The Andris Nelsons era is about to begin in Boston. The Boston Symphony Orchestra's first full season under Nelsons starts Saturday, when the music director conducts Wagner, Puccini, Mascagni and Respighi at Symphony Hall.

"I knew there was something special about the guy within the first 10 minutes of rehearsal. And it was clear he had the orchestra's attention as well," BSO managing director Mark Volpe said in an interview with 99.5 WCRB's Brian McCreath.

Ron Della Chiesa — host of the BSO broadcast on WCRB 99.5 — echoed Volpe's sentiment in an interview on Boston Public Radio. "Andris pulls the music, literally, out of the orchestra. He leans in and pulls it. You can imagine how the players react to that. The anticipation of his arrival into Symphony Hall has been extraordinary. We haven't seen anything like that since [former music director Seiji] Ozawa."

"He is as engaged and excited a person as you can imagine," McCreath added, also on Boston Public Radio. "He believes that this is a gigantic opportunity for him as well as the BSO. He's very excited to come here. He has been someone on the radar of every major orchestra in the world for years now."

The demand for Nelsons ahead of his official debut with the BSO (he conducted the orchestra many times last season, as well as at Tanglewood last summer) has generated excitement outside Boston: The New York Times's James Oestreich profiled Nelsons earlier this month.

Within Boston, demand to see the orchestra and its new music director has outstripped ticket supply thus far. Tickets for Saturday's show are sold out, but there are still availabilities for later shows.

When Nelsons walks in the room, you just feel it. --Ron Della Chiesa, WCRB

Ron Della Chiesa said buzz about the orchestra and its new conductor is deserved. "There's a charisma — or as the late George Frazier said, "duende" (...) — you know, when [Nelsons] walks in the room you just feel it. And young people are going to be inspired, and goodness knows we need these young people coming in," Della Chiesa said. 

>> To hear the entire interview with Brian McCreath and Ron Della Chiesa on Boston Public Radio, click the audio link above.