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Chief Conductor of the Noord Nederlands Orkest and Artist in Association at the Tapiola Sinfonietta, Stefan Asbury is in demand with many of the leading orchestras worldwide. The 2011/12 season includes performances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (with Lang Lang as soloist), Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig amongst others.
Recent seasons have also included guest engagements with the London Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, RAI Turin, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Dresdner Philharmonie, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, West Australian Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of St Luke's. He enjoys frequent collaborations with the Basel Sinfonietta, WDR Sinfonieorchester, hr-Sinfonieorchester, NDR Sinfonieorchester and ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien. Asbury is also regular guest conductor at festivals such as Automne en Normandie, Wien Modern, Wiener Festwochen, Munich Biennale, the Salzburger Festspiele and La Biennale di Venezia.
Since 1995 Stefan Asbury has served on the faculty of the Tanglewood Music Center and currently holds the Sana H. Sabbagh master teacher chair on the Conducting Faculty which he has held since 2005. From 1999 to 2005 he was Associate Director of New Music Activities. In addition to his regular summer teaching he has given conducting master classes at institutions such as the Hochschule der Kunste (Zurich), Venice Conservatory, Tokyo Wonder Site, and his master classes are featured in the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Inside the TMC.
Stefan conducted John Adams' A Flowering Tree for the 2009 Perth International Arts Festival, a performance which won 'Best Symphony Orchestra Concert' for the 2009 Helpmann Awards. Other recent opera productions have included Wolfgang Rihm's Jakob Lenz for the 2008 Wiener Festwochen, a concert version of Benjamin Britten's Owen Wingrave with Tapiola Sinfonietta, the world premiere of Van Vlijmen's Thyeste with Théâtre Royal de La Monnaie and the Nationale Reisopera, Johannes Maria Staud's Berenice at Munich Biennale and Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream in Karlsruhe. Stefan has collaborated with the Mark Morris Dance Group in their production and tour of Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet. Performances took place at Lincoln Center and at the Barbican amongst other venues. This season sees him collaborate with them again on Four Saints in Three Acts at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Stefan Asbury has particularly strong relationships with many living composers including Oliver Knussen, Steve Reich, Wolfgang Rihm, Unsuk Chin and Mark Anthony Turnage, and collaborates regularly with Ensemble Modern, Klangforum Wien, Musikfabrik and the London Sinfonietta. He was Music Director of the Remix Ensemble Casa da Musica Porto from 2001-2005, working with them to commission new works and programming an innovative mix of jazz, film and music theatre. Notable amongst his recordings are a recording of works by Unsuk Chin with Ensemble intercontemporain on Deutsche Grammophon. His CD of music by Jonathan Harvey was awarded a 'Monde de la Musique CHOC' award, and his complete cycle 'Espace Accoustique' by Gerard Grisey with WDR Sinfonieorchester won the German music critics award (Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik.)
Stefan Asbury, conductor
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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