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Jamie Bernstein is a writer, narrator, broadcaster and film maker who has transformed a lifetime of loving music into a career of sharing her knowledge and excitement with others.
Inspired by her father Leonard Bernstein's lifelong impulse to share and teach, Jamie has devised multiple ways of communicating her own excitement about orchestral music. Beginning 15 years ago with "The Bernstein Beat," a family concert about her father's music modeled after his own groundbreaking Young People's Concerts, Jamie has gone on to design, write and narrate concerts for worldwide audiences of all ages about the music of Mozart, Copland, Stravinsky and many others. Jamie creates and narrates two educational concerts a year with the New World Symphony in Miami; these engaging, informal "Discovery Concerts" are specially designed to attract audiences of all ages who are less familiar with concertgoing.
Jamie travels the world as a concert narrator, appearing everywhere from Beijing to London to Vancouver. A frequent speaker on musical topics, Jamie has presented talks around the world, from conferences in Japan to seminars at Harvard University. In Spanish-speaking locations such as Madrid and Caracas, Jamie narrates en español - thanks to her Chilean-born mother, Felicia Montealegre, who raised her children to be bilingual.
In her role as a broadcaster, Jamie has produced and hosted shows for radio stations in the United States and Great Britain. She has presented the New York Philharmonic's live national radio broadcasts, as well as live broadcasts from Tanglewood.
Jamie is the co-director of a film documentary, Crescendo: the Power of Music -- which focuses on children in struggling urban communities who participate in youth orchestra programs for social transformation inspired by Venezuela's groundbreaking El Sistema movement. The film has won numerous prizes on the festival circuit, and is now viewable on Netflix. More about Crescendo: the Power of Music can be found at crescendofilmdoc.com
Jamie has also directed her father's chamber opera, Trouble in Tahiti, in various locations around the country, including the Moab Music Festival and Festival del Sole in Napa, CA.
Jamie is currently at work on a memoir, title to be announced, which will be published by HarperCollins in the spring of 2018, when her father's centennial celebrations will be well under way around the world. Jamie and her siblings, Alexander and Nina, will be racking up unprecedented mileage points!
Jamie also writes articles and poetry, which have appeared in such publications as Symphony, DoubleTake, Gourmet, Opera News, and Musical America. She also edits "Prelude, Fugue & Riffs," a newsletter about issues and events pertaining to her father's legacy.
Jamie Bernstein, host
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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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Susan Graham - hailed as "an artist to treasure" by
the New York Times - rose to the highest
echelon of international performers within just a few years of her
professional debut, mastering an astonishing range of repertoire
and genres along the way. Her operatic roles span four centuries,
from Monteverdi's Poppea to Sister Helen Prejean in Jake
Heggie's Dead Man Walking, which was written
especially for her. She won a Grammy Award for her collection of
Ives songs, and her recital repertoire is so broad that 14
composers from Purcell to Sondheim are represented on her most
recent Onyx album, Virgins, Vixens & Viragos.
This distinctly American artist has also been recognized throughout
her career as one of the foremost exponents of French vocal music.
Although a native of Texas, she was awarded the French government's
prestigious "Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur," both for her
popularity as a performer in France and in honor of her commitment
to French music.
To launch the 2017-18 season, Ms. Graham will reprise her star
turn in the title role of Susan Stroman's production of
Lehár's The Merry Widow at the MET, then she
joins Nathan Gunn for Bernstein's Trouble in
Tahiti at Lyric Opera of Chicago, in a special concert to
mark the composer's 100th birthday. To conclude the operatic
season, she returns to Opera Theatre of Saint Louis opposite James
Morris in Marc Blitzstein's 1948 opera Regina. At the
Boston Symphony, she joins Charles Dutoit for Berlioz's La
Damnation de Faust and Andris Nelsons for Mahler's Third
Symphony, which is also the vehicle for her summer collaborations
at the Tanglewood Festival and later on tour in Europe. Besides
reuniting with Dutoit for Ravel's Shéhérazade at
the San Francisco Symphony, she headlines a gala concert to
celebrate Tulsa Opera's 70th anniversary. She also gives solo
recitals at Emory University and Washington University, and rounds
out the season with a night of cabaret at the Park Avenue Armory in
Last season, Graham partnered with Renée Fleming for the San
Francisco Symphony's opening-night gala, and joined Anna Netrebko,
Plácido Domingo, and a host of other stars to celebrate the
Metropolitan Opera's five decades at Lincoln Center. Having created
the role of Sister Helen Prejean in the world premiere production
of Dead Man Walking at San Francisco Opera, she
reprised her role in Washington National Opera's revival of the
piece. She returned to Santa Fe Opera as Prince Orlofsky in a new
production of Johann Strauss II's Die Fledermaus, and
reprised her signature portrayal of Dido in Berlioz's Les
Troyens at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Concert highlights
included selections from Mahler's Des Knaben
Wunderhornat Carnegie Hall and Canteloube's Chants
d'Auvergne with the Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as a
star-studded Der Rosenkavalier at the Boston
Symphony. She gave U.S. recitals of "Frauenliebe und -leben
Variations," her program inspired by the Schumann song cycle, and
expanded her discography with Nonesuch Records' DVD/Blu-ray release
of William Kentridge's new treatment of Berg's Lulu,
which captured her role debut as Countess Geschwitz at the Met.
Graham's earliest operatic successes were in such trouser roles
as Cherubino in Mozart's Le nozze di
Figaro. Her technical expertise soon brought mastery of
Mozart's more virtuosic roles, like Sesto in La clemenza
di Tito, Idamante in Idomeneo and Cecilio
in Lucio Silla, as well as the title roles of
Handel's Ariodante and Xerxes. She
went on to triumph in two iconic Richard Strauss mezzo roles,
Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier and the Composer
in Ariadne auf Naxos. These brought her to prominence
on all the world's major opera stages, including the Met, Lyric
Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Covent Garden, Paris Opera,
La Scala, Bavarian State Opera, Vienna State Opera and the Salzburg
Festival, among many others. She performed the leading ladies in
the MET world premieres of John Harbison's The Great
Gatsby and Tobias Picker's An American Tragedy,
and made her Dallas Opera debut as Tina in a new production
of The Aspern Papers by Dominick Argento. As
Houston Grand Opera's Lynn Wyatt Great Artist, she starred as
Prince Orlofsky in the company's first staging of Die
Fledermaus in 30 years, before heading an all-star cast
as Sycorax in the Met's Baroque pastiche The Enchanted
Island and making her rapturously received musical theater
debut in a new production of Rodgers &
Hammerstein's The King and I at the Théâtre du
Châtelet in Paris.
It was in an early Lyon production of
Berlioz's Béatrice et Bénédict that Graham
scored particular raves from the international press, and a triumph
in the title role of Massenet's Chérubin at Covent
Garden sealed her operatic stardom. Further invitations to
collaborate on French music were forthcoming from many preeminent
conductors, including Sir Colin Davis, Charles Dutoit, James Levine
and Seiji Ozawa. New productions of Gluck's Iphigénie en
Tauride, Berlioz's La damnation de Faust and
Massenet's Werther were mounted for the mezzo in New
York, London, Paris, Chicago, San Francisco and beyond. She
recently made title role debuts in Offenbach's comic
masterpieces La belle Hélène and The
Grand Duchess of Gerolstein at Santa Fe Opera, as well as
proving herself the standout star of the Met's star-studded revival
of Les Troyens, which was broadcast live to
cinema audiences worldwide in the company's celebrated "Live in HD"
series. Graham's affinity for French repertoire has not been
limited to the opera stage, having also served as the foundation
for her extensive concert and recital career. Such great cantatas
and symphonic song cycles as Berlioz's La mort de
Cléopâtreand Les nuits d'été,
Ravel's Shéhérazade and
Chausson's Poème de l'amour et de la mer provide
opportunities for collaborations with the world's leading
orchestras, and she makes regular appearances with the New York
Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Orchestre de Paris and London
Graham's distinguished discography features all the works
described above, as well as a series of lauded solo albums,
including Un frisson français, a program of French
song recorded with pianist Malcolm Martineau for
Onyx; C'est ça la vie, c'est ça l'amour!, an album of
20th-century operetta rarities on Erato; and La Belle
Époque, an award-winning collection of songs by Reynaldo Hahn
with pianist Roger Vignoles, from Sony Classical. Among the mezzo's
numerous honors are Musical America's Vocalist of the
Year and an Opera News
Award; Gramophone magazine has dubbed her
"America's favorite mezzo."
Susan Graham, mezzo-soprano