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Boston Symphony Orchestra
Andris Nelsons conducts Copland and Grieg featuring pianist Jan Lisiecki

Tanglewood

Koussevitzky Music Shed - Lenox, MA View Map

BSO principal trumpet Thomas Rolfs and English horn player Robert Sheena join Andris Nelsons and the orchestra for the opening work on the July 12 program, Copland’s Quiet City, followed by a performance of Grieg’s Piano Concerto with Jan Lisiecki in his Tanglewood debut and ending with Copland’s Symphony No. 3.

Featured Performers

Andris Nelsons, conductor
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The 2018-19 season is Andris Nelsons’ fifth as the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Ray and Maria Stata Music Director. Named Musical America’s 2018 Artist of the Year, Mr. Nelsons leads fourteen of the BSO’s twenty-six subscription programs in 2018-19, ranging from orchestral works by Haydn, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, and Copland to concerto collaborations with acclaimed soloists, as well as world and American premieres of pieces newly commissioned by the BSO from Thomas Adès, Sebastian Currier, Andris Dzenītis, and Mark-Anthony Turnage; the continuation of his complete Shostakovich symphony cycle with the orchestra, and concert performances of Puccini’s one-act opera Suor Angelica. In summer 2015, following his first season as music director, Andris Nelsons’ contract with the BSO was extended through the 2021-22 season. In November 2017, he and the orchestra toured Japan together for the first time. In February 2018, he became Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, in which capacity he brings both orchestras together for a unique multi-dimensional alliance. Immediately following the 2018 Tanglewood season, Maestro Nelsons and the BSO made their third European tour together, playing concerts in London, Hamburg, Berlin, Leipzig, Vienna, Lucerne, Paris, and Amsterdam. Their first European tour, following the 2015 Tanglewood season, took them to major European capitals and the Lucerne, Salzburg, and Grafenegg festivals; the second, in May 2016, took them to eight cities in Germany, Austria, and Luxembourg.

 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. His recordings with the BSO, all made live in concert at Symphony Hall, include the complete Brahms symphonies on BSO Classics; Grammy-winning recordings on Deutsche Grammophon of Shostakovich’s symphonies 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, and 11 (The Year 1905) as part of a complete Shostakovich symphony cycle for that label; and a new two-disc set pairing Shostakovich’s symphonies 6 and 7 (Leningrad). Under an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon, Andris Nelsons is also recording the complete Bruckner symphonies with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and the complete Beethoven symphonies with the Vienna Philharmonic.

 The 2018-19 season is Maestro Nelsons’ final season as artist-in-residence at the Konzerthaus Dortmund and marks his first season as artist-in-residence at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie. In addition, he continues his regular collaborations with the Vienna Philharmonic and Berlin Philharmonic. Throughout his career, he has also established regular collaborations with Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Philharmonia Orchestra, and has been a regular guest at the Bayreuth Festival and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

 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 from 2008 to 2015, principal conductor of the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie in Herford, Germany, from 2006 to 2009, and music director of Latvian National Opera from 2003 to 2007.

Andris Nelsons, conductor Jan Lisiecki, piano
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Just 23, Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki has won acclaim for his extraordinary interpretive maturity, distinctive sound, and poetic sensibility. The New York Times has called him "a pianist who makes every note count". Lisiecki's insightful interpretations, refined technique, and natural affinity for art give him a musical voice that belies his age.

Jan Lisiecki was born to Polish parents in Canada in 1995. He began piano lessons at the age of five and made his concerto debut four years later, while always rebuffing the label of "child prodigy". His approach to music is a refreshing combination of dedication, skill, enthusiasm and a realistic perspective on the career of a musician.

Lisiecki was brought to international attention in 2010, after the Fryderyk Chopin Institute issued a recording of Chopin's piano concertos, performed live by Jan at age 13 and 14. BBC Music Magazine wrote of the "mature musicality" of his playing and commended the "sensitively distilled" insights of his Chopin interpretations; the release was awarded the Diapason Découverte. Confirming his status among the most imaginative and poetic pianists of his generation, Deutsche Grammophon signed an exclusive contract with Jan in 2011, when he was just 15 years old.

Lisiecki's first recording for DG, released in 2012, features Mozart's Piano Concertos K. 466 and 467. It was followed in 2013 by Chopin's Etudes Op. 10 and 25, praised by Gramophone magazine for being "played as pure music, given as naturally as breathing". Jan's recording of Schumann's works for piano and orchestra was released in January 2016 and as ClassicFM wrote, "he may be young but Jan Lisiecki plays Schumann like a legend". His latest album, featuring Chopin's rarely-performed works for piano and orchestra, was released in March 2017, and has been awarded the prestigious ECHO Klassik.

Jan says his aim is to always perform in a way that carries forward the beauty and brilliance of the original work. He has demonstrated that he is capable of rendering compositions remarkably close to the way they were intended. "Going into a concert hall should be like going into a sanctuary. You're there to have a moment of reflection, hopefully leaving feeling different, refreshed and inspired."

In March 2013, Lisiecki substituted at short notice for Martha Argerich, performing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 in Bologna with the Orchestra Mozart under Claudio Abbado. He crowned that season with a sensational account of Schumann's Piano Concerto at the BBC Proms. The following year he performed three Mozart concertos in one week with the Philadelphia Orchestra, making his debuts as concerto soloist with the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala in Milan, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo, and with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. The same season, Jan gave debut recitals at Wigmore Hall, Rome's Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and in San Francisco. The pianist's development has taken place in company with many of the world's leading orchestras, including the Orchestre de Paris, New York Philharmonic, and BBC Symphony, at venues such as Suntory Hall, the Kennedy, Lincoln, and Barbican Centres, and Royal Albert Hall. Jan has cultivated relationships with prominent conductors including Sir Antonio Pappano, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Daniel Harding.

The remarkable 22-year-old musician made his debut in the main auditorium at New York's Carnegie Hall in January 2016. In its rave review, the New York Times noted that it was an "uncommonly sensitive performance". Other significant performances included subscription series debuts with the Cleveland Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, and multiple tours, including with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Jan also performs concertos leading from the piano, with ensembles such as the Zürich Chamber Orchestra and Camerata Salzburg.

In the 2017/18 season, Jan will perform extensively across the world, including recital tours of Europe and Asia, and subscription debuts with the Boston Symphony, Wiener Symphoniker, and Staatskapelle Dresden, among others. Foremost radio and television networks in Europe and North America have extensively broadcast Lisiecki's performances, he was also the subject of the CBC National News documentary The Reluctant Prodigy. In 2013 he received the Leonard Bernstein Award at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival and was also named as Gramophone magazine's Young Artist of the Year. Jan is involved in charity work, donating time and performances to such organizations as the David Foster Foundation, the Polish Humanitarian Organization and the Wish Upon a Star Foundation. In 2012 he was named UNICEF Ambassador to Canada having been a National Youth Representative since 2008.

Jan Lisiecki, piano
Thomas Rolfs, trumpet
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Thomas Rolfs, Principal Trumpet of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops, began his career with the BSO in 1991 under Seiji Ozawa. He served first as 4th trumpet, and was later promoted by Ozawa to Associate Principal Trumpet. He was promoted to Principal Trumpet by James Levine. As a student, Mr. Rolfs was a Tanglewood Music Center Fellow in 1978, earned his bachelor of music degree from the University of Minnesota, and received his master of music degree from Northwestern University. He returned to Minnesota for a five-year tenure with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. As a soloist, Rolfs has performed with the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops orchestras and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, as well as performing the posthorn solo in Mahler's Symphony No. 3 with the Dallas Symphony. At the request of John Williams, he was a featured soloist on the composer's Grammy-nominated soundtrack for the Academy Award-winning film Saving Private Ryan. He was also soloist in Williams's Summon the Heroes for the nationally televised Boston Pops concert on the Esplanade on July 4, 2001, under Keith Lockhart's direction. His varied performance background also includes appearances withthe National Brass Ensemble, Minnesota Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic, Empire Brass, Saint Petersburg Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the American Ballet Orchestra. Rolfs is a founding member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet, which is in residence at Boston University. As an educator, Rolfs has presented masterclasses throughout the world, including North America, South America, Asia, and Europe. He has served on the faculty of the Tanglewood Music Center since 1998, regularly coaches the New World Symphony, and teaches at both the New England Conservatory and Boston University.

Thomas Rolfs, trumpet Robert Sheena, oboe / English horn
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Robert Sheena has been the English horn player of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops Orchestra since 1994, during which time his uniquely vocal style of playing has garnered accolades from audience members and the media alike. In his more than twenty years as a member of the BSO, Mr. Sheena has performed as soloist with the orchestra on several occasions, most notably in the world premiere performances of George Tsontakis's Sonnets-a BSO commission composed specifically for him-at Symphony Hall in February 2016 with Andris Nelsons conducting, followed by a Tanglewood performance that August. He has also been featured in BSO performances at Tanglewood of André Previn's Reflections and Aaron Copland's Quiet City. With the Boston Pops Orchestra he has been featured at Symphony Hall in Quiet City and Michael Daugherty's Spaghetti Western.From 1987 to 1991 Mr. Sheena was the assistant principal oboe and English horn of the Hong Kong Philharmonic. Since then he has made numerous trips to perform in Asia, not only with the BSO, but also to perform in Japan as a guest English hornist with the Super World Orchestra (2001), Affinis Music Festival (2009), and Seiji Ozawa's Saito Kinen Orchestra (2014). From 1991 until joining the BSO he was assistant principal oboe and English horn with the San Antonio Symphony. From 1984 to 1987 he was a freelance oboist in the Chicago area, playing in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and frequently as a substitute oboist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Sheena is an instructor of both the oboe and the English horn at Boston University's School of Music and Tanglewood Institute, at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, and at the Longy School of Music of Bard College. An alumnus of the Tanglewood Music Center, he works with the fellowship oboists there every summer as a TMC faculty member, coaching them in chamber music and giving English horn master classes. Mr. Sheena occupies the Beranek Chair in the woodwind section of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Robert Sheena, oboe / English horn
Program Notes Audio
COPLAND - Quiet City
GRIEG - Piano Concerto
COPLAND - Symphony No. 3 (42 min)
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