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The 2020-2021 season is Andris Nelsons seventh as the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Ray and Maria Stata Music Director. In summer 2015, following his first season as music director, his contract with the BSO was extended through the 2021-22 season. In February 2018 Mr. Nelsons was also named Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. On October 5, 2020, the BSO and GHO jointly announced extensions to Mr. Nelsons current contracts. His contract with the BSO was extended until 2025, and his GHO contract until 2027. An evergreen clause in his BSO contract reflects a mutual intention for a long-term commitment between the BSO and Mr. Nelsons beyond the years of the agreement.
Mr. Nelsons’ two positions, in addition to his leadership of a pioneering alliance between the institutions, have firmly established the Grammy Award-winning conductor as one of the most renowned and innovative artists on the international scene today. In fall 2019 Mr. Nelsons and the BSO hosted the Gewandhausorchester in historic concerts at Symphony Hall that included two performances by the GHO as well as concerts featuring the players of both orchestras together.
In the 2019-20 season, Andris Nelsons led the BSO in repertoire ranging from favorites by Beethoven, Dvořák, Grieg, Mozart, Mahler, Ravel, and Tchaikovsky to world and American premieres of BSO-commissioned works from Eric Nathan, Betsy Jolas, and the Latvian composer Arturs Maskats. The season also brought the continuation of his complete Shostakovich symphony cycle with the orchestra and collaborations with an impressive array of guest artists. Mr. Nelsons’ work with the BSO resumes with his return to Boston at the start of 2021.
Andris Nelsons’ and the BSO’s ongoing series of recordings of the complete Shostakovich symphonies for Deutsche Grammophon has included the composer’s symphonies 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, and 11 (The Year 1905), and most recently a two-disc set pairing Shostakovich’s symphonies 6 and 7 (Leningrad). The cycle has earned three Grammy awards for Best Orchestral Performance and one for Best Engineered Album. The next installment, featuring symphonies nos. 1, 14, and 15 and the Chamber Symphony, Op. 110a (arr. Rudolf Barshai), is scheduled for release in summer 2021. Future releases will go beyond the symphonies to encompass the composer’s concertos for piano, violin, and cello, and his monumental opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District. Mr. Nelsons’ other recordings with the orchestra include the complete Brahms symphonies for the BSO Classics label and a Naxos release of BSO-commissioned world premiere works by four American composers: Timo Andres, Eric Nathan, Sean Shepherd, and George Tsontakis.
The fifteenth music director in the history of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Andris Nelsons made his BSO debut at Carnegie Hall in March 2011, his Tanglewood debut in July 2012, and his BSO subscription series debut in January 2013. In November 2017, Mr. Nelsons and the BSO toured Japan together for the first time. They have so far made three European tours together: immediately following the 2018 Tanglewood season, when they played concerts in London, Hamburg, Berlin, Leipzig, Vienna, Lucerne, Paris, and Amsterdam; in May 2016, a tour that took them to eight cities in Germany, Austria, and Luxembourg; and, after the 2015 Tanglewood season, a tour that took them to major European capitals and the Lucerne, Salzburg, and Grafenegg festivals. A scheduled February 2020 tour to East Asia was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic emergency.
In his capacity as BSO Music Director and Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Mr. Nelsons brings the BSO and GHO together for a unique multi-dimensional alliance including a BSO/GHO Musician Exchange program and an exchange component within each orchestra’s acclaimed academy for advanced music studies. A major aspect of the alliance is a focus on complementary programming, through which the BSO celebrates “Leipzig Week in Boston” and the GHO celebrates “Boston Week in Leipzig,” highlighting each other’s musical traditions through uniquely programmed concerts, chamber music performances, archival exhibits, and lecture series. The two orchestras have jointly commissioned and premiered works from Latvian, American, and German and Austrian composers.
In addition to his Shostakovich recordings with the BSO, Mr. Nelsons’ exclusive partnership with Deutsche Grammophon includes two other major projects. With the Gewandhausorchester he continues his critically acclaimed Bruckner symphonic cycle under the Yellow Label, of which four volumes have been released to date. His recordings of Beethoven’s complete symphonies with the Wiener Philharmoniker were released by Deutsche Grammophon in October 2019.
Mr. Nelsons frequently leads such orchestras as the Berlin Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. As an opera conductor, he has made regular guest appearances at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the Bayreuth Festival. Born in Riga in 1978 into a family of musicians, Andris Nelsons began his career as a trumpeter in the Latvian National Opera Orchestra before studying conducting. He was Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (2008-2015), Principal Conductor of Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie in Herford, Germany (2006-09), and Music Director of the Latvian National Opera (2003-07).
Andris Nelsons, conductor
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Håkan Hardenberger is one of the world’s leading soloists, consistently recognized for his phenomenal performances and tireless innovation. Alongside his performances of the classical repertory, he is also renowned as a pioneer of significant and virtuosic new trumpet works.
Hardenberger performs with the world’s foremost orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Wiener Philharmoniker, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker and London Symphony Orchestra. Conductors he regularly collaborates with include Martyn Brabbins, Péter Eötvös, Alan Gilbert, Daniel Harding, Ingo Metzmacher, Andris Nelsons, Sakari Oramo, Jukka-Pekka Saraste and John Storgårds.
The works written for and championed by Hardenberger stand as key highlights in the repertory and include those by Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Brett Dean, Hans Werner Henze, Steven Mackey, Olga Neuwirth, Arvo Pärt, Toru Takemitsu, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Rolf Wallin and HK Gruber’s concerto Aerial, which has received its 70th performance with the Berliner Philharmoniker in 2015.
In summer 2018, Hardenberger returns to the Salzburg Festival with the Vienna Philharmonic and Andris Nelsons with B.A. Zimmermann’s trumpet concerto “Nobody knows the trouble I see”, celebrating his centenary. At the BBC Proms he performs Brandenburg concerto No. 2 attacca into Steven Mackey’s response to Bach’s original, with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra. Both concertos will be released on the BIS label later in the season. He returns to the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, before embarking on a tour together to the Royal Festival Hall London, Malmö Live, Konserthuset Stockholm, Latvian National Opera and Konzerthaus Dortmund. In November he is giving his debut at Carnegie Hall with Boston Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons, with HK Gruber’s “Aerial”. Spring 2019 sees the world premieres of Robin Holloway’s trumpet concerto with BBC Philharmonic and Tobias Brostroem’s concerto for two trumpets with Jeroen Berwaerts and Malmö Symphony Orchestra, both with John Storgårds. Hardenberger also returns to the Orchestre de Paris, Dresdner Philharmonie and Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
Conducting is an integral part of Hardenberger’s music making. He conducts orchestras such as BBC Philharmonic, Saint Paul and Swedish Chamber Orchestras, Dresdner Philharmonie, RTÉ National Symphony Dublin, Orquesta Sinfónica de Euskadi and Malmö Symphony Orchestra.
To add to his prolific discography, on the Philips, EMI, Deutsche Grammophon and BIS labels. Hardenberger anticipates the release of duo recording with Colin Currie, which features duos by composers such as Brett Dean and André Jolivet (LSO Live). The duo performs in London, Malmö, Aldeburgh, Wimbledon and Bergen. Together with Roland Pöntinen, he returns to Wigmore Hall and performs at Kunstfestspiele Hannover and in Detmold. As the Artistic Director of the Malmö Chamber Music Festival, he features the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Xavier de Maistre as well as composers in residence Mark Anthony Turnage and Betsy Jolas.
Hardenberger was born in Malmö, Sweden. He began studying the trumpet at the age of eight with Bo Nilsson in Malmö and continued his studies at the Paris Conservatoire, with Pierre Thibaud, and in Los Angeles with Thomas Stevens. He is a professor at the Malmö Conservatoire.
Håkan Hardenberger, trumpet