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Andris Nelsons conducts Widmann and Brahms featuring Yefim
Bronfman, Camilla Tilling, and Thomas Hampson

Andris Nelsons conducts Widmann and Brahms featuring Yefim Bronfman, Camilla Tilling, and Thomas Hampson

Boston Symphony Orchestra

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Eminent Israeli-American pianist Yefim Bronfman joins Andris Nelsons and the BSO in Trauermarsch ("Funeral March") by the German Jörg Widmann, a composer new to the BSO. Writing this concerto-like piece for Bronfman and the Berlin Philharmonic, who premiered it in 2014, Widmann set out deliberately to evoke and engage with music of the Romantic era. A German Requiem, Brahms's largest work, originated with music he wrote following Robert Schumann's attempted suicide in 1854 and seems also to have been connected to the death of the composer's own mother. The result is an utterly personal, scarcely ceremonial Requiem for soprano and baritone soloists, chorus, and orchestra, episodically setting texts chosen by Brahms from the Bible. Its "German"-ness derives partly from the fact that, unlike the traditional Latin Requiem text, Brahms used Martin Luther's German translations of scripture. A German Requiem was the composer's first nearly universal success among his large-scale works, unequivocally fulfilling Schumann's early predictions of Brahms's greatness.

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, Dvořák, 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 Yefim Bronfman, piano
Yefim Bronfman, piano View biography in full page >

Internationally recognized as one of today's most acclaimed and admired pianists, Yefim Bronfman stands among a handful of artists regularly sought by festivals, orchestras, conductors and recital series. His commanding technique, power and exceptional lyrical gifts are consistently acknowledged by the press and audiences alike.

In celebration of the 80th birthday of Maestro Temirkanov, Mr. Bronfman’s 2018-19 season begins with a European tour with St. Petersburg Philharmonic. This is followed by a Scandinavian tour with The Royal Concertgebouw and Maestro Gatti with orchestral concerts in Europe during the season including Paris (Orchestre National de France), London (LPO), Cologne (WDR), Rome (Santa Cecilia), Berlin (Philharmonic), and Vienna Philharmonic on tour. In the US he will return to orchestras in Cleveland, New York, Los Angeles, Houston, St. Louis, Cincinnati, San Francisco and Dallas, and in recital can be heard in New York (Carnegie Hall), Berkeley, Stanford, Aspen, Madrid, Geneva, Cologne, Leipzig, Munich, Berlin, Naples, Rome and on tour in the spring with mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kozena.

Mr. Bronfman works regularly with an illustrious group of conductors, including Daniel Barenboim, Herbert Blomstedt, Semyon Bychkov, Riccardo Chailly, Christoph von Dohnányi, Gustavo Dudamel, Charles Dutoit, Daniele Gatti, Valery Gergiev, Alan Gilbert, Mariss Jansons, Vladimir Jurowski, James Levine, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Andris Nelsons, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jaap Van Zweden, Franz Welser-Möst, and David Zinman. Summer engagements have regularly taken him to the major festivals of Europe and the US. Always keen to explore chamber music repertoire, his partners have included Pinchas Zukerman, Martha Argerich, Magdalena Kožená, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Emmanuel Pahud and many others.

He has also given numerous solo recitals in the leading halls of North America, Europe and the Far East, including acclaimed debuts at Carnegie Hall in 1989 and Avery Fisher Hall in 1993. In 1991 he gave a series of joint recitals with Isaac Stern in Russia, marking Mr. Bronfman's first public performances there since his emigration to Israel at age 15. That same year he was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize, one of the highest honors given to American instrumentalists. In 2010 he was honored as the recipient of the Jean Gimbel Lane prize in piano performance from Northwestern University.

Widely praised for his solo, chamber and orchestral recordings, Mr. Bronfman has been nominated for 6 GRAMMY® Awards, winning in 1997 with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic for their recording of the three Bartok Piano Concerti. His prolific catalog of recordings includes works for two pianos by Rachmaninoff and Brahms with Emanuel Ax, the complete Prokofiev concerti with the Israel Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta, a Schubert/Mozart disc with the Zukerman Chamber Players and the soundtrack to Disney's Fantasia 2000. His most recent CD releases are the 2014 GRAMMY® nominated Magnus Lindberg's Piano Concerto No. 2 commissioned for him and performed by the New York Philharmonic conducted by Alan Gilbert on the Da Capo label; Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No.1 with Mariss Jansons and the Bayerischer Rundfunk; a recital disc, Perspectives, complementing Mr. Bronfman's designation as a Carnegie Hall ‘Perspectives' artist for the 2007-08 season; and recordings of all the Beethoven piano concerti as well as the Triple Concerto together with violinist Gil Shaham, cellist Truls Mørk, and the Tönhalle Orchestra Zürich under David Zinman for the Arte Nova/BMG label.

Now available on DVD are his performances of Liszt's second piano concerto with Franz Welser-Möst and the Vienna Philharmonic from Schoenbrunn, 2010 on Deutsche Grammophon; Beethoven's fifth piano concerto with Andris Nelsons and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra from the 2011 Lucerne Festival; Rachmaninoff's third concerto with the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle on the EuroArts label and both Brahms Concerti with Franz Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra (2015).

Born in Tashkent in the Soviet Union, Yefim Bronfman immigrated to Israel with his family in 1973, where he studied with pianist Arie Vardi, head of the Rubin Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University. In the United States, he studied at The Juilliard School, Marlboro School of Music, and the Curtis Institute of Music, under Rudolf Firkusny, Leon Fleisher, and Rudolf Serkin. He is a 2015 recipient of an honorary doctorate from the Manhattan School of Music.

Yefim Bronfman, piano
Camilla Tilling, soprano
Camilla Tilling, soprano View biography in full page >

A winning combination of beautiful voice and musical versatility has played no small part in sustaining Camilla Tilling's top flight career which has now spanned almost two decades. An acclaimed early debut at New York City Opera launched her career on an international trajectory which has since seen performances on the world's major opera, concert and recital stages while simultaneously building an impressive discography.

A successful debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier) was the start of an ongoing relationship which has seen her return to London as Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Dorinda (Orlando), Oscar (Un ballo in maschera), Arminda (La finta giardiniera), Gretel (Hansel und Gretel) and most recently as Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro). Camilla Tilling has appeared at The Metropolitan Opera as both Zerlina (Don Giovanni) and Nannetta (Falstaff), at Opéra national de Paris and Teatro alla Scala as Ilia (Idomeneo), at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre, La Monnaie and the Munich Opera Festival as Sophie, at San Francisco Opera, Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, Bayerische Staatsoper and Opéra national de Paris as Susanna and, last season, at Drottningholms Slottsteater in a role debut as Contessa (Le nozze di Figaro). With the vocal flexibility to embrace diverse repertoire, Camilla Tilling has also enjoyed success as the Governess (The Turn of the Screw) at the Glyndebourne Festival, Euridice (Orfeo ed Euridice) at Salzburg Mozartwoche, Donna Clara (Der Zwerg) at Bayerische Staatsoper, l'Ange (Saint François d'Assise) at Dutch National Opera, and Mélisande (Pelléas et Mélisande) at Madrid's Teatro Real, at Semperoper Dresden and with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

A highly regarded concert performer, Camilla Tilling is a regular guest with many of the world's leading orchestras. Recent concert highlights include Bach's Matthäus-Passion with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle, Schumann's Faustszenen with NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester under Thomas Hengelbrock, Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem with both the New York Philharmonic under Christoph von Dohnányi and with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich under Bernard Haitink, Dutilleux' Correspondances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Esa-Pekka Salonen, Bach's Mass in B minor with the Wiener Symphoniker under Philippe Jordan, and Sieben frühe Lieder with Sydney Symphony Orchestra under von Dohnányi, with Orchestre National de France under Daniele Gatti and with the London Symphony Orchestra under François-Xavier Roth.

In addition to a house debut at Royal Swedish Opera as Countess Almaviva, Camilla Tilling's current season includes Mahler's Symphony No.4 with Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis at Teatro alla Scala with Bernard Haitink and also with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra under Michael Tilson-Thomas, and she returns to the USA to sing Ein deutsches Requiem with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Andris Nelsons and Beethoven's Symphony No.9with the New York Philharmonic under Alan Gilbert. 

Among Camilla Tilling's many recordings are three recital discs with Paul Rivinius on the BIS label: the most recent, I Skogen released in July 2015, being a celebration of Nordic composers. She appears on Die Schöpfung with Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks under Bernard Haitink, Handel's La resurrezione with Le Concert d'Astree and Emmanuelle Haim, and she performs the role of Ilia (Idomeneo) on DVD from Teatro alla Scala conducted by Daniel Harding.

Camilla Tilling, soprano Thomas Hampson, baritone
Thomas Hampson, baritone View biography in full page >

Thomas Hampson, America’s foremost baritone, has received international honors and awards for his captivating artistry and cultural leadership. Lauded as a Metropolitan Opera Guild “Met Mastersinger” and inducted into both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Gramophone’s “Hall of Fame,” Hampson is one of the most respected and innovative musicians of our time. With an operatic repertoire of over 80 roles sung in all the major theaters of the world, his discography comprises more than 170 albums, which include multiple nominations and winners of the Grammy Award, Edison Award, and the Grand Prix du Disque. He received the 2009 Distinguished Artistic Leadership Award from the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC, and was appointed the New York Philharmonic’s first-ever Artist-in-Residence. In 2010, he was honoured with a Living Legend Award by the Library of Congress, where he has served as Special Advisor to the Study and Performance of Music in America. Furthermore, he has received the famed Concertgebouw Prize.

Hampson was made honorary professor on the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Heidelberg, and holds honorary doctorates from Manhattan School of Music, the New England Conservatory, Whitworth College, and San Francisco Conservatory, and is an honorary member of London’s Royal Academy of Music. He carries the titles of Kammersänger of the Wiener Staatsoper and Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of the Republic of France, and was awarded the Austrian Medal of Honour in Arts and Sciences. In 2017, Thomas Hampson received the Hugo Wolf Medal from the International Hugo Wolf Academy, together with his long-time musical collaborator, pianist Wolfram Rieger. The award recognizes their outstanding achievements in the art of song interpretation.

Notable engagements for his 2018/19 season include Thomas Hampson's highly anticipated debut at the Canadian Opera Company, singing the title role in the world premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s Hadrian, as well as his debut at Houston Grand Opera as the famed librettist Lorenzo da Ponte in the world premiere of Tarik O’Regan’s The Phoenix. Other noteworthy engagements include performances as Scarpia in Puccini’s Tosca at the Wiener Staatsoper, and his return to Teatro alla Scala as Altair in Strauss’ Die ägyptische Helena.

Thomas Hampson’s concert appearances this season include performances with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, and a tour with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. He will share the stage with his son-in-law, bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni, for their “No Tenors Allowed” program in Boston, Toronto, and Santa Fe. 

The 2018/19 season also marks the exciting launch of Thomas Hampson’s “Song of America: Beyond Liberty” concert tour. Mr. Hampson will guide audiences through centuries of stories using personal anecdotes, historical monologues, and readings of his favorite poetry, to celebrate America’s history through song. The project, developed with stage director Francesca Zambello and writer Royce Vavrek, premiered at the Glimmerglass Festival and will share the rich history of the people and events that helped create and define “the land of the free” with audiences, students, and educators across the US and beyond.

During his 2017/18 season, Thomas returned to the Opéra National de Paris in one of his signature roles, Count Danilo in Lehár’s Die lustige Witwe. He also sang the title role in Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra at the Wiener Staatsoper, and Scarpia in Puccini’s Tosca at the Bayerische Staatsoper. A highlight of his concert schedule was his debut tour through Australia, where he was critically acclaimed as “a singer of exceptional artistry...[it’s] easy to understand why he was a protégé of Leonard Bernstein” (J-Wire) and he was regarded as “The George Clooney of opera” (Sydney Morning Herald).

Thomas Hampson enjoys a singular international career as an opera singer, recording artist, and “ambassador of song,” maintaining an active interest in research, education, musical outreach, and technology. Through the Hampsong Foundation, which he founded in 2003, he employs the art of song to promote intercultural dialogue and understanding.

 

Thomas Hampson, baritone
Program Notes Audio
Jörg WIDMANN - Trauermarsch, for piano and orchestra (25 min)
BRAHMS - A German Requiem (75 min)
Audio Concert Preview - Full Program Notes
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