GOVERNOR DEVAL PATRICK, MAYOR MARTIN WALSH, AMBASSADOR SUN GUOXIANG AND AMBASSADOR AKIRA MUTO SEND LETTERS OF GOOD WISHES AS BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA EMBARKS ON ITS TOUR TO CHINA AND JAPAN WITH CONDUCTOR CHARLES DUTOIT, MAY 1-10

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PRESS CONTACTS:
BSO Director of Public Relations: Bernadette Horgan; [email protected]
China contact: Joanna Lee; [email protected]
Tokyo contact: Kayoko Inoue; [email protected]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 28, 2014

GOVERNOR DEVAL L. PATRICK, MAYOR MARTIN J. WALSH, AMBASSADOR SUN GUOXIANG, CONSUL GENERAL OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA IN NEW YORK, AND
AMBASSADOR AKIRA MUTO,
CONSUL GENERAL OF JAPAN IN BOSTON, SEND LETTERS OF GOOD WISHES AS BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA EMBARKS ON ITS TOUR TO CHINA AND JAPAN WITH CONDUCTOR CHARLES DUTOIT, MAY 1-10

PERFORMANCES IN BEIJING (5/1 & 2), SHANGHAI (5/4), AND GUANGZHOU (5/6) MARK ORCHESTRA’S LONG-AWAITED RETURN TO CHINA SINCE ITS HISTORIC TOUR THERE IN 1979, WHEN THE BSO WAS THE FIRST U.S. ORCHESTRA TO VISIT CHINA AFTER THE ESTABLISHMENT OF DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS

BSO RETURNS TO JAPAN FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1999, PERFORMING CONCERTS IN
TOYKO METROPOLITAN THEATRE (5/8) AND SUNTORY HALL (5/9&10)

THE 2014 BSO ASIA TOUR IS SPONSORED BY EMC CORPORATION, LEAD SPONSOR, AND
STATE STREET CORPORATION, SUPPORTING SPONSOR

The Boston Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Charles Dutoit, will make long-awaited returns to China and Japan, during a scheduled tour to those countries May 1-10. The BSO is very grateful to Governor Deval L. Patrick, Mayor Martin J. Walsh, and AmbassadorSun Guoxiang, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in New York, for their letters of good wishes as the orchestra departs on its tour today, Monday, April 28.

Excerpt from letter to BSO from Governor Deval L. Patrick said (full letter available here):
[Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick]“I understand that the BSO’s performances with esteemed conductor Charles Dutoit in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou mark the orchestra’s eagerly anticipated return to China since its historic visit there 35 years ago. That special tour marked the initial exchange precipitated by the signed cultural pact between the Unites States and the People’s Republic of China, opening the door to decades of cultural exchanges between the two countries.”

Excerpt from letter to BSO from Mayor Martin J. Walsh (full letter available here):
[Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh]“The BSO has an impressive history serving as a cultural ambassador for the Unites States over many decades, and we are proud that it will represent our country and the city of Boston with inspiring performances for thousands over the course of your tour. Boston is the proud home of one of the world’s greatest symphony orchestras. We are grateful for your role in representing our city on the international stage.”

Excerpt from letter to BSO from Ambassador Sun Guoxiang, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in New York(full letter available here):
[Ambassador Sun Guoxiang, Consul General of the People's Republic of China in New York]“I am pleased to be informed that, since its historic debut in China in 1979, the tour this year will mark the BSO’s significant return as part of the joint celebration by China and the United States for the 35th anniversary of our diplomatic relations. The tour, as it did 35 years ago, will carry great importance beyond music and will convey, through the beautiful melodies, friendship between our two great peoples.”

Excerpt from letter to BSO from Ambassador Akira Muto, Consul General of Japan in Boston (full letter available here):
[Ambassador Akira Muto, Consul General of Japan in Boston]“It goes without saying that the BSO and Japan share a deep friendship, one that began at least 41 years ago with the conductorship of Seiji Ozawa and the subsequent contributions of many other distinguished Japanese musicians. Fifteen years have passed since you last toured Japan, so I can assure you that a loving public is eagerly awaiting your arrival. Recently I had the good fortune to hear some of the pieces that you will be performing under Charles Dutoit, and I know that your Japanese fans will be thrilled.”

Performances in Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts (5/1&2), the Shanghai Oriental Art Center, (5/4), and the Guangzhou Opera House (5/6) will mark the BSO’s first performances in China since the orchestra made its historic 1979 tour there as the first U.S. orchestra to visit China after the establishment of diplomatic relations; the tour marked the opening exchange in the then recently signed cultural pact between the United States and the People’s Republic of China. The Boston Symphony Orchestra will follow the performances in China with three concerts in Tokyo—the first BSO concerts in Japan since the orchestra’s last tour there with Seiji Ozawa in 1999—with performances in the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre (5/8) and Suntory Hall (5/9 & 10).

Click here for a press kit for the BSO’s concerts in Japan, and here for a press kit for the BSO’s concerts in China. For further information about the Boston Symphony Orchestra, visit www.bso.org.

QUOTE FROM MARK VOLPE, BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
“The Boston Symphony Orchestra ’s performances in Japan and China with esteemed conductor Charles Dutoit this spring mark the BSO’s eagerly anticipated returnto these two great countries, while also signifying the orchestra’s plan to reengage in regular touring to Asia and Europe over the next few years,” said Mark Volpe, BSO Managing Director.

“It is especially gratifying for the BSO to perform again in China after its historic trip there in 1979, as we will be returning to a country that has been dramatically transformed culturally and economically since our visit there 35 years ago. And it is always thrilling for the orchestra to perform for its loyal audiences in Tokyo, where the BSO appeared so often during Mr. Ozawa’s 29-year tenure with the orchestra. We promise not to let too much time go by before returning to these wonderful places again, including visits with the BSO’s new music director Andris Nelsons, who begins his tenure full time next fall. On an important final note, I must express our deep gratitude to EMC Corporation and State Street Corporation for all their support in making this tour possible.”

QUOTE FROM JOE TUCCI, EMC CORPORATION
“As a longstanding partner of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, EMC is proud to be the Lead Sponsor of the BSO’s 2014 Asia 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, andmember of the BSO’s Board of Overseers.“We are pleased to take a leading role in supporting the BSO’s 2014 Asia Tour so that our employees, customers and classical music lovers in China and Japan can experience and enjoy this great orchestra first hand.”

QUOTE FROM JACK KLINCK, STATE STREET CORPORATION
“State Street is pleased to support the BSO’s tour in Japan and China,” said Jack Klinck, executive vice president and head of Global Strategy and New Ventures at State Street and a member of the BSO’s Board of Overseers. “As a global company, we are committed to supporting organizations like the BSO that engage the communities where our employees and clients live and work.”

PREVIOUS BOSTON SYMPHONY TOURS TO JAPAN AND CHINA
The BSO and China
[HarryEllisDickson(BSOviolinist,1938-1987)playsalongsideachineseviolinist,PRC1979(PhotobyStoryLitchfield)]The BSO’s historic tour to China in 1979—put together in less than two months following an official invitation from the Chinese Ministry of Culture—marked the opening exchange in the then recently signed cultural pact between the United States and the People’s Republic of China. The BSO performed one concert in Shanghai on March 15 and three concerts in Beijing (called Peking at the time) on March 17, 18, and 19, the last of which was a joint performance with the Central Philharmonic Orchestra of Peking performed in the 18,000 seat Capital Stadium. During the tour BSO principal players held master classes[Seiji Ozawa in China in 1979, photo by Story Litchfield] at the Shanghai Conservatory, and Seiji Ozawa conducted a reading rehearsal with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. The BSO brought four complete sets of strings, brass mouthpieces, orchestra scores of music by Copland, Gershwin, Bartk, and Schuman, and sets of recordings, as well as United States-China Flag pins, Boston Symphony T-shirts, and frisbees—all to be presented to the Chinese musicians. The BSO was to return to China in 1999 as part of a season-long celebration of Seiji Ozawa’s 25th anniversary with the orchestra, but the trip was canceled at the last minute after the errant NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade; despite the cancellations of the orchestra’s concerts, Seiji Ozawa, who was born in China, was able to continue on to China to honor his commitment to teach at Beijing’s Central Conservatory of Music, where he found the level of performance high and appreciated the many sentiments of regret expressed about the tour’s cancellation. Click here to view a press release detailing the programs and the itinerary for the BSO’s 1979 tour to China.

The BSO and Japan
[Charles Munch leads the BSO in Osaka in 1960 (CopyrightheldbyTimeLife,JunMiki)]The Boston Symphony first toured to Japan May 4-30, 1960, under the direction of Charles Munch, the BSO’s music director 1949-62. This 16-city tour also included performances under the direction of Aaron Copland and Richard Burgin (BSO’s associate conductor and concertmaster) with tour repertoire including music of Bach, Barber, Beethoven, Berlioz, Blackwood, Copland, Debussy, Dello Joio, Handel, Haydn, Kirchner, Mahler, Mendelssohn, Piston, Purcell, Ravel, Roussel, and Wagner. Seiji Ozawa, BSO Music Director 1973-2002, would lead the BSO in subsequent tours to Japan in 1978, 1981, 1986, 1989, 1994, and 1999. A highlight of Mr. Ozawa and the BSO[Charles Munch leads the BSO in Osaka in 1960 [Seiji Ozawa leads the BSO in Japan in 1989 (Lincoln Russell)]’s first tour to Japan in 1978 was an appearance in Tokyo by the legendary pianist Rudolf Serkin, who performed Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor. In 1981, the BSO shared its year-long centennial celebration and showcased some of the orchestra’s rich and deep history with their Japanese audiences. In 1986, several members of the orchestra accompanied Mr. Ozawa on a visit to Cenotaph in Hiroshima’s Peace Park to lay a wreath of white carnations and orchids. In 1994 the BSO was honored by the unusual appearance at a public concert by Japan’s Crown Prince Naruhito and Princess Masako. The BSO’s 1999 Japan tour, part of a season-long celebration of Ozawa’s 25th anniversary leading the orchestra, was filled with mixed emotions for Ozawa and the orchestra, as it would be their last Japan tour together with Mr. Ozawa at the helm as music director. Click here for a listing of the BSO’s past tours to Japan.

The BSO’s 2014 tour to China and Japan has been organized by Harrison Parrott, Ltd. (www.harrisonparrott.com); HarrisonParrott has been very active in China since the late 1990s and in Japan since the 1970s arranging in both countries an ever growing program of artists and orchestra tours. AMATI Inc. (www.amati-tokyo.com) has been an organizational partner for the BSO concerts in Tokyo.

The BSO’s press representative for concerts in China is Joanna Lee; [email protected]. The press representative for concerts in Tokyo is Kayoko Inoue; [email protected]. The BSO’s Director of Public Relations is Bernadette Horgan; [email protected]; 617-638-9280. The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s website is www.bso.org.

Charles Dutoit
[Charles Dutoit  (photo by Priska Ketterer)]Since his initial Boston Symphony appearances in February 1981 at Symphony Hall and August 1982 at Tanglewood, Charles Dutoit has returned frequently to the BSO podium at both venues. Starting with the BSO’s 2012-13 season, Charles Dutoit has been the featured conductor in a multi-year survey with the BSO of some of the musical landmarks of the early 20th century, repertoire of which Maestro Dutoit is a foremost interpreter. Highlights of this survey have included an operatic double bill of operas by Stravinsky and Ravel, Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, and works by Debussy, Martin, and Rachmaninoff. During the 2014-15 season Maestro Dutoit will lead the first BSO performances of Polish composer Karol Szymanowski’s moving opera King Roger, featuring an internationally acclaimed cast headed by star Polish baritone Marius Kwiecien. Maestro Dutoit will also lead the BSO in three concerts during the upcoming season at Tanglewood—the BSO’s summer home in western Massachusetts since 1937—Including the final program of the summer, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

In 2010-11, the Philadelphia Orchestra celebrated its thirty-year artistic collaboration with Mr. Dutoit, who made his debut with that orchestra in 1980 and who became chief conductor there in 2008. Last season he became the Philadelphia Orchestra’s conductor laureate. Also artistic director and principal conductor of London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Mr. Dutoit collaborates regularly with the world’s leading orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, and Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, as well as the Israel Philharmonic and the major orchestras of Japan, South America, and Australia. His more than 170 recordings for Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, Philips, and Erato have garnered more than forty awards and distinctions. For twenty-five years, from 1977 to 2002, Charles Dutoit was artistic director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, a dynamic musical partnership recognized the world over. Between 1990 and 2010, he was artistic director and principal conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s summer festival at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in upstate New York. From 1991 to 2001, he was music director of the Orchestre National de France, with which he has toured extensively on five continents. In 1996 he was appointed music director of the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo, with which he has toured Europe, the United States, China, and Southeast Asia; he is now music director emeritus of that orchestra. Charles Dutoit has also been artistic director of both the Sapporo Pacific Music Festival and the Miyazaki International Music Festival in Japan, as well as the Canton International Summer Music Academy in Guangzhou, China, which he founded in 2005. In summer 2009 he became music director of the Verbier Festival Orchestra.

When still in his early twenties, Charles Dutoit was invited by Herbert von Karajan to lead the Vienna State Opera. He has since conducted regularly at the Royal Opera House–Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and Deutsche Oper in Berlin, and has also led productions at the Los Angeles Music Center Opera and Teatro Coln in Buenos Aires. He is an Honorary Citizen of the City of Philadelphia, a Grand Officier de l’Ordre National du Qubec, a Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France, and an Honorary Officer of the Order of Canada, the country’s highest award of merit. The recipient of the 2010 Governor’s Distinguished Arts Award, which recognizes a Pennsylvania artist of international fame, he recently received an honorary doctorate from the Curtis Institute of Music. He also holds honorary doctorates from McGill University, the University of Montral, and Universit Laval. Charles Dutoit was born in Lausanne, Switzerland; his extensive musical training included violin, viola, piano, percussion, the history of music, and composition at the conservatoires and music academies of Geneva, Siena, Venice, and Boston. Maestro Dutoit was a conducting Fellow in the 1959 class of the Tanglewood Music Center, the BSO’s prestigious summer music academy, one year before Seiji Ozawa, BSO Music Director 1973-2002, attended in 1960. A globetrotter motivated by his passion for history and archaeology, political science, art, and architecture, Charles Dutoit has traveled in all the nations of the world.

Janine Jansen
[Janine Jansen, photo by Harald Hoffmann for Decca]Violinist Janine Jansen made her Boston Symphony debut at Tanglewood in August 2008, with Saint-Sans’s Violin Concerto No. 3 under the direction of Rafael Frhbeck de Burgos, and her subscription series debut in March 2009, performing Brahms’s Double Concerto with cellist Alisa Weilerstein, under the direction of Hans Graf.

Ms. Jansen works regularly with the world’s most eminent orchestras, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, and the New York Philharmonic, among others. Her conductor collaborations include such distinguished names as Valery Gergiev, Zubin Mehta, Lorin Maazel, Gustavo Dudamel, Mariss Jansons, Sir Antonio Pappano, and Bernard Haitink. During the 2013-14 season Ms. Jansen embarks on a number of international tours, beginning with a performance of Britten’s Violin Concerto at the BBC Proms with Orchestre de Paris and Paavo Jrvi. In addition to her performances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Lorin Maazel, she is also the soloist on tour with London’s Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen in Europe. In celebration of the release of her new J.S. Bach album, the ensemble “Janine and Friends” embarks on two extensive European tours this season, with concerts in Berlin, Munich, Vienna, London, Amsterdam, and Paris. Following acclaimed performances in past seasons, Ms. Jansen returns to the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig, New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Cleveland Orchestra, as well as the Royal Stockholm, Oslo, and Rotterdam philharmonic orchestras. She will also perform with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Bernard Haitink. A devoted chamber musician, she performs on two duo recital tours with pianist Itamar Golan in Spain and Italy, and is joined by cellist Torleif Theden for several trio recitals. Janine Jansen established and curates the annual International Chamber Music Festival Utrecht (Holland), and since 1998 has performed each season at Spectrum Concerts Berlin, a chamber music series at Berlin’s Philharmonie.

Particularly renowned for her success in the digital music charts, Ms. Jansen records exclusively for Decca (Universal Music). Future releases include an album of J.S. Bach concertos and sonatas. Past recordings include Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski; the Beethoven and Britten concertos with Paavo Jrvi; Mendelssohn and Bruch concertos with Riccardo Chailly, and Tchaikovsky’s concerto with Daniel Harding. Janine has also recently released a chamber project disc, including Schubert’s String Quintet and Schoenberg’s Verklrte Nacht, in celebration of the tenth anniversary of her International Chamber Music Festival Utrecht. Janine Jansen’s numerous awards include four Edison Klassiek Awards, three Echo Klassik awards, the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, the NDR Musikpreis for outstanding artistic achievement, and, most recently, the Concertgebouw Prize. She has been given the VSCD Klassieke Muziekprijs for individual achievement and the RPS Instrumentalist Award for performances in the United Kingdom. She studied with Coosje Wijzenbeek, Philipp Hirshhorn, and Boris Belkin. The outstanding instrument she plays is the “Barrere” by Antonio Stradivari (1727), on extended loan from the Elise Mathilde Foundation.

Behzod Abduraimov
[Behzod Abduraimov, photo by Ben Ealovega and Decca]Pianist Behzod Abduraimov, who makes his debut with the BSO in April, has given performances that have rapidly established him as a rising star of his generation. He has collaborated with such conductors as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Valery Gergiev, Krzysztof Urbański, Vasily Petrenko, Charles Dutoit, Vladimir Jurowski, Marc Albrecht, Pinchas Zuckerman and he will be working with David Zinman and Andrey Borekyo next season. In spring 2014 Mr. Abduraimov makes his debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Lorin Maazel, performing both at Boston’s Symphony Hall and on a high-profile tour of China. Elsewhere in North America hewill be appearing with the Detroit Symphony, Aspen Music Festival andwill make his New York debut at Carnegie Hall. He has recently worked with the Indianapolis, Atlanta and Kansas City symphony orchestras and the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa (as part of its Russian Festival). He hasmade debut appearances with the Ravinia Festival, Princeton University series and the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. and will return to the Vancouver Recital Series in March. Behzod Abduraimov isthis season, Artist in Residence with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra; he also appears with such orchestras as the Czech Philharmonic, London Philharmonic,Mariinsky Orchestra, andthe Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestras. Following his triumphant debut at London’s Wigmore Hall, Mr. Abduraimov will make regular appearances there over the coming seasons.He has recently returned to Milan’s La Societa dei Concerti to open its season;made his debuts at the Louvre in Paris and the Mariinsky Theatre; and performs multiple recitals in Italy and Spain. Further afield, he returns to Japan for his debut with the NHK Symphony Orchestra, having made his Japanese debut in 2012 with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. Following a highly successful tour of Australia, he returns there in 2014. Recent engagements have taken him to La Roque d’Anthron, Le Festival de Radio France et Montpellier and Bozar, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia,RAI Turin, Tivoli Concert Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Sydney Symphony, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne (under the auspices of the Orpheum Foundation), and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo.

An exclusive Decca artist, Behzod Abduraimov released his debut recital CD on Decca Classics in 2012, earning both the Choc de Classica and the Diapason Dcouverte. At age eighteen, with a notable performance of Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3, he won first prize in the 2009 London International Piano Competition. Born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in 1990, Behzod Abduraimov began to play the piano at the age of five. He was a pupil of Tamara Popovich at the Uspensky State Central Lyceum in Tashkent, and is currently at the International Center for Music at Park University, Kansas City, studying with Stanislav Ioudenitch.

A Brief History of the Boston Symphony Orchestra
BSO (Photo by Stu Rosner)Now in its 133rd season, 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 will continue to build upon its storied history with the beginning of a new chapter as Andris Nelsons becomes the orchestra’s 15th music director at the start of the BSO’s 2014-15 season.

BSO (photo by Stu Rosner)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 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.

[Serge Koussevitzky]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.

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Boston Symphony Orchestra Tour Itinerary to China and Japan, May 1-10

Thursday, May 1
National Centre for the Performing Arts,
Beijing, China
Charles Dutoit, conductor
Behzod Abduraimov, piano
MUSSORGSKY Night on Bald Mountain
RACHMANINOFF Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 5

Friday, May 2
National Centre for the Performing Arts,
Beijing, China
Charles Dutoit, conductor
MOZART Symphony No. 38, Prague
MAHLER Symphony No. 5

Sunday, May 4
Shanghai Oriental Art Center, Shanghai, China
Charles Dutoit, conductor
Behzod Abduraimov, piano
GLINKA Overture to Russlan and Ludmila
RACHMANINOFF Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
BERLIOZ Symphonie fantastique

Tuesday, May 6
Guangzhou Opera House, Guangzhou, China
Charles Dutoit, conductor
Behzod Abduraimov, piano
GLINKA Overture to Russlan and Ludmila
RACHMANINOFF Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 5

Thursday, May 8
Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre, Tokyo, Japan
Charles Dutoit conductor
Janine Jansen, violin
MUSSORGSKY Night on Bald Mountain
TCHAIKOVSKY Violin Concerto
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 5

Friday, May 9
Suntory Hall, Tokyo, Japan
Charles Dutoit, conductor
Janine Jansen, violin
GLINKA Overture to Russlan and Ludmila
TCHAIKOVSKY Violin Concerto
BERLIOZ Symphonie fantastique

Saturday, May 10
Suntory Hall, Tokyo, Japan
Charles Dutoit, conductor
MOZART Symphony No. 38, Prague
MAHLER Symphony No. 5

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