BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AND ANDRIS NELSONS’ RECORDING, SHOSTAKOVICH UNDER STALIN’S SHADOW—SYMPHONY NO. 10, WINS GRAMMY AWARD FOR BEST ORCHESTRAL PERFORMANCE

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February 15, 2016

BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AND ANDRIS NELSONS’ RECORDING, SHOSTAKOVICH UNDER STALIN’S SHADOW—SYMPHONY NO. 10, WINS GRAMMY AWARD FOR BEST ORCHESTRAL PERFORMANCE

SHOSTAKOVICH UNDER STALIN’S SHADOW—FEATURING PERFORMANCES OF THE COMPOSER’S SYMPHONY NO. 10 AND THE PASSACAGLIA FROM LADY MACBETH OF MTSENSK—IS THE BSO AND ANDRIS NELSONS’ FIRST RECORDING WITH LABEL DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON

Cover ArtMusic Director Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s recording, Shostakovich Under Stalin’s Shadow—featuring Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10 and the Passacaglia from Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk—won the Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance tonight (February 15, 2016) at the 58th annual Grammy Awards.

“On behalf of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the engineering and production team involved in the project, it is an extraordinary honor for me to accept the Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance for our Deutsche Grammophon recording of Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony, recorded live in the glorious acoustical space of Boston’s remarkable Symphony Hall,” said BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons.

[Andris Nelsons (photo by Marco Borggreve)] “There is no doubt that this prestigious Grammy Award shines a spotlight on my exceptional Boston Symphony Orchestra musicians, who so powerfully convey both the exquisite music and great depth of emotion stemming from Stalin’s Soviet Union in our recording of Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony.   This incredibly gratifying acknowledgement of our work together truly provides a new level of inspiration for us as we continue to move forward with our Shostakovich project alongside our wonderful partner, the equally exceptional, Deutsche Grammophon.  We hope this recording will give the BSO’s devoted patrons and classical music fans around the world a sense of our commitment to this transcendent music from which so much can be taken.”

Shostakovich Under Stalin’s Shadow, which was released on July 31, 2015, was recorded live during the BSO’s April 2-4, 2015 concerts at Symphony Hall, and is Mr. Nelsons and the orchestra’s first recording released under the Deutsche Grammophon label. The recording was produced by Ute Fesquet and Shawn Murphy, with recording engineers Nick Squire and John Morin. Nick Squire, Robert Wolff, and Tim Martyn edited the recording, and Tim Martyn and Phoenix Audio were mastering engineers.

This is the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s seventh Grammy Award (the Boston Symphony Chamber Players also won a Grammy Award for Best Chamber Performance, Instrumental or Vocal, in 1966, totally eight for the organization) and Andris Nelsons’ first.

Symphony Nos. 5, 8, and 9, as well as incidental music to Hamlet will be released in a 2-album set in late April 2016; these works are being recorded during the BSO’s 2015-16 season, details of which are available at www.bso.org.

[Andris Nelsons and the BSO (Photo by Chris Lee)]

Boston Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons’ Partnership with Deutsche Grammophon
DG LogoShostakovich Under Stalin’s Shadow marked the first release in a multi-year recording partnership between Deutsche Grammophon, Andris Nelsons, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The recording initiative is focusing on works composed during the period of Shostakovich’s difficult relationship with Stalin and the Soviet regime— starting with his fall from favor in the mid-1930s and the composition and highly acclaimed premiere of his Fifth Symphony, and through the premiere of the composer’s Tenth Symphony, one of the composer’s finest, most characteristic orchestral works, purportedly written as a response to Stalin’s death in 1953. In addition to Symphonies 5-10, and the Passacaglia from Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, the project will also include performances and recordings of the incidental music from King Lear and Hamlet. The recordings of these works takes place at Symphony Hall—one of the world’s most renowned halls for acoustical excellence—during performances scheduled in the BSO’s 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17 seasons, all under the direction of BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons.

Click here for further details about the BSO’s partnership and history with Deutsche Grammophon, as well as the orchestra’s history with Shostakovich and his music.

Excerpts from Reviews of Shostakovich Under Stalin’s Shadow
“Never sour or sarcastic, but hardly soft or sunny, either, this is Shostakovich for the long run. The composer could not be in better hands.” – Jeffrey Gantz, Boston Globe

“[Nelsons achieves] a beautifully detailed, powerfully delineated and meticulously shaped performance… If this impressive album is any indication, Nelsons [and the Boston Symphony]… have a long and fruitful partnership ahead of them. It might even legitimately become the stuff of legend.” – Simon Chin, Washington Post

“Be in no doubt that this is one of the finest performances that I have ever heard of this great piece…and to say that it augurs well for Nelsons’s future with the Boston Symphony is an understatement and then some.” – Edward Seckerson, Gramophone

“The chemistry between Andris Nelsons and the BSO is palpable in Shostakovich’s Tenth…One of the things that makes it special is the sound of Symphony Hall in Boston, one of the best concert venues in the world. For recordings, it also is nearly ideal . . . [the Boston’s Symphony Hall] not only has warmth, presence, and generous reverberation time, but also handles a vast dynamic range with ease. Loud percussion is thrilling on this new recording, but so are the quiet moments … Kudos to conductor, orchestra, DG engineers, and to Symphony Hall.” – Paul E. Robinson, Classical Voice North America
 

List of BSO Grammy Award Wins

2015: Best Orchestral Performance
Shostakovich Under Stalin’s Shadow: Symphony No. 10 and the Passacaglia from
Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk
Boston Symphony Orchestra with Andris Nelsons, conductor
Released on Deutsche Grammophon

2010: Best Orchestral Performance
Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé
Boston Symphony Orchestra with James Levine, conductor
Released on BSO Classics

1966:  Best Classical Performance, Orchestra
Mahler: Symphony No. 6
Boston Symphony Orchestra with Erich Leinsdorf, conductor
Released on RCA Victor

1966:  Best Chamber Music Performance, Instrumental or Vocal
Works of Mozart, Brahms, Beethoven, Fine, Copland, Carter, and Piston
Boston Symphony Chamber Players
Released on RCA Victor

1964:  Best classical performance, Orchestra
Mahler: Symphony No. 5 and Berg, “Wozzeck” excerpts
Boston Symphony Orchestra with Erich Leinsdorf, conductor
Released on RCA Victor

1963:  Best Classical Performance, Orchestra
Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra
Boston Symphony Orchestra with Erich Leinsdorf, conductor
Released on RCA Victor

1961: Best Classical Performance, Orchestra
Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé
Boston Symphony Orchestra with Charles Munch, conductor
Released on RCA Victor

1959:  Best Classical Performance, Orchestra
Debussy: Images for Orchestra
Boston Symphony Orchestra with Charles Munch, conductor
Released on RCA Victor

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