WGBH News and Media Relations


September 15, 2014

WCRB Welcomes Andris Nelsons With Special Week of BSO Broadcasts

Boston’s listener-supported classical radio station to honor new BSO Music Director with eight nights of historic performances

BOSTON, Mass. (September 15, 2014) – Andris Nelsons will take the stage at Symphony Hall and officially assume the role of the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s 15th music director on Saturday, September 27. WCRB, the exclusive radio broadcast partner for the BSO, will broadcast the entire opening gala performance live on the radio and on the web.

“Andris Nelsons’ arrival in Boston marks the beginning of a new generation of leadership in classical music,” commented WCRB Station Manager Anthony Rudel. “The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s opening gala concert is the hottest ticket in Boston since last year’s Game Six and the only place to get access without a ticket is on 99.5 WCRB.”

WCRB hosts Ron Della Chiesa—a 2013 inductee to the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame—and Brian McCreath will co-host a pre-concert special from the front and back of the house, giving listeners unrivaled access to Boston’s most anticipated cultural event this fall. The gala concert is scheduled to begin at 8pm with a program that opens with the overture to Richard Wagner’s Tannhäuser, an opera that inspired Nelsons to pursue a life in music. Other works include selections from Italian operas by Mascagni, Catalani, and Puccini. Soprano Kristine Opolais and tenor Jonas Kaufmann are scheduled to join Maestro Nelsons and the BSO for this debut performance.

“We are thrilled that WCRB’s week-long celebration leading up to Andris Nelsons’ first concert as BSO Music Director on September 27 will give music lovers across greater Boston and throughout New England a chance to take part in this extraordinary moment in the 134-year history of the Boston Symphony Orchestra,” said Mark Volpe, BSO Managing Director.  “We are grateful to WCRB and its parent company WGBH for their continuing commitment to bringing the music of the BSO to thousands of listeners throughout the region, and we hope that the extraordinary performances anticipated from Mr. Nelsons and the BSO will bring inspiration and joy to the orchestra’s radio fans far and wide.”

Leading into the gala concert, the station has planned a special week of programming celebrating the legacies of Nelsons’ predecessors. The eight nights of special programming kick off on Sunday, September 21, when Ron Della Chiesa hosts a two-hour retrospective of the last five BSO music directors. A week later, on Sunday, September 28, WCRB will broadcast a performance by Nelsons and the BSO of Richard Strauss’s psychodramatic masterpiece Salome recorded in concert at Symphony Hall on March 6, 2014, a broadcast that marks the debut of WCRB’s Sunday Night Special.

In the week between those Sunday night programs, WCRB will produce a series of special Symphony at 8 broadcasts featuring the most recent past directors of the renowned orchestra. A full schedule of those performances follows:

·      Monday, September 22 (8pm) – Charles Munch conducts Symphonie Fantastique by Hector Berlioz (RCA, 1954)

·      Tuesday, September 23 (8pm) – Erich Leinsdorf conducts Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 (RCA, 1963)

·      Wednesday, September 24 (8pm) – William Steinberg conducts Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 9, “The Great” (RCA, 1969)

·      Thursday, September 25 (8pm) – Seiji Ozawa conducts Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird (EMI Seraphim, 1984)

·      Friday, September 26 (8pm) – James Levine conducts Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony No. 39 (BSO Classics, 2009)

99.5 WCRB is WGBH’s listener-supported classical radio station and the official radio station of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The station broadcasts every BSO subscription program live from Symphony Hall, a tradition that began over 60 years ago when WGBH Radio first went on the air with a live broadcast of Charles Munch’s BSO concert of October 6, 1951.

About WGBH

WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web. Television channels include WGBH 2, WGBX 44, and the digital channels World and Create. WGBH Radio serves listeners across New England with 89.7 WGBH Boston Public Radio; 99.5 WCRB; and WCAI, the Cape and Islands NPR® Station. Find more information at wgbh.org.


WGBH Media Relations

Emily Balk

Catherine Burke