BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AND ANDRIS NELSONS ENTER INTO NEW PARTNERSHIP TO CREATE CLASSICAL LIVE: A NEW RECORDING INITIATIVE FOR LEADING ORCHESTRAS, INCLUDING THE BSO, CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA, NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC, LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, AND ROYAL CONCERTGEBOUW ORCHESTRA ONLY ON GOOGLE PLAY MUSIC
GOOGLE PLAY—THE FASTEST GROWING GLOBAL PLATFORM FOR DOWNLOADING AND STREAMING MUSIC—TO RELEASE UP TO FOUR LIVE CONCERT RECORDINGS EACH SEASON FOR EACH PARTICIPATING ORCHESTRA STARTING JUNE 15 AT MUSIC.GOOGLE.COM
BOSTON SYMPHONY’S FIRST CLASSICAL LIVE RECORDINGS—AVAILABLE ON JUNE 15—TO FEATURE MUSIC FROM ANDRIS NELSONS’ FIRST SEASON AS BSO MUSIC DIRECTOR: BARTÓK’S MIRACULOUS MANDARIN AND TCHAIKOVSKY’S SYMPHONY NO. 6; FREE BONUS TRACK OF THEME AND FIRST VARIATION FROM BRAHMS’S HAYDN VARIATIONS ALSO AVAILABLE ON JUNE 15
THROUGH CLASSICAL LIVE ON GOOGLE PLAY MUSIC, PARTICIPATING ORCHESTRAS CREATE RECORDING CATALOGUES FOR ANDROID AND
The Boston Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Andris Nelsons have entered into a new partnership to create Classical Live, a unique initiative that offers a new paradigm for the distribution of live recordings of classical music available only on Google Play Music. Classical Live will offer participating orchestras—the BSO, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, and Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra—an opportunity to release up to four live concert recordings each season for download exclusively on Google Play Music with the first recordings to be made available at music.google.com or classical-live.com beginning on June 15.
The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s first releases on Classical Live—available on June 15—will feature live concert recordings of performances from Andris Nelsons’ first season as music director: the Suite from Bartók’s The Miraculous Mandarin and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No 6, Pathétique (performance recordings from October 1, 2, and 3, 2014). A free bonus track of the theme and first variation from Brahms’s Variations on a Theme by Haydn (performance recordings from January 8, 9, and 10, 2015) will also be available on June 15. All of these live recordings were taken from performances that took place in the BSO’s home in Symphony Hall in Boston, widely acclaimed as one of the three greatest concert halls in the world. Additional Classical Live BSO recordings will be announced at a later date.
QUOTE FROM BSO MUSIC DIRECTOR ANDRIS NELSONS
“The experience of live concert recordings brings listeners close to our great orchestra, our generous audience and the sublime atmosphere of Symphony Hall—truly one of the greatest concert halls in the world. You have the potential for an unbeatable sound world that I am so pleased to share with music lovers young and old, far and wide, and invite everyone to experience it live in Boston as well! For Classical Live, we chose two works performed during my first season as BSO music director—Bartók’s Miraculous Mandarin and Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique Symphony, two most colorful and very emotional works of symphonic music. They represent an extraordinary moment as I begin my new musical life with the wonderful Boston Symphony Orchestra.”
QUOTE FROM BSO MANAGING DIRECTOR MARK VOLPE
“Through its highly successful platform of music dissemination and its impressive commitment to promote Classical Live to a multi-faceted worldwide audience, Google Play offers the BSO and other leading orchestras a new paradigm for reaching ever-greater numbers of classical music fans and creating an entirely new audience for the field. We are most excited for the opportunity to bring the orchestra’s music to a wider audience and to expose more people to the power of great symphonic music and its potential to transform and enrich their lives. To that end, we are immensely grateful to the leadership of Google Play for expressing their enthusiastic belief in the amazing treasures of classical music, and investing in Classical Live to bring that music to greater numbers of people throughout the world.”
QUOTE FROM TED KARTZMAN, GLOBAL HEAD, INDEPENDENT MUSIC COMPANIES, GOOGLE PLAY
QUOTE FROM JESSICA LUSTIG, FOUNDING PARTNER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR, 21C MEDIA GROUP AND DIRECTOR OF CLASSICAL LIVE
MORE ON GOOGLE PLAY AND CLASSICAL LIVE
This initial phase of Classical Live will include 22 complete works and 3 free bonus tracks (available for a limited time) in digital-only debut performances from the Boston Symphony Orchestra and The Cleveland Orchestra, as well as newly available recordings from the London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, and Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. In the future, as more of the world’s leading symphony orchestras are invited to join this selective program, more recordings will be added, creating a regular schedule of exclusive international releases for digital download and streaming at music.google.com and www.classical-live.com.
EXCERPTS FROM BOSTON GLOBE AND NEW YORK TIMES REVIEWS OF THE BSO’S BARTOK MIRACULOUS MANDARIN AND TCHAIKOVSKY SYMPHONY NO. 6 PERFORMANCES
The New York Times’s David Allen wrote the following about the Bartók and Tchaikovsky (October 5, 2014): “The suite from Bartók’s pantomime “The Miraculous Mandarin” had rhythmic brutality and a dark, claustrophobic mystery, suffused with snarling brass and tantalizingly erotic clarinets. Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony was lovingly shaped and generously paced, as emotionally devastating as the work demands but never mawkish.”
GOOGLE PLAY MUSIC
Previously, Andris Nelsons has been critically acclaimed as music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra since assuming that post in 2008; he remained at the helm of that orchestra until this summer. Over the next few seasons he will continue collaborations with the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Philharmonia Orchestra. He is a regular guest at the Royal Opera House, the Vienna State Opera, and New York’s Metropolitan Opera. In summer 2016, he returns to BayreutherFestspiele as Musical Director for Parsifal, in a new production directed by Uwe Eric Laufenberg.
Born in Riga in 1978 into a family of musicians, Andris Nelsons began his career as a trumpeter in the Latvian National Opera Orchestra before studying conducting. He was principal conductor of NordwestdeutschePhilharmonie in Herford, Germany, from 2006 to 2009 and music director of Latvian National Opera from 2003 to 2007. Mr. Nelsons is the subject of a DVD from Orfeo, a documentary film entitled “Andris Nelsons: Genius on Fire.”
Boston Symphony Orchestra
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.
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