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Andris Nelsons conducts Mozart and Shostakovich featuring soprano Kristine Opolais

Boston Symphony Orchestra

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The BSO presents one of Shostakovich's most unusual symphonies, No. 14, which continues the BSO's complete cycle of Shostakovich symphonies being recorded for future release on Deutsche Grammophon. Composed in 1969 and dedicated to Benjamin Britten, No. 14 requires the smallest instrumental forces of any Shostakovich symphony-string orchestra with ten percussionists. Opening the program is music of a very different stripe, Mozart's wonderfully amiable Gran Partita for winds. This sevenmovement serenade dates from about 1782 and is considered by many the finest work of "Harmoniemusik"- music for wind band-ever written.

Featured Performers

Andris Nelsons, conductor
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In 2017-18, his fourth season as the BSO's Ray and Maria Stata Music Director, Andris Nelsons leads the Boston Symphony Orchestra in twelve wide-ranging subscription programs at Symphony Hall, repeating three of them at New York's Carnegie Hall in March. Also this season, in November, he and the orchestra tour Japan together for the first time, playing concerts in Nagoya, Osaka, Kawasaki, and Tokyo. In addition, in February 2018 Maestro Nelsons becomes Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, in which capacity he will bring both orchestras together for a unique multi-dimensional alliance; under his direction, the BSO celebrates its first "Leipzig Week in Boston" that same month. In the summer of 2015, following his first season as music director, Andris Nelsons' contract with the Boston Symphony Orchestra was extended through the 2021-22 season. Following the 2015 Tanglewood season, he and the BSO undertook a twelve-concert, eight-city tour to major European capitals as well as the Lucerne, Salzburg, and Grafenegg festivals. A second European tour, to eight cities in Germany, Austria, and Luxembourg, took place in May 2016.

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 first CD with the BSO-live recordings of Wagner's Tannhäuser Overture and Sibelius's Symphony No. 2-was released in November 2014 on BSO Classics. April 2017 brought the release on BSO Classics of the four Brahms symphonies with Maestro Nelsons conducting, recorded live at Symphony Hall in November 2016. In an ongoing, multi-year collaboration with Deutsche Grammophon initiated in 2014-15, he and the BSO are making live recordings of Shostakovich's complete symphonies, the opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, and other works by the composer. The first release in this series (the Symphony No. 10 and the Passacaglia from Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk) won the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance and Gramophone Magazine's Orchestral Award. The second release (symphonies 5, 8, and 9, plus excerpts from Shostakovich's 1932 incidental music to Hamlet) won the 2017 Grammy for Best Orchestral Performance. Also for Deutsche Grammophon, Andris Nelsons is recording the Bruckner symphonies with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and the Beethoven symphonies with the Vienna Philharmonic.

In 2017-18, Andris Nelsons is artist-in-residence at the Konzerthaus Dortmund and continues his regular collaboration with the Vienna Philharmonic, leading that orchestra on tour to China. He also maintains regular collaborations with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Philharmonia Orchestra. Maestro Nelsons has also been a regular guest at the Bayreuth Festival and at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where he conducts a new David Alden production of Lohengrin this season.

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. Mr. Nelsons is the subject of a 2013 DVD from Orfeo, a documentary film entitled "Andris Nelsons: Genius on Fire."

Andris Nelsons, conductor Kristine Opolais, soprano
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Kristine Opolais is one of the most sought after sopranos on the international scene today, appearing at the Metropolitan Opera New York, Wiener Staatsoper, Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Bayerische Staatsoper, Teatro alla Scala, Opernhaus Zürich and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. She is working with such conductors as Daniel Barenboim, Antonio Pappano, Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Mark Elder, Daniel Harding, Andris Nelsons, Fabio Luisi, Kirill Petrenko and Semyon Bychkov.

In the 2017/18 season Opolais continues her notable collaboration with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, making her role debut as Elsa in "Lohengrin", in a new production by David Alden, starring opposite Klaus Florian Vogt. Previously in London, Opolais has particularly cemented her title as "the leading Puccini Soprano of today" (The Telegraph), appearing in Kent's 2014 production as Manon Lescaut, as well as starring as Cio-Cio San and Floria Tosca. This season Opolais also looks forward to making her debut at the Hamburg Staatsoper, in "Madama Butterfly", in two special performance as part of the Italian Opera Festival. She also returns for performances of this signature role at the Wiener Staatsoper.

Kristine Opolais is particularly known for her notable collaborations with the Metropolitan Opera, her performances frequently broadcast in HD worldwide. She recently starred as the title role in Zimmerman's 2017 production of "Rusalka", and she received the highest critical praise for her "vocally lustrous and achingly vulnerable performance" (NY Times). Opolais has maintained this strong relationship with the Met since her debut as Magda in "La Rondine" in 2013. Famously, in 2014 Opolais made history at the Met, with two role debuts in 18 hours. She gave a renowned performance in "Butterfly", only to step in for a matinee of "La bohème" the next day, which was additionally cinema broadcast worldwide and Opolais wowed audiences around the globe. She has also forged a strong relationship with the Bayerische Staatsoper, which began in 2010 when Opolais made her debut, to wide acclaim, as Rusalka. Since this time Opolais has appeared in numerous titles including "Manon Lescaut", "Madama Butterfly", Tatjana in "Onegin" and Margherita in "Mefistofele".

In recent seasons, Opolais' concert performances have included appearances at Salzburg Festival, BBC Proms and Tanglewood Festival, where Opolais is a regular guest - this season headlining closing weekend in opera gala, including Act II of "Tosca", with Sir Bryn Terfel. Opolais has appeared with orchestras including the Berliner Philharmoniker, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Concertgebouworkest, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and Filarmonica della Scala. Highlights of 2017/18 include Opolais' joining an all-star cast, with Piotr Beczała and Rene Papé in Dvorak's Stabat Mater, opening the Prague Festival. She also debuts with the Wiener Philharmoniker, which stands as her third consecutive season appearing at the prestigious Musikverein.

Opolais' forthcoming recording is a DVD of Tosca, from Himmelmann's 2017 production in Baden-Baden, with the Berliner Philharmoniker, conducted by Rattle. Further DVD recordings include Royal Opera House's "Manon Lescaut", in which Opolais sings the title role opposite Jonas Kaufmann, Prokofiev's "The Gambler" at the Deutsche Staatsoper under the baton of Barenboim and "Rusalka" from the Bayerische Staatsoper. CD recordings include those with WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln of "Suor Angelica", released with Orfeo and nominated for a BBC Music Magazine Award, "Simon Boccanegra" on the Decca label and collaborating with Jonas Kaufmann on his Grammy recognised Puccini disc with Sony.

Kristine Opolais, soprano
Alexander Tsymbalyuk, bass
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The Ukrainian bass Alexander Tsymbalyuk is one of the youngest basses to have ever performed the title role in Boris Godunov on a major international stage (Bayerische Staatoper in Calixto Bieito's production). His career is truly soaring, having made very successful company debuts at the Metropolitan Opera New York, Teatro alla Scala Milan, Royal Danish Opera Copenhagen, Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Va-lencia, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Liceu Barcelona, Bolshoi Theatre Moscow and Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.

This season, Alexander will make his company debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Sparafucile in Rigoletto, and will return to The Metropolitan Opera as Timur in Turandot, the Bayerische Staatsoper as Fasolt in Das Rheingold, Staatsoper Hamburg as Gremin in Eugene Onegin. Further appearances include Rubenstein's Demon  at the Gran Teatro del Liceu; and in concert: Don Giovanni in Japan, Samson et Dalila at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées, and Boris Godunov at the Concertgebouw.

Alexander has very successfully worked with conductors including Zubin Mehta, Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti, Daniel Barenboim, Sir Colin Davis, Antonio Pappano, Marco Armiliato, Nicola Luisotti, Kent Nagano, Gustavo Dudamel, Riccardo Chailly, Ivor Bolton, Edward Gardner, Anto-nello Manacorda, Daniele Rustioni, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Alain Altinoglu, Vasily and Kirill Petrenko, Dan Ettinger, Evelino Pidò and Simone Young.

In concert he has appeared at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino singing Mozart's as well as Verdi's Requiem and Don Carlo and he sang his Gurrelieder debut at Konzertverein Vienna (all under the baton of Zubin Mehta), Boito Mephistofeles (Prologue) with the Accademia Santa Cecilia conducted by Pappano, Rigoletto in Concert at the Hollywood Bowl with Gustavo Dudamel, Otello in concert with Sir Colin Davis and the London Symphony Orchestra at Barbican Centre London and at Deutsche Aids Gala in Düsseldorf. He has given a solo recital at St Johns Smith Square London and took part in the 20th anniversary celebration concert of the charity event "Festliche Gala der Deutschen AIDS Stiftung" at Deutsche Oper Berlin.

Alexander Tsymbalyuk, bass
Program Notes Audio
MOZART - Serenade No. 10 in B-flat for winds, K.361, Gran partita (40 min)
SHOSTAKOVICH - Symphony No. 14
Sung in Russian with English supertitles (48 min)
Audio Concert Preview - Full Program Notes