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Andris Nelsons conducts Bartók, Saint-Saëns, and Ravel featuring BSO principal cellist Blaise Déjardin

Andris Nelsons conducts Bartók, Saint-Saëns, and Ravel featuring BSO principal cellist Blaise Déjardin

Boston Symphony Orchestra

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BSO principal cellist Blaise Déjardin makes his BSO debut as concerto soloist in Camille Saint-Saëns’ richly expressive Cello Concerto No. 1, considered one of the great concertos for the instrument. Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra is likely the most famous of the many works given their world premieres by the BSO. A remarkable blend of drama, humor, and folk-music pungency, the Concerto for Orchestra was commissioned by BSO conductor Serge Koussevitzky, who gave the premiere in December 1944, only a few months before the composer’s death. Completing the program is the Suite No. 2 from the work Ravel considered his best, the 1912 ballet Daphnis et Chloé. The Suite No. 2 is the ballet’s Part III, which incorporates a sunrise, a sensual flute solo, and the raucous danse générale.

Featured Performers

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

The 2019-20 season, Andris Nelsons’ sixth as the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Ray and Maria Stata Music Director, marks his fifth anniversary in that position. Named Musical America’s 2018 Artist of the Year, Mr. Nelsons leads fifteen of the BSO’s twenty-six weeks of concerts this season, ranging from repertoire favorites by Beethoven, Dvoˇrák, Gershwin, Grieg, Mozart, Mahler, Rachmaninoff, Ravel, and Tchaikovsky to world and American premieres of BSO-commissioned works from Eric Nathan, Betsy Jolas, Arturs Maskats, and HK Gruber. The season also brings the continuation of his complete Shostakovich symphony cycle with the orchestra, and collaborations with an impressive array of guest artists, including a concert performance of Tristan und Isolde, Act III—one of three BSO programs he will also conduct at Carnegie Hall—with Jonas Kaufmann and Emily Magee in the title roles. In addition, February 2020 brings a major tour to Asia in which Maestro Nelsons and the BSO give their first concerts together in Seoul, Taipei, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.

In February 2018, Andris Nelsons became Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester (GHO) Leipzig, in which capacity he also 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 highlight of the BSO/GHO Alliance is a focus on complementary programming, through which the BSO celebrates “Leipzig Week in Boston” and the GHO celebrates “Boston Week in Leipzig,” thereby highlighting each other’s musical traditions through uniquely programmed concerts, chamber music performances, archival exhibits, and lecture series. For this season’s “Leipzig Week in Boston,” under Maestro Nelsons’ leadership in November, the entire Gewandhausorchester Leipzig comes to Symphony Hall for joint concerts with the BSO as well as two concerts of its own.

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. 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.

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 recent two-disc set pairing Shostakovich’s symphonies 6 and 7 (Leningrad). This November, a new release on Naxos features Andris Nelsons and the orchestra in the world premieres of BSO-commissioned works by Timo Andres, Eric Nathan, Sean Shepherd, and George Tsontakis. 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.

During the 2019-20 season, Andris Nelsons continues his ongoing collaborations with the Vienna Philharmonic. Throughout his career, he has also established regular collaborations with the Berlin Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, 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 Blaise Déjardin, cello
Blaise Déjardin, cello View biography in full page >

Strasbourg-born cellist Blaise Déjardin was appointed principal cello of the Boston Symphony Orchestra by BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons in spring 2018, having joined the BSO’s cello section in 2008. Previously, Déjardin was a member of the European Union Youth Orchestra and the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester. He was a founding member of the Boston-based string orchestra A Far Cry, and in 2010 he founded the acclaimed Boston Cello Quartet with three BSO colleagues. He has arranged numerous pieces for cello ensembles, earning four ASCAP Plus Awards and receiving commissions from Yo-Yo Ma, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and A Far Cry. In 2013 he launched Opus Cello, his online sheet music publishing company. He has served as artistic director of the Boston Cello Society since its creation in 2015. Mr. Déjardin has performed as soloist with orchestra around the world. In 2008 he gave the U.S. premiere of French composer Edith Canat de Chizy’s Formes du vent for solo cello. A dedicated chamber musician, he spent two summers at Ravinia’s Steans Institute for Young Artists. He holds a first prize in Cello with highest honors from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique of Paris, as well as a master of music diploma and a graduate diploma from the New England Conservatory in Boston. His main teachers were Philippe Muller, Laurence Lesser, and Bernard Greenhouse. Mr. Déjardin made his debut with orchestra at age fourteen performing Haydn’s C major concerto at the Corum in Montpellier, France. Among his numerous awards and honors, he was awarded first prize at the Maurice Gendron International Cello Competition and was also the youngest prizewinner at the 6th Adam International Cello Competition in New Zealand. In 2007 he made his Paris recital debut at Le Petit Palais as a laureate of the program Declic supporting emerging young soloists in France. He has taught privately and at the New England Conservatory and Tanglewood Music Center. Please visit www.blaisedejardin.com for more information.

 

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

 

Blaise Déjardin, cello
Program Notes Audio
BARTÓK - Concerto for Orchestra (38 min)
SAINT-SAËNS - Cello Concerto No. 1 (19 min)
RAVEL - Daphnis et Chloé, Suite No. 2 (18 min)