestra’s commitment to, and presence within, its surrounding communities. Through its Education and Community Engagement programs, the BSO provides individuals of all backgrounds the opportunity to develop and build relationships with the BSO and orchestral music. In addition, the BSO offers a variety of free educational programs at Symphony Hall and Tanglewood, as well as special initiatives aimed at attracting young audience members.
The Boston Symphony Orchestra gave its inaugural concert on October 22, 1881, under Georg Henschel, who remained as conductor until 1884. For nearly twenty years, BSO concerts were held in the old Boston Music Hall; Symphony Hall, one of the world’s most revered concert halls, opened on October 15, 1900. Henschel was succeeded by the German-born and -trained conductors Wilhelm Gericke, Arthur Nikisch, Emil Paur, and Max Fiedler, culminating in the appointment of the legendary Karl Muck, who served two tenures, 1906-08 and 1912-18. In 1915 the orchestra made its first transcontinental trip, playing thirteen concerts at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. Henri Rabaud, engaged as conductor in 1918, was succeeded a year later by Pierre Monteux. These appointments marked the beginning of a French tradition maintained, even during the Russian-born Serge Koussevitzky’s tenure (1924-49), with the employment of many French-trained musicians.
It was in 1936 that Koussevitzky led the orchestra’s first concerts in the Berkshires; he and the players took up annual summer residence at Tanglewood a year later. Koussevitzky passionately shared Major Higginson’s dream of “a good honest school for musicians,” and in 1940 that dream was realized with the founding of the Berkshire Music Center (now called the Tanglewood Music Center).
Koussevitzky was succeeded in 1949 by Charles Munch, who continued supporting contemporary composers, introduced much French music to the repertoire, and led the BSO on its first international tours. In 1956, the BSO, under the direction of Charles Munch, was the first American orchestra to tour the Soviet Union. Erich Leinsdorf began his term as music director in 1962, to be followed in 1969 by William Steinberg. Seiji Ozawa became the BSO’s thirteenth music director in 1973. His historic twenty-nine-year tenure extended until 2002, when he was named Music Director Laureate. In 1979, the BSO, under the direction of Seiji Ozawa, was the first American orchestra to tour mainland China after the normalization of relations.
Bernard Haitink, named principal guest conductor in 1995 and Conductor Emeritus in 2004, has led the BSO in Boston, New York, at Tanglewood, and on tour in Europe, as well as recording with the orchestra. Previous principal guest conductors of the orchestra included Michael Tilson Thomas, from 1972 to 1974, and the late Sir Colin Davis, from 1972 to 1984.
The first American-born conductor to hold the position, James Levine was the BSO’s music director from 2004 to 2011. Levine led the orchestra in wide-ranging programs that included works newly commissioned for the orchestra’s 125th anniversary, particularly from significant American composers; issued a number of live concert performances on the orchestra’s own label, BSO Classics; taught at the Tanglewood Music Center; and in 2007 led the BSO in an acclaimed tour of European music festivals. In May 2013, a new chapter in the history of the Boston Symphony Orchestra was initiated when the internationally acclaimed young Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons was announced as the BSO’s next music director, a position he takes up in the 2014-15 season, following a year as music director designate.
Today, the Boston Symphony Orchestra continues to fulfill and expand upon the vision of its founder Henry Lee Higginson, not only through its concert performances, educational offerings, and internet presence, but also through its expanding use of virtual and electronic media in a manner reflecting the BSO’s continuing awareness of today’s modern, ever-changing, 21st-century world. For further information about the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s many activities, visit www.bso.org.
ANDRIS NELSONS AND THE BSO AT CARNEGIE HALL APRIL 15, 16, 17, 2015:
Wednesday, April 15, 2015, 8 p.m.
Thursday, April 16, 2015, 8 p.m.
Friday, April 17, 2015, 8 p.m.
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