BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AND MUSIC DIRECTOR ANDRIS NELSONS TO EMBARK ON FIRST EUROPEAN TOUR TOGETHER, AUGUST 22-SEPTEMBER 5, 2015

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April 30, 2015

BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AND MUSIC DIRECTOR
ANDRIS NELSONS TO EMBARK ON FIRST EUROPEAN TOUR TOGETHER,
AUGUST 22-SEPTEMBER 5, 2015

ANDRIS NELSONS TO LEAD THE BSO IN AN 8-CITY, 12-CONCERT TOUR
ACROSS MAJOR EUROPEAN MUSIC CAPITALS IN AUSTRIA, ENGLAND, FRANCE, GERMANY, ITALY, AND SWITZERLAND; PERFORMANCES TO TAKE PLACE IN
LONDON’S ROYAL ALBERT HALL (8/22&23), MILAN’S TEATRO ALLA SCALA (9/1), THE PHILHARMONIE DE PARIS (9/3),COLOGNE’S PHILHARMONIE (9/4),
BERLIN’S PHILHARMONIE
(9/5), AND THE SALZBURG (8/24&25), GRAFENEGG (8/27&28),
AND LUCERNE (8/30&31) FESTIVALS

TOUR PROGRAMS TO FEATURE WORLD-RENOWNED CELLIST YO-YO MA AND BSO PRINCIPAL VIOLIST STEVEN ANSELL IN STRAUSS’S DON QUIXOTE AND TRUMPET VIRTUOSO HÅKAN HARDENBERGER IN BRETT DEAN’S DRAMATIS PERSONAE; TOUR REPERTOIRE TO SPOTLIGHT THE BSO IN MAHLER’S SIXTH SYMPHONY, SHOSTAKOVICH’S TENTH SYMPHONY, STRAUSS’S EIN HELDENLEBEN, BARBER’S SECOND ESSAY FOR ORCHESTRA,
AND HAYDN’S SYMPHONY NO. 90

BSO, ANDRIS NELSONS, AND DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON TO RELEASE FIRST ALBUM
OF NEW PARTNERSHIP PRIOR TO EUROPEAN TOUR: SHOSTAKOVICH’S SYMPHONY NO. 10 AND PASSACAGLIA FROM LADY MACBETH OF MTSENSK

THE 2015 BSO EUROPEAN TOUR IS EXCLUSIVELY SPONSORED BY EMC CORPORATION

[Andris Nelsons (photo by Marco Borggreve)]Andris Nelsons will lead his first tour as Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducting the famed ensemble in an extensive 12-concert, 8-city European tour, August 22-September 5, to include stops in the major music capitals of Austria, England, France, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. The BSO’s 2015 European tour will feature the orchestra in performances at London’s Royal Albert Hall (8/22&23), Salzburg’s Grosses Festspielhaus (8/24&25), Grafenegg’s Open-air StageWolkenturm (8/28), Lucerne’s Kultur und Kongresszentrum (8/30&31), Milan’s Teatro alla Scala (9/1),the new Philharmonie de Paris (9/3), Cologne’s Philharmonie (9/4), and Berlin’s Philharmonie (9/5).

[Yo-Yo Ma (photo by Todd Rosenberg)]Internationally renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma (Strauss’s Don Quixote) and trumpet virtuoso Håkan Hardenberger (Brett Dean’s trumpet concerto Dramatis personae composed especially for Mr. Hardenberger) will join the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons for several tour performances. In addition, the BSO’s tour repertoire will include Mahler’s Symphony No. 6, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10, Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben, Barber’s Second Essay for Orchestra, and Haydn’s Symphony No. 90. (Complete tour concert schedule available here and at end of this release).

[Hakan Hardenberger (photo by Marco Borggreve)]When Mr. Nelsons took on the title of BSO Music Director on September 27, 2014, at age 35, he became the youngest conductor to hold that title with the orchestra in over 100 years. The fifteenth music director since the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s founding in 1881, Mr. Nelsons is also the first Latvian-born conductor to assume the post.Though the upcoming tour will be Mr. Nelsons’ first tour as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, this will be the ensemble’s fifteenth European tour (having visited most recently in 2007) and twenty-fifth international tour. The Boston Symphony’s most recent overseas tour, under the direction of Charles Dutoit, in spring 2014, included a return to China 35 years after the ensemble’s historic 1979 visit as the first western orchestra to visit the People’s Republic of China following the establishment of diplomatic relations.

QUOTE FROM ANDRIS NELSONS, BSO MUSIC DIRECTOR
“It is an incredible honor for me to bring the Boston Symphony Orchestra back to Europe—where it is so beloved and enjoys the highest reputation for its many past performances in Europe’s great music capitals,” said Andris Nelsons, BSO Music Director. “My first year as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra has been one of the most fulfilling periods of my musical life and a wonderful time of discovery about the BSO’s unique musical gifts.  It is my great pleasure to share our deep passion and commitment that we feel about the music and how it has truly become food for our souls with the enthusiastic and knowledgeable audiences in many of Europe’s wonderful concert halls.  In addition, all of us at the BSO are deeply grateful to EMC for their exclusive sponsorship of the BSO’s 2015 European tour and the major role they have played in bringing the BSO’s music to audiences in Boston and throughout the world since 1987.”

QUOTE FROM JOE TUCCI, EMC CORPORATION
“As a longstanding partner of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, EMC is proud to be the Exclusive Sponsor of the BSO’s 2015 European Tour. The Boston Symphony Orchestra, one of the world’s preeminent symphonic organizations, is internationally renowned for its mission to make and present music at the highest possible level of achievement,” said Joe Tucci, Chairman and CEO, EMC Corporation, and member of the BSO’s Board of Overseers. “We are pleased to take a leading role in supporting the BSO’s 2015 European Tour so that our employees, customers, and classical music lovers in the UK, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, and Germany can experience and enjoy this great orchestra first hand.”

BSO, ANDRIS NELSONS, AND DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON TO RELEASE FIRST ALBUM OF NEW PARTNERSHIP PRIOR TO EUROPEAN TOUR
DG LogoDetails of the BSO’s 2015 European tour are being released soon after two significant BSO announcements: the 2015-16 BSO season, Mr. Nelsons’ second as music director, was announced on April 3 in conjunction with news of a new recording partnership between the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Andris Nelsons, and Deutsche Grammophon. This new partnership will launch with a project entitled Shostakovich Under Stalin’s Shadow—to be released as five live recorded albums by Deutsche Grammophon in three installments between summer 2015 and summer 2017. The project focuses on works composed during the period of Shostakovich’s difficult relationship with [Shostakovich]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.

The first album of this new partnership between the BSO, Mr. Nelsons, and DG will be released in summer 2015 and feature the Passacaglia from Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, the opera that appalled Stalin and propelled Shostakovich out of the dictator’s favor, and Symphony No. 10. The album was recorded during recent BSO performances (April 2, 3, & 4), under the direction of Mr. Nelsons, at Symphony Hall, widely acclaimed as one of the top concert halls acoustically in the world.

BSO TOURING HISTORY IN BRIEF
[Dutoit and the BSO on the 2014 China/Japan tour]The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s upcoming tour in September and August 2015 will be the ensemble’s fifteenth tour to the major music capitals of Europe. The orchestra’s most recent European tour took place in summer 2007, under the direction of James Levine (BSO Music Director 2004-2011), with performances in Lucerne, Hamburg, Essen, Dusseldorf, Berlin, Paris, and London. BSO Conductor Emeritus Bernard Haitink led the BSO in a 10-concert tour of European Music Festivals in 2001. The Boston Symphony’s most recent international tour, under the direction of Charles Dutoit, in spring 2014, was a historic return to China after 35 years since the 1979 visit; it was followed by three performances in Tokyo, Japan. For a complete history of the BSO, click here.

In addition to its performance series at Boston’s Symphony Hall, Tanglewood (the orchestra’s summer home in Lenox and Stockbridge, MA), and New York’s Carnegie Hall, the Boston Symphony Orchestra has regularly toured nationally and internationally since its first U.S. trans-continental trip to perform at the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco, under the baton of Karl Muck (BSO Music Director 1906-08; 1912-18) in May 1915. As early as 1882, the orchestra traveled throughout New England, and in 1886 the orchestra expanded its touring to major east coast cities. Having performed more than 5,100 concerts outside of Boston since 1881, the BSO has embarked on 24 international tours and 8 major domestic tours. The BSO has also been featured in more than 60 shorter domestic and Canadian tours, between 1889 and 1983, including appearances in such cities as Buffalo, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis, as well as Montreal, Toronto, and Quebec, among others.

[Munch and the BSO in the Soviet Union, 1956]Charles Munch (BSO Music Director 1949-62) and special guest conductor Pierre Monteux (BSO Music Director 1919-1924) led the orchestra in its first international tour in May 1952, which included performances in Paris, The Hague, Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, Berlin, Strasbourg, Metz, Lyon, Bordeaux, and London; the tour was sponsored by the Congress for Cultural Freedom, who chose the BSO to represent the American symphonic tradition in Europe. In 1956, the orchestra returned to Europe, performing in nineteen cities including historic concerts in the Soviet Union, making its mark as cultural ambassadors and becoming the first American orchestra to perform there. Two more continents were introduced to the BSO’s touring repertoire when Mr. Munch led the orchestra on an expansive 56-day tour to parts of Australia, New Zealand, and Asia in 1960.

[Seiji Ozawa in Japan, 1978]Seiji Ozawa played a major role in BSO touring, leading the ensemble on 15 of its 24 major international tours; he led the BSO in 8 European tours, including a 9-concert, 5-city tour to London, Paris, Vienna, Munich, and Athens in 1998. Mr. Ozawa’s last overseas trip with the orchestra as its music director was a 5-concert tour to Paris and Cologne in 2000, which included a special performance at the foot of Paris’s Eiffel Tower in celebration of the new millennium. Mr. Ozawa also led the BSO on two major tours in celebration of the BSO’s centennial in 1981, including a U.S. tour in March 1981, which included 14 performances in New Jersey, New York, Chicago, Colorado, Utah, California, Arizona, Texas, South Carolina and Washington, D.C. A world tour to Europe and Japan in celebration of the centennial took place in October and November 1981 and included performances in Osaka Nagoya, Tokyo, Paris, Frankfurt, Berlin, Vienna, and London.

[BSO in China, 1979]In 1979, the BSO and Seiji Ozawa (BSO Music Director 1973-2002; BSO Music Director Laureate since 2002) traveled to Shanghai and Peking, becoming the first western orchestra to visit the People’s Republic of China following the establishment of diplomatic relations. With Music Director Seiji Ozawa at the helm, the orchestra made frequent trips to Japan, including major tours in 1981, 1986, 1989, 1994, and 1999. As part of a tour celebrating Seiji Ozawa’s 25th anniversary season as BSO music director, Mr. Ozawa and the orchestra were to return to Beijing in 1999, but a bombing of the Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia led to a cancellation of the trip; performances in Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka, which were also part of that tour, went ahead as scheduled. Mr. Ozawa also led the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s first tour to South America in 1992, with performances in São Paulo, Buenos Aires, and Caracas.

Andris Nelsons, Music Director
[Andris Nelsons (photo by Marco Borggreve)]Andris Nelsons made his debut as BSO Music Director in the 2014-15 season, leading the Boston Symphony Orchestra in ten programs at Symphony Hall in Boston, repeating three of them at Carnegie Hall in New York; he will also lead the orchestra in six programs at Tanglewood, the orchestra’s summer home in Lenox/Stockbridge, MA. Mr. Nelsons will lead the Boston Symphony Orchestra in thirteen wide-ranging programs in the 2015-16 BSO season, his second season as music director, highlighted by new programming and recording initiatives around the music of Shostakovich, three weeks of thematic concerts honoring the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, concert performances of Strauss’s Elektra with Christine Goerke in the title role, and new works by Hans Abrahamsen, Sebastian Currier, GiyaKancheli, and George Tsontakis.

Mr. Nelsons made his Boston Symphony debut at Carnegie Hall in March 2011, conducting Mahler’s Symphony No. 9; he made his Tanglewood debut in July 2012, leading both the BSO and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra as part of Tanglewood’s 75th Anniversary Gala (a concert available on DVD and Blu-ray, and telecast nationwide on PBS). He is the fifteenth music director in the history of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. His first compact disc with the BSO (also available as a download)—live recordings of Wagner’s Tannhäuser Overture and Sibelius’s Symphony No. 2, from concert performances at Symphony Hall in the fall of 2014—was released earlier this season on BSO Classics. Also this season, he and the BSO, in collaboration with Deutsche Grammophon, initiate a multi-year recording project entitled “Shostakovich Under Stalin’s Shadow,” to be drawn from live performances at Symphony Hall of Shostakovich’s symphonies 5 through 10, the Passacaglia from his opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, and selections from Shostakovich’s incidental music to Hamlet and King Lear, all composed during the period the composer labored under the life-threatening shadow of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. Later this spring, Great Performances on national PBS will broadcast his very first concert as BSO music director, recorded on September 27, 2014, at Symphony Hall. On August 8, at Tanglewood Music Festival this summer, Mr. Nelsons will join the celebrations for the Tanglewood Music Center’s 75th anniversary, leading the Tanglewood Music Center Orchetra’s performance of Mahler’s monumental Symphony No. 8, which will be available to audiences throughout the world through a live webcast at www.tanglewood.org. Also on the schedule for the BSO and Mr. Nelsons, who formally holds the title of Ray and Maria Stata BSO Music Director, are two upcoming European tours: an eight-city tour late this summer, following the BSO’s 2015 Tanglewood season, to major European capitals, including Berlin, Cologne, London, Milan, and Paris, as well as the Lucerne, Salzburg, and Grafenegg festivals; and, in May 2016, following the orchestra’s 2015-16 Symphony Hall season, a tour to eight cities in Germany, Austria, and Luxembourg. For a complete listing of BSO concerts led by Mr. Nelsons since his March 2011 debut with the orchestra click here.

Andris Nelsons has been critically acclaimed as music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra since assuming that post in 2008; he remains 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 Lucerne Festival Orchestra, 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 the Bayreuth Festival 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. Additional information about Andris Nelsons can be found at www.andrisnelsons.com and www.bso.org. Andris Nelsons is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AndrisNelsonsOfficialPage and on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/andris_nelsons.

Yo-Yo Ma, cello
[Yo-Yo Ma (photo by Hilary Scott)]Yo-Yo Ma’s multi-faceted career is testament to his continual search for new ways to communicate with audiences, and to his personal desire for artistic growth and renewal. Whether performing new or familiar works from the cello repertoire, coming together with colleagues for chamber music, or exploring cultures and musical forms outside the Western classical tradition, he strives to find connections that stimulate the imagination. His interest in music as a vehicle for the migration of ideas across a range of cultures led to his founding, in 1998, the Silk Road Project, a non-profit arts and educational organization. Under his artistic direction, the Silk Road Project presents performances by the acclaimed Silk Road Ensemble, engages in cross-cultural exchanges and residencies, leads workshops for students, and partners with leading cultural institutions to create educational materials and programs. The Project’s ongoing affiliation with Harvard University has made it possible to broaden and enhance educational programming. Developing new music is also a central undertaking of the Silk Road Project, which has been involved in commissioning and performing more than sixty new works. The group recorded a Live from Tanglewood DVD in June 2012 celebrating 15 years together. Directed by award-winning documentary filmmaker Morgan Neville, the DVD features live footage from the Tanglewood Music Festival performance, as well as insightful and intimate behind-the-scenes interviews with the musicians.  As the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant, Mr. Ma is partnering with Riccardo Muti on innovative program development for the orchestra’s Institute for Learning, Access and Training and its artistic initiatives. Mr. Ma and the Institute have created the Citizen Musician Initiative (www.citizenmusician.org), which calls on musicians, music lovers, music teachers, and institutions to use the art form to bridge gulfs between people and to inspire a sense of community. Strongly committed to educational programs, he takes time whenever possible to interact with students – musicians and non-musicians alike—and has reached young audiences through appearances on Arthur, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and Sesame Street. Mr. Ma’s discography of more than ninety albums (including more than seventeen Grammy-winners) reflects his wide-ranging interests. He has made several successful recordings that defy categorization, among them “Hush” with Bobby McFerrin, “Appalachia Waltz” and “Appalachian Journey” with Mark O’Connor and Edgar Meyer, “Obrigado Brazil,” and “Obrigado Brazil – Live in Concert.” Mr. Ma’s recent recordings include Mendelssohn trios with Emanuel Ax and Itzhak Perlman, and “The Goat Rodeo Sessions” (with Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile, and Stuart Duncan), which received the 2013 Grammy for Best Folk Album. He remains one of the best-selling recording artists in the classical field. In fall 2009, Sony Classical released a box set of over ninety albums to mark his thirty years as a Sony recording artist. Yo-Yo Ma was born in 1955 in Paris to Chinese parents who later moved the family to New York. He began to study cello at age four, attended the Juilliard School, and in 1976 graduated from Harvard University. He has received numerous awards, including the Avery Fisher Prize (1978), the Glenn Gould Prize (1999), the National Medal of the Arts (2001), the Dan David Prize (2006), the Sonning Prize (2006), the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award (2008), the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2010), the Kennedy Center Honors (2011), the Polar Music Prize (2012), the Vilcek Prize in Contemporary Music (2013), and the Fred Rogers Legacy Award (2014). A UN Messenger of Peace and a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts & the Humanities, he has performed for eight American presidents, most recently at the invitation of President Obama on the occasion of the 56th Inaugural Ceremony. Mr. Ma and his wife have two children. He plays two instruments, a 1733 Montagnana cello from Venice and the 1712 Davidoff Stradivarius. Yo-Yo Ma is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/YoYoMa and on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/yoyo_ma.

Håkan Hardenberger, trumpet
[Hakan Hardenberger (photo by Marco Borggreve)]Håkan Hardenberger is the greatest trumpet soloist today. Alongside his phenomenal performances of the classical repertory, he is also held in high regard as a pioneer of significant and virtuosic new trumpet works.

Håkan Hardenberger performs with the world’s leading orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Wiener Philharmoniker, Swedish Radio Symphony, London Symphony, Symphonieorchester des BayerischenRundfunks and NHK Symphony Orchestra. Conductors he regularly collaborates with include Pierre Boulez, Alan Gilbert, Daniel Harding, PaavoJärvi, Ingo Metzmacher, Andris Nelsons, Esa-PekkaSalonen, John Storgårds and David Zinman.

The works written for and championed by Hardenberger stand as key highlights in the repertory and include those by Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Brett Dean, Hans Werner Henze, Rolf Martinsson, Olga Neuwirth, ArvoPärt, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Rolf Wallin and HK Gruber’s concerto Aerial, whichhas received in excess of 70 performances by Hardenberger.

Following the last season’s critically-acclaimed premiere performances of Brett Dean’s trumpet concerto Dramatis personaein 2013; the2014/15 season brought the concerto to the Boston, Sydney, New Zealand and BBC Symphony Orchestras. Håkan Hardenberger will make his much-anticipated debut with the Berlin Philharmonic with Andris Nelsons, performing Gruber’s Aerial, a concerto which he also performed with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London. In May 2015, together with the Western Australia Symphony Orchestra and Baldur Brönnimann, Hardenberger will give the world premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s second trumpet concerto, aptly titled ‘Håkan.’

Conducting is becoming an integral part of Håkan Hardenberger’s music making. He conducts orchestras such as BBC Philharmonic, St Paul Chamber Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic, Northern Sinfonia, RTE National Symphony Dublin, Real Filharmonia Galicia, Tampere Philharmonic, Malmo Symphony and VästeråsSinfonietta.

In recital Hardenberger tours with organist Jonathan Scott, including at Dresden’s Frauenkirche. He also has duo partnerships with pianist Roland Pöntinen and with percussionist Colin Currie.

His extensive discography on the Philips, EMI, Deutsche Grammphon and BIS labels includes his latest recording with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields with new arrangements of popular film- and pop melodies (BIS), a new Gruber and Schwertsik disc with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra (BIS) and his trumpet concerto CD with the Gothenburg Symphony (DG).

Håkan Hardenberger was born in Malmö, Sweden. He began studying the trumpet at the age of eight with Bo Nilsson in Malmö and continued his studies at the Paris Conservatoire, with Pierre Thibaud and in Los Angeles with Thomas Stevens. He is a professor at the Malmö Conservatoire. Håkan Hardenberger is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HakanHardenbergerOfficialPage.

BSO 2015 European Tour
Saturday, August 22, London, Royal Albert Hall
Sunday, August 23, London, Royal Albert Hall
Monday, August 24, Salzburg, Grosses Festspielhaus
Tuesday, August 25, Salzburg, Grosses Festspielhaus
Thursday, August 27, Grafenegg, Wolkenturm
Friday, August 28, Grafenegg, Wolkenturm
Sunday, August 30, Lucerne, Kultur und Kongresszentrum
Monday, August 31, Lucerne, Kultur und Kongresszentrum
Tuesday, September 1, Milan, Teatro alla Scala
Thursday, September 3, Paris, Philharmonie
Friday, September 4, Cologne, Philharmonie
Saturday, September 5, Berlin, Philharmonie

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A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
[BSO]Beginning its 134th season in October 2015, the Boston Symphony Orchestra gave its inaugural concert in 1881, realizing the dream of its founder, the Civil War veteran/businessman/philanthropist Henry Lee Higginson, who envisioned a great and permanent orchestra in his hometown of Boston.  In 2014, the orchestra continued to build upon its storied history with the beginning of a new chapter as Andris Nelsons became the orchestra’s 15th music director at the start of the BSO’s 2014-15 season.

[BSO]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.

BSO Media CenterLaunched in 1996, the BSO’s website, bso.org, is the largest and most-visited orchestral website in the United States, receiving approximately 8 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.

BSO (photo by Stu Rosner)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).

[Serge Koussevitzky]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 took 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.

BSO MEDIA OFFERINGS
The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s extensive website, BSO.org, is one of the world’s largest and most-visited orchestral websites, receiving approximately 8 million visitors annually and generating over $104 million in revenue since its launch in 1996. The Boston Symphony Orchestra is on Facebook at Facebook.com/BostonSymphony and on Twitter at Twitter.com/BostonSymphony. Video content from the BSO is also available at YouTube.com/BostonSymphony.

The site’s Media Center, consolidates its numerous new media initiatives in one location. In addition to comprehensive access to all BSO, Boston Pops, Tanglewood, and Symphony Hall performance schedules, patrons have access to a number of free and paid media options. Free offerings include WGBH radio broadcast streams of select BSO, Boston Pops, and Tanglewood performances; free live music steams for select seasonal offerings including the upcoming Spring Pops music stream (May 2015); audio concert preview podcasts; Emmy Award-winning audio and video interviews with guest artists and BSO musicians; music excerpts, of up to three minutes, highlighting upcoming programs as well as all self-produced albums by the BSO, Boston Pops, Boston Symphony Chamber Players, Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and Tanglewood Music Center Fellows, and complete program notes for all performances, which can be downloaded and printed or saved offline to an e-reading device such as a Kindle or Nook.              

Paid content includes digital music downloads produced and published under the BSO’s music label BSO Classics and includes performances by the BSO, Boston Pops, Boston Symphony Chamber Players, Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and Tanglewood Music Center Fellows. The BSO Media Center is available by visiting BSO.org/mediacenter.               

BSO.org is mobile device compatible. Patrons can visit BSO.org on their mobile device to access performance schedules, purchase tickets as well as pre-performance food and beverages, download program notes, listen to radio broadcasts, music clips, and concert previews, watch video exclusives, and make donations to the BSO—all in the palm of their hand.

 

Boston Symphony Orchestra Tour Itinerary to Europe, August 22-September 5

Saturday, August 22
Royal Albert Hall
London, England
Andris Nelsons, conductor
Håkan Hardenberger, trumpet
DEAN Trumpet Concerto Dramatis personae
MAHLER Symphony No. 6

Sunday, August 23
Royal Albert Hall
London, England
Andris Nelsons, conductor
HAYDN Symphony No. 90
BARBER Second Essay for Orchestra
SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 10

Monday, August 24
Grosses Festspielhaus
Salzburg, Austria
Andris Nelsons, conductor
MAHLER Symphony No. 6

Tuesday, August 25
Grosses Festspielhaus
Salzburg, Austria
Andris Nelsons, conductor
Yo-Yo Ma, cello
Steven Ansell, viola
STRAUSS Don Quixote
SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 10

Thursday, August 27
Open-air Stage Wolkenturm
Grafenegg, Austria
Andris Nelsons, conductor
MAHLER Symphony No. 6

Friday, August 28
Open-air Stage Wolkenturm
Grafenegg, Austria
Andris Nelsons, conductor
HAYDN Symphony No. 90
BARBER Second Essay for Orchestra
STRAUSS Ein Heldenleben

Sunday, August 30
Kultur und Kongresszentrum
Lucerne, Switzerland
Andris Nelsons, conductor
Håkan Hardenberger, trumpet
HAYDN Symphony No. 90
DEAN Trumpet Concerto Dramatis personae
STRAUSS Ein Heldenleben

Monday, August 31
Kultur und Kongresszentrum
Lucerne, Switzerland
Andris Nelsons, conductor
Yo-Yo Ma, cello
Steven Ansell, viola
STRAUSS Don Quixote
SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 10

Tuesday, September 1
Teatro alla Scala
Milan, Italy
Andris Nelsons, conductor
MAHLER Symphony No. 6

Thursday, September 3
Philharmonie de Paris
Paris, France
Andris Nelsons, conductor
Yo-Yo Ma, cello
Steven Ansell, viola
STRAUSS Don Quixote
SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 10

Friday, September 4
Cologne Philharmonie
Cologne, Germany
Andris Nelsons, conductor
Håkan Hardenberger, trumpet
HAYDN Symphony No. 90
DEAN Trumpet Concerto Dramatis personae
STRAUSS Ein Heldenleben

Saturday, September 5
Berliner Philharmonie
Berlin, Germany
Andris Nelsons, conductor
MAHLER Symphony No. 6

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