BSO Music Director

Celebrating a New Era of the BSO

Thursday, September 18, 2014
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The Boston Symphony Orchestra launches into a new era with the 2014-2015 season through the leadership of Andris Nelsons as its new Music Director.

 

WCRB welcomes Andris Nelsons with a series of special features and programs that highlight the legacy of past BSO Music Directors, as well as a live broadcast of the first concert he and the orchestra perform in this new partnership.

 

Andris Nelsons at Symphony Hall
Andris Nelsons at Symphony Hall (photo by Marco Borggreve, courtesy of the BSO)

When Andris Nelsons stepped in at short notice to conduct the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Mahler's Ninth Symphony at Carnegie Hall in March of 2011, it turned out to be a defining moment for him and for the orchestra. Instantly vaulted to the front rank of candidates to replace James Levine, who had just resigned his position as Music Director of the BSO, Nelsons subsequently demonstrated a rare charisma and musical insight in several BSO performances during the search process.

Now, three-and-a-half years later, Nelsons and the BSO are beginning a new chapter in their relationship. Nelsons is the 15th Music Director of the orchestra, having planned a 2014-2015 season with careful and thoughtful attention to building an artistic conversation among himself, the musicians of the BSO, and Boston's audience. Continuing a decades-old partnership, 99.5 WCRB will broadcast each BSO program of the season, live on Saturday nights, with encore performances each Monday.

>> See the complete WCRB Boston Symphony broadcast schedule

Each Music Director leaves a particular imprint during his or her time with an orchestra, and that includes the BSO. To tell the story of the Boston Symphony and its most recent leaders, WCRB has planned eight days of special features and programs, including a live broadcast of the sold-out Sept. 27 gala concert that launches the Andris Nelsons era.

>> Follow us on Twitter @995WCRB as we live tweet Andris Nelsons's first concert as Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra

listen buttonINTERVIEW: Andris Nelsons on his first concert as BSO Music Director

listen buttonINTERVIEW: BSO Managing Director on bringing Andris Nelsons to the BSO

listen buttonINTERVIEW: BSO Principal Horn James Sommerville on the qualities that Andris Nelsons brings to the BSO

Symphony Hall

Sunday, Sept. 21 at 7pm
Ron Della Chiesa brings you a two-hour Sunday Night Special, featuring BSO performances with the five most recent Music Directors, including Charles Munch, Erich Leinsdorf, William Steinberg, Seiji Ozawa, and James Levine.

Then, at 9pm, Cathy Fuller highlights the work of the Music Director whose legacy remains central to the orchestra's identity, Serge Koussevitzky.

   
Charles Munch Monday, Sept. 22 at 8pm
Charles Munch, Music Director of the BSO from 1949 to 1962, was known for spontaneous, passionate performances, qualities you'll hear as he leads the BSO in the Symphonie fantastique by Hector Berlioz.
   
Erich Leinsdorf Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 8pm
Austrian conductor Erich Leinsdorf, Music Director of the BSO from 1962 to 1969, brought a new rigor to the orchestra's performances, which are highlighted in the Symphony No. 5 by Gustav Mahler.
   
William Steinberg Wednesday, Sept. 24 at 8pm
William Steinberg's tenure as Music Director of the BSO was not long (1969-1972), but his sense of large-scale musical architecture was a hallmark of those years, demonstrated in the "Great" C major Symphony by Franz Schubert.
   
Seiji Ozawa Thursday, Sept. 25 at 8pm
Seiji Ozawa led the BSO for a longer period than any other Music Director, from 1973 to 2002. (He now holds the title of Music Director Laureate.) Among the many accomplishments of those years, he and the orchestra cultivated an already graceful identity in recording a series of complete ballet scores, including Igor Stravinsky's The Firebird.
   
James Levine Friday, Sept. 26 at 8pm
With a rich background as leader of the Metropolitan Opera, James Levine brought a sense of narrative to the concerts he led as Music Director of the BSO from 2004 to 2011. In 2007 he and the orchestra performed a series of symphonies by Mozart, from which you'll hear the Symphony No. 39.
   
Andris Nelsons Saturday, Sept. 27 at 7:30pm, LIVE from Symphony Hall
The Andris Nelsons era begins with a gala BSO concert with soprano Kristine Opolais and tenor Jonas Kaufmann. Ron Della Chiesa and Brian McCreath bring you special features and interviews beginning at 7:30, followed by the complete concert at 8pm.
   
Andris Nelsons Sunday, Sept. 28 at 8pm
WCRB's Sunday Night at the Opera features a riveting encore broadcast from the 2013-2014 concert season, as Andris Nelsons leads the BSO in Richard Strauss's Salome, featuring soprano Gun-Brit Barkman in the title role, mezzo-soprano Jane Henschel as Herodias, tenor Gerhard Siegel as Herod, and baritone Evgeny Nikitin as Jochanaan, recorded in concert on March 6, 2014.


For information on attending BSO concerts at Symphony Hall, visit the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

 

Nelsons and the BSO Announce 2014-2015

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
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Mar. 5, 2014


 

 

For the Boston Symphony Orchestra's 2014-2015 season incoming Music Director Andris Nelsons will lead 10 programs, enriching connections between his musical personality and the BSO's own identity.

 

 


In a press conference at Symphony Hall today, Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony announced plans for an inaugural season together. In this first year of their relationship, between September 2014 and April 2015, Nelsons will work with some of his own favorite collaborators and with important figures on the local music scene. With this approach the BSO hopes to draw the orchestra and conductor closer together in developing a common vision of what the Boston Symphony Orchestra will mean to audiences in the coming years.

The season schedule also calls for the return of guest conductors who provided a foundation for the orchestra's work during the last three years of transition following the departure of former Music Director James Levine. They include Conductor Emeritus Bernard Haitink, who will lead two programs, as will Christoph von Dohnányi and Charles Dutoit.

In addition, the orchestra will welcome more recently embraced guest conductors like Christian Zacharias, Stéphane Denève, Vladimir Jurowski, and Leonidas Kavakos, each of whom leads a program designed to highlight his unique relationship with the orchestra.

As in any season, guest artists will play a large role in defining the experience of the audience, including perennial favorites like cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianists Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Emanuel Ax.

Continuing a central mission of the BSO as established by legendary Music Director Serge Koussevitzky in the first half of the 20th Century, several premieres of BSO commissions will be featured throughout the season. Andris Nelsons will conduct two of those commissions, one by Boston-based composer Michael Gandolfi and the other by Latvian composer Eriks Esenvalds.

For complete information about the BSO's 2014-2015 season, visit the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and see more detailed higlights below.

 

Andris Nelsons in concert at Tanglewood
Andris Nelsons
(credit Hilary Scott, courtesy of the BSO)
Andris Nelsons, the new Music Director of the BSO will conduct 10 programs:
  • Sept. 27 - a gala concert featuring opera selections with soprano Kristine Opolais (Nelsons's wife) and tenor Jonas Kaufmann
  • Oct. 1-3 - an all-orchestra program including Beethoven's Symphony No. 8, Bartók's The Miraculous Mandarin, and Tchaikovsky's Pathétique Symphony
  • Nov. 6-11 - Gubaidulina's Offertorium, with Latvian violinist (and long-time friend of Nelsons) Baiba Skride, and the Symphony No. 2 by Sibelius
  • Nov. 13-18 - Tchaikovsky's Hamlet, the American premiere of Brett Dean's Dramatis personae, with trumpeter Håkan Hardenberger, and Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring
  • Nov. 20-22 - works by Harbison, Prokofiev, with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and Rachmaninoff, and the world premiere of a work for chorus and orchestra by Eriks Esenvalds
  • Jan. 8-10 - works by Brahms, Haydn, and Richard Strauss, with cellist Gautier Capucon
  • Jan. 15-17 - Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 24, with pianist Lars Vogt, and Bruckner's Symphony No. 7
  • Mar. 26-31 - the world premiere of a piece for organ and orchestra by Michael Gandolfi, featuring soloist Olivier Latry, and Mahler's Symphony No. 6
  • Apr 2-4 - Beethoven's Violin Concerto, with soloist Christian Tetzlaff, and the Symphony No. 10 by Shostakovich
  • Apr. 9-14 - Gunther Schuller's Dreamscape, Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 27, with soloist Richard Goode, and Richard Strauss's Ein Heldenleben
   
Bernard Haitink
Bernard Haitink
(credit Matthias Creutziger)
Concerts with Conductor Emeritus Bernard Haitink
  • Apr. 23-28 - Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet plays Ravel's Piano Concerto in G, and Haitink conducts Ravel's Mother Goose, Three Studies from Couperin by Adès, and Mozart's Symphony No. 36, the Linz
  • Apr. 30-May 2 - Pianist Maria João Pires plays Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23, and Haitink conducts Schumann's Manfred Overture and Brahms's Symphony No. 1
   
Charles Dutoit
Charles Dutoit
(courtesy of the Verbier Festival)
Concerts with conductor Charles Dutoit
  • Feb. 26-Mar. 3 - Violinist Julia Fischer is the soloist in the Violin Concerto by Brahms, and Dutoit conducts Stravinsky's Dumbarton Oaks and Debussy's Images
  • March 5-7 - Dutoit conducts Karel Szymanowski's opera King Roger
   
Christoph von Dohnanyi
Christoph von Dohnányi
(courtesy of the BSO)
Concerts with conductor Christoph von Dohnányi
  • Mar. 12-17 - Pianist Emanuel Ax plays Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 14 and Richard Strauss's Burleske, and Dohnányi conducts Strauss's Sextet from Capriccio and Mozart's Symphony No. 35, the Haffner
  • March 19-21 - the final three symphonies by Mozart: Nos. 39, 40, and 41, the Jupiter
   
Christian Zacharias
Christian Zacharias
(courtesy of the BSO)
Christian Zacharias
  • Oct. 9-11 - The pianist and conductor performs music from Schubert's Rosamunde and Symphony No. 8, the Unfinished, as well as Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 17
   
Vladimir Jurowski
Vladimir Jurowski
(credit Roman Gontcharov)
Vladimir Jurowski
  • Feb. 12-14 - The Russian conductor leads the orchestra in three pieces by Liadov and Stravinsky's complete Firebird, as well as a world premiere of a work for piano and orchestra by Harrison Birtwhistle with soloist Pierre-Laurent Aimard
   
Stephane Deneve
Stéphane Denève
(courtesy of the BSO)
Stéphane Denève
  • Feb. 19-21 - The French conductor leads the orchestra in Stravinsky's Pulcinella Suite, Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 1, with soloist James Ehnes, Milhaud's The Creation of the World, and Poulenc's Les Biches
  For more details, visit the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

 

 

WGBH's Jared Bowen and WCRB's Brian McCreath talk about Andris Nelsons and the 2014-2015 BSO season with Emily Rooney on Greater Boston:

 

 

 

 

 

Nelsons Conducts Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky

Thursday, January 31, 2013
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Jurowski Conducts Shostakovich

Friday, October 12, 2012
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BSO Founder Henry Lee Higginson

Thursday, August 23, 2012
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Time for Three at the Pops!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012
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