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May 19, 2016


Further to extending Nelsons’ Grammy Award-winning Shostakovich symphony series with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Latvian Maestro announces substantial Bruckner recording plans with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig in addition to recording Beethoven’s complete symphonies with the Wiener Philharmoniker.

[Andris Nelsons (photo by Marco Borggreve)]Andris Nelsons, widely considered as one of today’s most charismatic and compelling conductors, signs an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon. The announcement, made in Berlin on 19 May 2016, represents a major milestone in the Latvian artist’s recording career and prepares the way for three landmark projects.

Earlier this month, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and DG announced that their Grammy Award-winning Shostakovich project with Nelsons had paved the way for an extension to the yellow label’s ongoing series of live Shostakovich recordings, which will now encompass the composer’s complete symphonies and his opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District.

Advanced discussions are underway between Deutsche Grammophon, Nelsons and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig about a collaboration that will shed new light on the symphonies of Bruckner, redefining Bruckner’s very distinctive sound world.

In addition, Nelsons will record Beethoven’s complete symphonies with the Wiener Philharmoniker in the calendar years 2016-2019, and he returns to perform the complete Beethoven cycle in 2020, the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

“I am absolutely delighted to be substantially partnering with Deutsche Grammophon,” comments Andris Nelsons. “Deutsche Grammophon’s commitment to our Shostakovich cycle in Boston and the tradition, expertise, and excellence they bring to each recording has been so important to me. I look forward to partnering with Deutsche Grammophon, welcoming them into my musical family with the two extraordinary musical institutions of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. Furthermore, I am so honoured to be invited to perform and record a Beethoven cycle with the Wiener Philharmoniker. These revelatory works by the genius composers of Shostakovich, Bruckner and Beethoven will be the focus for my upcoming recordings with three of the world’s greatest orchestras. I could not be happier – it is both a dream and an honour.”

Andris Nelsons was born in 1978 into a family of musicians in Riga. His formative musical education took place in the final years of the Soviet Union and gained from its exacting standards. Nelsons began his career as a trumpeter in the Latvian National Opera Orchestra before studying conducting. Nelsons served as Music Director of the Latvian National Opera (2003-07), he was Principal Conductor of Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie in Herford (2006-09), and secured international acclaim during his time as Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (2008-15).

Nelsons began his tenure as the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Music Director in September 2014. Their partnership’s power was captured by the initial release in DG’s Shostakovich Under Stalin’s Shadow series, a live recording of Shostakovich’s monumental Symphony No. 10, which won the Grammy Award for “Best Orchestral Performance” in February 2016. The series’ second instalment, scheduled for international release on 27 May 2016, presents a double-disc set of Shostakovich’s Symphonies Nos. 5, 8 and 9 together with the incidental music to Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

In February 2018, Andris Nelsons will become the new Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. Nelsons made his debut in December 2011 with the Gewandhausorchester and has given regular guest performances in Leipzig since this time. He will appear in Leipzig next on May 26 and 27, 2016 and June 2 and 3, 2016 with Bruckner’s Symphony No. 3 forming one of the programmes.

Nelsons first conducted the Wiener Philharmoniker in October 2010, and subsequently led the orchestra on tours to Europe, Japan and the US. Nelsons and the Wiener Philharmoniker began their exploration of Beethoven’s symphonies with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 “Eroica” in January 2016. He will return to the orchestra on March 18, 19, 21 and 23, 2017 with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 “Pastoral” on the programme.

“We are immensely honoured to be forging an exclusive relationship with Andris Nelsons, working in partnership with his two wonderful orchestras in Boston and Leipzig and invigorating our rich history of collaboration with the Wiener Philharmoniker,” notes Dr Clemens Trautmann, President Deutsche Grammophon. “The recordings we make together will document a truly outstanding maestro in a series of defining Classical, Romantic and 20th-century works. Given their respective musical backgrounds and traditions, Andris and these three exceptional ensembles will bring a unique quality to each of our projects, breathing new life into some of the classics of the repertoire. I have no doubt that their renderings will earn themselves a prominent place among the finest interpretations on record.”

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