November 13, 2015
BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AND ANDRIS NELSONS RELEASE
THIS IS THE BSO’S SECOND INSTALLMENT OF RECORDINGS RELEASED THROUGH CLASSICAL LIVE, WHICH LAUNCHED IN JUNE 2015 ON GOOGLE PLAY MUSIC AT WWW.CLASSICAL-LIVE.COM
KEITH LOCKHART AND THE BOSTON POPS TO JOIN LINEUP OF ORCHESTRAS FEATURED ON CLASSICAL LIVE: BOSTON POPS ORCHESTRA’S JOY TO THE WORLD—A FANFARE FOR CHRISTMAS DAY TO BE AVAILABLE THROUGH CLASSICAL LIVE AS A
The Boston Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Andris Nelsons will release a live recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 6 (recorded March 26, 27, 28, and 31, 2015), available for $4.99, exclusively on Google Play Music’s Classical Live on Friday, November 13. This is the BSO’s second release through Classical Live since the platform was launched in June 2015. Additionally, a free bonus track of Joy to the World—A Fanfare for Christmas Day, recorded by Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Orchestra, will soon be available at music.google.com or www.classical-live.com. Both of these live recordings were taken from performances that took place in the BSO’s and Boston Pops’ home, Symphony Hall in Boston, widely acclaimed as one of the three greatest concert halls in the world.
In June 2015, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, along with the Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, and Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, 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 offers participating orchestras an opportunity to release up to four live recordings each season for download exclusively on Google Play Music at music.google.com or www.classical-live.com. The BSO’s first releases on Classical Live featured live concert recordings of performances from Andris Nelsons’ first season as music director: the Suite from Bartók’sThe Miraculous Mandarin and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No 6, Pathétique (performance recordings from October 1, 2, and 3, 2014), as well as 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).
In addition to the Boston Pops Orchestra, on Friday, November 13, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra join the original five participating Classical Live orchestras with their first round of recordings to be released on Google Play Music. This second phase of Classical Live includes 12 new recordings in digital-only performances from the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Visit www.classical-live.com for more information about the other recordings.
MORE ON GOOGLE PLAY AND CLASSICAL LIVE
EXCERPTS FROM REVIEWS OF THE BSO’S MAHLER SYMPHONY NO. 6 PERFORMANCES
“This was a young man’s Mahler Sixth, the opening march rhythm leaning forward, with places to go… …Nelsons, at points almost crouching down beneath his music stand, coaxed from the strings a luminous sound and phrasing of surpassing tenderness… he drew playing that was texturally alert, clear, and brimming with vitality.” – Jeremy Eichler, Boston Globe, March 26, 2015 Boston performance
GOOGLE PLAY MUSIC
From the 2017-18 season Andris Nelsons will hold the position of the Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and will be the central figure in bringing the BSO and GWO together for a unique multidimensional alliance, which will explore the many historic connections between these two orchestras.
Mr. Nelsons, who formally holds the title of Ray and Maria Stata BSO Music Director, returned to the BSO at Tanglewood this summer to lead six performances, August 1-15, highlighted by a performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 on August 8 in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Tanglewood Music Center, the BSO’s acclaimed summer music academy. Afterwards, Nelsons and the BSO embarked on their first tour together, August 22-September 5: an extensive 12-concert, 8-city European tour to major European capitals, including Berlin, Cologne, London, Milan, and Paris, as well as the Lucerne, Salzburg, and Grafenegg festivals. In May 2016 a tour to eight cities in Germany, Austria, and Luxembourg will follow.
Andris 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.
In the coming season, Nelsons will continue collaborations with Berliner Philharmoniker, Wiener Philharmoniker, Het KoninklijkConcertgebouworkest and Philharmonia Orchestra. Andris Nelsons is a regular guest at Royal Opera House Covent Garden and the Metropolitan Opera New York. In summer 2016, he returns to BayreutherFestspiele conducting Wagner’s Parsifal, in a new production directed by Uwe Eric Laufenberg.
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, initiated 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.
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 summer 2015. Over the next few seasons he will continue collaborations with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Wiener Philharmoniker, Het KoninklijkConcertgebouworkest, Symphonieorchester des BayerischenRundfunks and Philharmonia Orchestra. Andris Nelsons is a regular guest at Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Wiener Staatsoper and the Metropolitan Opera New York. 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 Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie 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.” Additional information about Andris Nelsons can be found at www.andrisnelsons.com and www.bso.org.
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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