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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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"You realise that this is not usual. This is not just two good pianists playing together. They sense each other’s most small, individual little bit of interpretation.”
-Sir Neville Marriner
‘It is like driving a pair of BMWs’, remarked conductor Michael Schønwandt, after directing the Dutch brothers Lucas (26) and Arthur Jussen (23). Despite their young age, they have been part of the international concert world for years and are praised by both press and audiences.
The Jussen brothers have performed with orchestras such as The Philadelphia Orchestra, Concertgebouworkest, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, as well as Dallas, Vancouver, Sydney and Shanghai Symphony Orchestras. They collaborated with conductors such as Stéphane Denève, Valery Gergiev, Sir Neville Marriner, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Jukka-Pekka Saraste and Jaap van Zweden.
Highlights of the 19/20 season include their debut at the Salzburg Festival with the Mozarteumorchester and Adam Fischer as well as the season opening concert with Boston Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons. The brothers also appear at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York and perform with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal at the Festival de Lanaudière for the first time in summer 2019. Lucas and Arthur Jussen can also be seen this season with orchestras including Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Münchner Philharmoniker, Orquestra Sinfónica de Galicia, Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, Berner Symphonieorchester and Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as on their Asia tour to Japan and Singapore in November 2019. Further highlights include a cycle of Beethoven piano concertos performed with the Camerata Salzburg in Rotterdam in March 2020, followed by a tour featuring the Bach double piano concertos with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta. In recitals, the duo performs in venues such as the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, Tonhalle Zürich, Wigmore Hall London, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden and at the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg. As ‘Junge Wilde’ of theKonzerthaus Dortmund, the Jussen brothers will perform a variety of programmes at the Konzerthaus Dortmund over three seasons.
Lucas and Arthur received their first piano lessons in their native town of Hilversum. It became clear quickly that they were great talents. As children, they were already invited to perform for the Dutch Queen Beatrix. First awards at competitions followed shortly. In 2005, the brothers studied in Portugal and Brazil for nearly a year at the invitation of Portuguese master pianist Maria João Pires. During the following years they took lessons from both Pires and two renowned Dutch teachers. Lucas completed his studies with Menahem Pressler in the US and Dmitri Bashkirov in Madrid. Arthur graduated from the Amsterdam Conservatory where he studied with Jan Wijn.
Recording exclusively with Deutsche Grammophon since 2010, their debut CD with works by Beethoven received platinum status and was awarded the Edison Klassiek audience award. A Schubert recording and their third CD Jeux, dedicated to French piano music, were subsequently released. Their recording of Mozart’s piano concertos KV 365 and KV 242 together with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields under the baton of Sir Neville Marriner reached gold status and was listed by the Gramophone magazine among ‘The 50 Greatest Mozart Recordings’. Theirdiscography also includes a recording of Poulenc’s double piano concerto and Saint-Saëns’ ‘The Carnival of the Animals’ with Concertgebouworkest and Stéphane Denève. The duo looks forward to the release of their Bach recording with Amsterdam Sinfonietta in late September 2019.
Lucas and Arthur Jussen, pianos