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The 2018-19 season is Andris Nelsons’ fifth as the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Ray and Maria Stata Music Director. Named Musical America’s 2018 Artist of the Year, Mr. Nelsons will lead fourteen of the BSO’s twenty-six subscription programs in 2018-19, ranging from orchestral works by Haydn, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, and Copland to concerto collaborations with acclaimed soloists, as well as world and American premieres of pieces newly commissioned by the BSO from Thomas Adès, Sebastian Currier, Andris Dzenītis, and Mark-Anthony Turnage; the continuation of his complete Shostakovich symphony cycle with the orchestra, and concert performances of Puccini’s one-act opera Suor Angelica. 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. In February 2018, he became Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, in which capacity he brings both orchestras together for a unique multi-dimensional alliance. Immediately following the 2018 Tanglewood season, Maestro Nelsons and the BSO made their third European tour together, playing concerts in London, Hamburg, Berlin, Leipzig, Vienna, Lucerne, Paris, and Amsterdam. Their first European tour, following the 2015 Tanglewood season, took them to major European capitals and the Lucerne, Salzburg, and Grafenegg festivals; the second, in May 2016, took them to eight cities in Germany, Austria, and Luxembourg.
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 5, 8, 9, and 10, the initial releases in a complete Shostakovich symphony cycle for that label; and a new two-disc set pairing Shostakovich’s symphonies 4 and 11, The Year 1905. 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.
The 2018-19 season is Maestro Nelsons’ final season as artist-in-residence at the Konzerthaus Dortmund and marks his first season as artist-in-residence at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie. In addition, he continues his regular collaborations with the Vienna Philharmonic and Berlin Philharmonic. Throughout his career, he has also established regular collaborations with Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Philharmonia Orchestra, 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
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Leonidas Kavakos is recognized across the world as a violinist
and artist of rare quality, known at the highest level for his
virtuosity, superb musicianship and the integrity of his playing.
In recognition of this, he was voted Gramophone Artist of the Year
Born and brought up in Athens in a musical family, where he
still lives, Kavakos's first steps as a violinist were guided by
his parents. He studied at the Hellenic Conservatory with Stelios
Kafantaris, one of the three important mentors in his life,
together with Josef Gingold and Ferenc Rados.
By the age of 21, Leonidas Kavakos had already won three major
competitions, the Sibelius Competition in 1985, and the Paganini
and Naumburg competitions in 1988. This success led to his
recording the original Sibelius Violin Concerto (1903/4), the first
recording of this work in history. It won Gramophone Concerto of
the Year Award in 1991. He was also accorded the honour of
performing on the famous 'Il Cannone' Guarneri del Gesù, which
belonged to Paganini.
Kavakos's international career has allowed him to develop close
relationships with the world's major orchestras and conductors,
such as the Berliner Philharmoniker/Rattle, Royal Concertgebouw
Orchestra/Jansons, London Symphony Orchestra/Gergiev and
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig/Chailly. Kavakos also works closely
with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle,
Bayerischer Rundfunk, Munich Philharmonic, Budapest Festival
orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Academia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia,
Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala and in the USA, with the
Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony,
Chicago Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestras.
Leonidas Kavakos has now established a strong profile as a
conductor and has worked with the London Symphony and Boston
Symphony orchestras, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin,
Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Chamber Orchestra of
Europe, Vienna Symphony, Budapest Festival, Finnish Radio Symphony
and Rotterdam Philharmonic orchestras. In the forthcoming season,
Kavakos will return as conductor to the Boston Symphony Orchestra
and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, and will meet, for the first
time as conductor, the Russian State Symphony and Maggio Musicale
Leonidas Kavakos is an exclusive Decca Classics recording artist
and his first release on the label, the complete Beethoven Violin
Sonatas with Enrico Pace, resulted in the award of 'Instrumentalist
of the Year' at the 2013 ECHO Klassik Awards. The duo has presented
the complete cycle at New York's Carnegie Hall, Salzburg Festival,
Amsterdam Concertgebouw, in Hong Kong and Shanghai and at the
Kavakos's second disc with Decca Classics (October 2013), was
the Brahms Violin Concerto recorded with the Gewandhausorchester
Leipzig and Riccardo Chailly, and the third disc, Brahms Violin
Sonatas with Yuja Wang, was released in spring 2014. Kavakos and
Wang performed the sonatas on tour throughout Europe and in the
coming season, will appear in London's Barbican Hall, Amsterdam
Concertgebouw, Barcelona, Madrid, Salzburg and the Vienna
Following the Sibelius and other early recordings for BIS and
ECM, Kavakos recorded Mozart's five Violin Concertos and Symphony
No.39 in concert for Sony Classical, conducting and playing with
Camerata Salzburg. He then recorded Mendelssohn Violin Concerto,
again with Camerata Salzburg, for which he received an ECHO Klassik
'Best Concerto Recording' award in 2009.
Kavakos has always retained strong links with his native Greece.
For 15 years he curated a chamber music cycle at the Athens Concert
Hall (Megaron) which featured some of his close musical friends,
including Mstislav Rostropovich, Heinrich Schiff, Emanuel Ax,
Nikolai Lugansky, Yuja Wang and Gautier Capuçon. For the past two
years Kavakos has curated an annual violin and chamber-music
masterclass in Athens, attracting violinists and ensembles from all
over the world and reflecting his deep commitment to the handing on
of musical knowledge and traditions.
Leonidas Kavakos is passionate about the art of violin- and
bow-making, both past and present, which he considers a great
mystery and, to our day, an undisclosed secret. He plays the
'Abergavenny' Stradivarius violin of 1724 and owns modern violins
made by F. Leonhard, S.P. Greiner, E. Haahti and D. Bague. Bows by
F.X. Tourte, D. Peccatte, J.P.M. Persois and J. Henry are his most
Leonidas Kavakos, violin