BOSTON —Today the Boston Symphony Orchestra announced Andris Nelsons will become the new music director, the 15th director in the organization's 130-year history. At 34 years old, Andris Nelsons is the youngest music director to lead the Boston Symphony Orchestra in over 100 years; he is also the first Latvian-born conductor to take on the post.
To hear BSO Managing Director on the appointment of Andris Nelsons, click on "Listen" above.
Nelsons is one of the most sought-after conductors on the international scene today, earning distinction on both the opera and concert podiums in Berlin, Vienna, Amsterdam, London and New York. Born in Riga in 1978 into a family of musicians, he began his career as a trumpeter in the Latvian National Opera Orchestra before studying conducting.
As Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) since 2008, Nelsons has earned critical acclaim. With the CBSO Mr Nelsons is undertaking major tours worldwide, including regular appearances at such summer festivals as the Lucerne Festival, BBC Proms and Berliner Festspiele.Together they have toured the major European concert halls, including the Musikverein, Vienna, Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Paris, Gasteig, Munich and the Auditorio Nacional de Música, Madrid. Nelsons made his debut in Japan on tour with Wiener Philharmoniker and returns to tour the Far East with the CBSO in November 2013.
Nelsons's first appearance with the BSO came in 2011, when he stepped in for James Levine, and last summer Nelsons conducted both the Boston Symphony Orchestra (in Ravel's La Valse) and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra (in Sarasate's Carmen Fantasy with Anne-Sophie Mutter) as part of Tanglewood's gala 75th-anniversary concert.
The Boston Symphony Orchestra has announced a 2012-2013 season that includes major orchestral masterpieces, favorite conductors and soloists, significant debuts, and a major world premiere.
As the BSO continues the search for a successor to former Music Director James Levine, the orchestra deepens its relationships with many of today’s most admired conductors and welcomes new voices to the podium of Symphony Hall. Classical New England brings you the programs with live Saturday night broadcasts from Symphony Hall, as well as encore Sunday afternoons and on-demand access at classicalnewengland.org.
The season begins on Sept. 22 with perennial favorite Itzhak Perlman in the role of both violin soloist and conductor for an all-Beethoven program that includes the Symphony No. 7.
The 2012-2013 season also features the return of Charles Dutoit in three different programs of 20th century music, the beginning of a multi-year partnership with Dutoit that will focus on works for which the conductor is particularly well-known. The first program (Oct. 18-23) is highlighted by Claude Debussy’s Fanfares and Symphonic Fragments from The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian, with the subsequent programs exploring music by Ravel and Stravinsky in October, and Hindemith and Prokofiev in January.
Conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos returns as well, for a concert that features two of the BSO’s most significant past commissions: the Konzertmusik for Strings and Brass by Paul Hindemith and the Concerto for Orchestra by Béla Bartók. On the same program, pianist Lang Lang makes his BSO subscription debut with Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2.
A more recently established relationship continues in November when Stéphane Denève conducts music by Roussel, Berlioz, Saint-Saëns (with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet), and James MacMillan.
Two of today’s most exciting younger conductors visit Symphony Hall for the first time next season. In October, Vladimir Jurowski, principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, makes his BSO debut with Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, featuring soloist Arabella Steinbacher, and Shostakovich’s bold and riveting Symphony No. 4.
Then, in January, Andris Nelsons, who conducted the BSO at Carnegie Hall on short notice in 2011, comes to Boston for Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1, with soloist Baibe Skride, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5.
Following last summer’s spectacular performance of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess at Tanglewood, conductor Bramwell Tovey once again leads stellar soloists, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and the BSO in that rarely performed work during the first full series of concerts of the season.
The BSO continues to present some of the most compelling compositional voices of our time, often in concerts conducted by the composers themselves. In November, Thomas Adès conducts his In Seven Days for piano and orchestra with soloist Kirill Gerstein, who also takes the stage for Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 1 on the same program. Dawn Upshaw also joins the orchestra for music by Sibelius.
Oliver Knussen also conducts his own works in April, with violin soloist Pinchas Zukerman and soprano Claire Booth, on a program that also includes music by the often overlooked Russian composer Nikolai Miaskovsky.
In addition, the BSO once again adds to its legacy of commissions from the most significant composers of the day with the world premiere of the Cello Concerto No. 3 by Augusta Read Thomas, with soloist Lynn Harrell. Christoph Eschenbach conducts the program, which also features the Symphony No. 3, the “Organ,” by Saint-Saëns, with soloist Olivier Latry, and Mozart’s Symphony No. 41, the “Jupiter.”
Other highlights of the season include three programs conducted by Daniele Gatti. First, he and the BSO commemorate the bicentennial of the birth of Giuseppe Verdi with the composer’s epic Requiem. Then, in March, he leads the orchestra in another bicentennial celebration with an all-Wagner program. The following week’s program is devoted to the singularly massive and transcendent Symphony No. 3 by Gustav Mahler.
More highlights of the season include programs of Brahms, Schubert, and Mahler with conductor Bernard Haitink, Bruckner, Sibelius, and more conducted by Christoph von Dohnányi, and an April program with no conductor that features the individual sections of the BSO, separately first and then joining forces for Benjamin Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra.