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Symphony GalaLEIPZIG WEEK IN BOSTONBoston Symphony Orchestra andGewandhausorchester Leipzig

Symphony Gala
LEIPZIG WEEK IN BOSTON
Boston Symphony Orchestra and
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig

Boston Symphony Orchestra

Symphony Hall - Boston, MA View Map

The 2019–20 Symphony Gala offers an extraordinary opportunity to hear a joint concert of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Gewandhausorchester Leipzig during the season’s “Leipzig Week in Boston” celebrating the multi-dimensional alliance between these two great ensembles. In this special concert, to be performed without intermission, Andris Nelsons and the orchestras are joined by principal players from both the BSO and GHO, and by celebrated French organist Olivier Latry. The evening will then feature an elegant post-concert dinner in the many rooms at historic Symphony Hall. Tickets for the gala begin at $1,250. For more information, contact Kathleen Pendleton at 617-638-9391. Tickets for the concert only range from $25-$75.  Click here for more information about the Symphony Gala dinner & concert tickets.

Featured Performers

Andris Nelsons, conductor
Andris Nelsons, conductor View biography in full page >

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 Olivier Latry, organ
Olivier Latry, organ View biography in full page >

French organist Olivier Latry is one of the most distinguished concert organists in the world today. One of three titular organists at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris, he is also professor of organ at the Paris Conservatory of Music, organist emeritus with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and artist in residence at the Dresdner Philharmonie for 2017-2019. He maintains a full schedule of concert performances, appearing regularly as a soloist at prestigious venues and festivals with leading orchestras around the world. Highlights in recent years have included the premiere of Benoît Mernier’s organ concerto for the inauguration of the new organ at Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels in 2017, the premiere of Michael Gandolfi’s Ascending Light for organ and orchestra with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 2015, and the premiere performances of Kaija Saariaho’s Maan Varjot for organ and orchestra with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Orchestre National de Lyon, and Philharmonia Orchestra in 2014. In addition to concerts and teaching, Mr. Latry has made many acclaimed recordings. Among his most recent are last year’s Cypres Records release “A Wake of Music,” on which he plays the newly restored organ of the Salle Henry Le Bœuf in the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, and a 2016 recording for Warner Classics, “Voyages,” on the Philharmonie de Paris’s new Rieger organ. In recognition of his distinguished work in the fields of organ performance and teaching, Mr. Latry has received many prestigious awards and honorary degrees including, in 2009, the International Performer of the Year award of the New York City chapter of the American Guild of Organists and, in 2010, an honorary doctor of music degree from McGill University. Mr. Latry was born in 1962 in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France, where he began his musical studies. He later attended the Academy of Music at St. Maur-des-Fossés, studying organ with Gaston Litaize. Olivier Latry has appeared with the BSO twice before, first in March 2013 as soloist in Saint-Säens’s Organ Symphony (No. 3) under Christoph Eschenbach, and then in March 2015, with Andris Nelsons conducting, for the premiere of Michael Gandolfi’s Ascending Light, the BSO’s first-ever commission for organ solo and orchestra.

Olivier Latry, organ
John Ferrillo, oboe
John Ferrillo, oboe View biography in full page >

John Ferrillo joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra as principal oboe at the start of the 2001 Tanglewood season, occupying the Mildred B. Remis Principal Oboe Chair, having appeared with the orchestra several times in previous seasons as a guest performer. From 1986 to 2001 he was principal oboe of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Mr. Ferrillo grew up in Bedford, Massachusetts, and played in the Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra. He is a graduate of the Curtis Institute, where he studied with John de Lancie and received his diploma and artist’s certificate. He also studied with John Mack at the Blossom Festival and has participated in the Marlboro, Craftsbury, and Monadnock festivals. Prior to his appointment at the Metropolitan Opera, Mr. Ferrillo was second oboe of the San Francisco Symphony, and was a faculty member at Illinois State University and West Virginia State University. A former faculty member of the Mannes School of Music and Juilliard School of Music in New York City, he has taught and performed at the Aspen and Waterloo festivals and currently serves on the faculties of the New England Conservatory, Boston University, and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. His previous BSO appearances as soloist have included Ligeti’s Double Concerto for flute and oboe, with BSO colleague Elizabeth Rowe, which they will perform again on the final subscription concerts of the current season; Frank Martin’s Concerto for Seven Winds, Timpani, Percussion, and Strings, also with BSO colleagues; Richard Strauss’s Oboe Concerto; two collaborations with violinist Pinchas Zukerman at Tanglewood in music of J.S. Bach; Wayne Barlow’s The Winter’s Past, led by Leonard Slatkin in a 2014 Tanglewood program celebrating the conductor’s 70th birthday; Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante in E-flat for oboe, clarinet, horn, and bassoon, K.297b, with BSO colleagues on the opening program of the 2014-15 season; and, most recently, in May 2018, Marcello’s Concerto in C minor for oboe and strings with Moritz Gnann conducting. As principal oboe of the BSO, Mr. Ferrillo is also a faculty member at the Tanglewood Music Center and a member of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, with whom he can be heard in BSO Classics recordings of Mozart’s Quartet in F for oboe and strings, K.370; William Bolcom’s Serenata Notturna for oboe and strings, and Dutilleux’s Les Citations for oboe, harpsichord, double bass, and percussion. 

Visit bostonsymphonychamberplayers.org for more information about the Boston Symphony Chamber Players.

John Ferrillo, oboe Richard Svoboda, bassoon
Richard Svoboda, bassoon View biography in full page >

Richard Svoboda has been principal bassoon of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and a member of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players since 1989; as the BSO’s principal bassoon he occupies the Edward A. Taft Chair. An active chamber music collaborator, orchestral soloist, and recitalist, he is currently on the faculties of the New England Conservatory, the Tanglewood Music Center, and the Sarasota Music Festival, and has given master classes throughout the world. Prior to his BSO appointment he was principal bassoon of the Jacksonville Symphony for ten seasons. Mr. Svoboda’s solo appearances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra have included John Williams’s bassoon concerto Five Sacred Trees with the composer conducting and Weber’s Concerto for Bassoon with Seiji Ozawa. He made his first solo appearance with the BSO in April 1991, in Haydn’s B-flat Concertante for violin, cello, oboe, and bassoon; played the world premiere of Marc Neikrug’s BSO-commissioned Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra in 2013 with Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos conducting; has appeared with the orchestra on two occasions in Martin’s Concerto for Seven Wind Instruments, Timpani, Percussion, and Strings, under Seiji Ozawa and Charles Dutoit; and made his most recent solo appearance with the BSO in September 2014, with Marcelo Lehninger conducting, in Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante in E-flat for oboe, clarinet, horn, and bassoon, K.297b. Mr. Svoboda premiered Michael Gandolfi’s Concerto for Bassoon in 2007 and in 2011, along with his daughter, clarinetist Erin Svoboda, premiered Gandolfi’s Concerto for Clarinet and Bassoon, collaborating on both occasions with Yoichi Udagawa and the Melrose Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Svoboda has more than thirty recordings to his credit with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Symphony Chamber Players, as well as the soundtracks to Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan. His recordings include Gandolfi’s Concerto for Bassoon with Gil Rose and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project; “Le Phénix, 18th-Century French Music for Bassoon,” including music of Boismortier, Corrette, and Devienne; and a CD of early 20th-century European music. Mr. Svoboda is married and the proud father of four daughters. He and his family reside in Melrose. For further information, please visit RichardSvoboda.com.

Visit bostonsymphonychamberplayers.org for more information about the Boston Symphony Chamber Players.

Richard Svoboda, bassoon
Frank-Michael Erben, violin
Frank-Michael Erben, violin View biography in full page >

Frank-Michael Erben comes from a family of musicians in Leipzig and began playing the violin at five. Following studies at the Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Hochschule für Musik in Leipzig, he won the first concertmaster chair in the Gewandhausorchester at twenty-one. In 2007 he was also named first concertmaster of the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra. Under such conductors as Sir Neville Marriner, Kurt Masur, Herbert Blomstedt, and Riccardo Chailly, he has performed violin concertos of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Bruch, Tchaikovsky, and Sibelius and appeared as soloist with renowned orchestras throughout Europe, the Middle East, and North and South America. He regularly gives master classes on violin and chamber music internationally, at such venues as Tokyo’s Geidai University of Arts and the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn. The Kirishima Music Festival in Japan has honored him with the title of guest professor. Since 1993, Mr. Erben has led the Gewandhaus Quartet (established in 1808), giving more than 800 performances with that ensemble worldwide. The Gewandhaus Quartet has performed for Emperor Akihito of Japan and Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, among others. At the Palacio Real in Madrid it has performed on a quartet of instruments in the holdings of the Spanish royal family and made by Antonio Stradivarius. For his work on Beethoven’s chamber music, he was named an honorary member of the Beethoven Society in Bonn. His complete cycle of Beethoven string quartets with the Gewandhaus Quartet was honored with the Deutscher Schallplattenpreis. The city of Leipzig has awarded him the Internationaler Mendelssohn-Preis. Frank-Michael Erben has also been active as a conductor for several years. In addition to several German orchestras, including the Gewandhausorchester, he has conducted the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Symphony Orchestra Hezlya in Tel Aviv. From 2009 to 2014 he was music director of the Leipziger Symphonieorchester. Mr. Erben plays a violin made by the Italian violin maker J.B. Guadagnini in Milan, 1755.

Frank-Michael Erben, violin Christian Giger, cello
Christian Giger, cello View biography in full page >

Born in St. Gallen, Switzerland, cellist Christian Giger studied with Susanne Basler at the conservatory in Winterthur and with Boris Pergamenschikow at the Hochschule für Music in Cologne, where he also studied chamber music with the legendary Amadeus Quartet. He graduated with distinction in 1992, the same year he became principal cello of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. As soloist, he has performed concertos of such composers as Britten, Dvoˇrák, Elgar, Haydn, Lalo, Frank Martin, and Saint-Säens, as well as Beethoven’s Triple Concerto and Penderecki’s Concerto Grosso for Three Cellos. He has collaborated with conductors including Herbert Blomstedt, Charles Dutoit, Samuel Friedman, Leopold Hager, Richard Hickox, and Dmitrij Kitaenko, to name a few. Mr. Giger has performed at numerous festivals, including the Concerti per L’Europa, Kyburgiade Winterthur, Rheingau, and Schleswig-Holstein festivals. His partners in chamber music include Mirijam Contzen, Maria Graf, Stefan Hussong, Sharon Kam, Vassily Lobanov, Robert McDuffie, Emmanuel Pahud, Mariana Sirbu, and Dénes Várjon. With his wife, pianist Yuka Kobayashi, he frequently appears in recital at the Gewandhaus and regularly tours Japan. Mr. Giger founded the International Chamber Music Festival Leipzig and is now artistic director of the Lindensaalkonzerte in his hometown of Markkleeberg. An avid educator, he also teaches at the Leipzig Hochschule for Music and the Gewandhaus Orchestra Academy. In 2019 he received the special prize of the Mayor of Markkleeberg for the Lindensaalkonzerte. Mr. Giger has been a member of the faculty of the International Summer Music Academy Leipzig (presented by the Leipzig Hochschule and the Juilliard School), the International Summer Academy Schloss Heiligenberg, and the Aiyoshidai Chamber Music Seminar, as well as an instructor for the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, and has given master classes in Tokyo, Chicago, and Los Angeles. He records for Dabringhaus & Grimm (MDG), his most recent release being Patterns in a Chromatic Field, an eighty-minute piece for cello and piano by Morton Feldman.

Christian Giger, cello
Program Notes Audio
STRAUSS - Festive Prelude, for organ and orchestra
HAYDN - Sinfonia concertante in B-flat for oboe, bassoon, violin, and cello
SCRIABIN - Poem of Ecstasy
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