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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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Anne-Sophie Mutter is a musical phenomenon and virtuoso who, for more than 40 years, has been a fixture in all the world’s major concert halls, making her mark in classical music as a soloist, mentor and visionary.
Since her recital debut at the 1976 Lucerne Festival and solo debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Herbert von Karajan at the 1977 Salzburg Whitsun Festival, Ms. Mutter has frequently performed with the world’s greatest orchestras, including the Berliner Philharmoniker, Boston Symphony, Gewandhaus Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, London Symphony Orchestra, and Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and has collaborated with the most prominent composers and musicians of our time.
Ms. Mutter is as equally committed to the great canonical works as to the future of music, and has given the world premieres of 26 works, many written for her, by composers including Unsuk Chin, Sebastian Currier, Henri Dutilleux, Sofia Gubaidulina, Witold Lutoslawski, Norbert Moret, Krzysztof Penderecki, Sir André Previn, Wolfgang Rihm and John Williams.
Ms. Mutter’s 2018/2019 season includes a six-city tour of China in October 2018 with the Sinfonia Varsovia featuring works by Krzysztof Penderecki on the occasion of his 85th birthday. In November 2018, Ms. Mutter returns to the Staakskapelle Berlin with the German premiere of Williams’ Markings for Solo Violin, Strings, and Harp for the Deutsche Grammophon‘s 120th Anniversary Jubilee Concert conducted by Manfred Honeck, followed by appearances with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Edinburgh and Glasgow performing Penderecki’s “Metamorphosen” with the conductor on the podium.
In March 2019, Ms. Mutter returns to North America for a five-city tour of the U.S. and Canada featuring the world premiere of Currier’s Piano Trio at Carnegie Hall on March 12. Ms. Mutter then embarks on an extensive tour performing Mozart’s Violin Concertos with the Chamber Orchestra Vienna-Berlin—consisting of members of the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Wiener Philharmoniker—in May and June 2019 with performances throughout Germany, Austria, Spain, Greece, and the U.S.
Dedicated to fostering the careers of emerging musicians, Ms. Mutter founded the “Association of Friends of the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation e.V.” in 1997, to which the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation was added in 2008. Since 2011, she has regularly shared the spotlight on stage with the foundation’s exclusive ensemble of fellows, The Mutter Virtuosi. She has featured them in recordings, including Vivaldi’s Four Seasons,andSchubert’s “Trout” Quintet with Daniil Trifonov.
The four-time Grammy® Award winner released an all-Penderecki album in August 2018 titled Hommage à Penderecki, which included the world premiere recording of the composer’s Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano. The album marks the culmination of Ms. Mutter’s season-wide celebration of Penderecki’s 85th birthday in 2018, which has included recitals across U.S. and Europe, performed with the London Philharmonic, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, and at Carnegie Hall.
Ms. Mutter has received international awards and honors, including the Polish Gold Medal for Merit to Culture, the Bavarian State Foundation Culture Prize, the Romanian Order of Cultural Merit in the rank of Grand Officer, the insignia of a Commander of the French Order of Arts and Literature, the Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum for her services to music education and young artists, the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, and the German Grand Order of Merit, among numerous others.
Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin