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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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Yo-Yo Ma's multi-faceted career is testament to his continual
search for new ways to communicate with audiences, and to his
personal desire for artistic growth and renewal. Whether performing
new or familiar works from the cello repertoire, coming together
with colleagues for chamber music or exploring cultures and musical
forms outside the Western classical tradition, Mr. Ma strives to
find connections that stimulate the imagination.
Yo-Yo Ma maintains a balance between his engagements as soloist
with orchestras throughout the world and his recital and chamber
music activities. He draws inspiration from a wide circle of
collaborators, creating programs with such artists as Emanuel Ax,
Daniel Barenboim, Kayhan Kalhor, Ton Koopman, Yu Long, Edgar Meyer,
Mark Morris, Cristina Pato, Kathryn Stott, Chris Thile, Michael
Tilson Thomas, Wu Man, Wu Tong, and Damian Woetzel. Each of these
collaborations is fueled by the artists' interactions, often
extending the boundaries of a particular genre. One of Mr. Ma's
goals is the exploration of music as a means of communication and
as a vehicle for the migration of ideas across a range of cultures
throughout the world. To that end, he has taken time to immerse
himself in subjects as diverse as native Chinese music with its
distinctive instruments and the music of the Kalahari bush people
Expanding upon this interest, in 1998, Mr. Ma established
Silkroad, a nonprofit organization that seeks to create meaningful
change at the intersections of the arts, education and business.
Under his artistic direction, Silkroad presents performances by the
acclaimed Silk Road Ensemble and develops new music, cultural
partnerships, education programs, and cross-disciplinary
collaborations. Silkroad's ongoing affiliation with Harvard
University has made it possible to develop programs such as the
Arts and Passion-Driven Learning Institute for educators and
teaching artists, held in collaboration with the Harvard Graduate
School of Education, and a new Cultural Entrepreneurship initiative
in partnership with Harvard Business School. More than 80 new
musical and multimedia works have been commissioned for the Silk
Road Ensemble from composers and arrangers around the world.
Through his work with Silkroad, as throughout his career, Yo-Yo
Ma seeks to expand the cello repertoire, frequently performing
lesser known music of the 20th century and commissions of new
concertos and recital pieces. He has premiered works by a diverse
group of composers, among them Elliott Carter, Richard Danielpour,
Osvaldo Golijov, Leon Kirchner, Zhao Lin, Christopher Rouse,
Giovanni Sollima, Bright Sheng, Tan Dun, John Williams and Dmitri
Yanov-Yanovsky. In February of 2017 he will premiere a new concerto
by Esa-Pekka Salonen.
As the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Judson and Joyce Green
Creative Consultant, Mr. Ma is partnering with Maestro Riccardo
Muti to provide collaborative musical leadership and guidance on
innovative program development for The Negaunee Music Institute of
the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and for Chicago Symphony artistic
initiatives. Ma's work focuses on the transformative power music
can have in individuals' lives, and on increasing the number and
variety of opportunities audiences have to experience music in
their communities. In March 2016, he was appointed Artistic Advisor
at Large to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as
part of their expansive initiatives honoring the centenary of JFK's
birth and to encourage the idea of creative citizenship.
Yo-Yo Ma is strongly committed to educational programs that not
only bring young audiences into contact with music but also allow
them to participate in its creation. While touring, he takes time
whenever possible to conduct master classes as well as more
informal programs for students - musicians and non-musicians alike.
At the same time, he continues to develop new concert programs for
family audiences, for instance helping to inaugurate the family
series at Carnegie Hall. In each of these undertakings, he works to
connect music to students' daily surroundings and activities with
the goal of making music and creativity a vital part of children's
lives from an early age. He has also reached young audiences
through appearances on "Arthur," "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" and
Mr. Ma's discography of over 100 albums (including 18 Grammy
Award winners) reflects his wide-ranging interests. He has made
several successful recordings that defy categorization, among them
"Appalachia Waltz" and "Appalachian Journey" with Mark O'Connor and
Edgar Meyer, and two Grammy-winning tributes to the music of
Brazil, "Obrigado Brazil" and "Obrigado Brazil - Live in Concert."
Mr. Ma's recent recordings include: "The Goat Rodeo Sessions," with
Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile and Stuart Duncan, which received the 2013
Grammy for Best Folk Album, and "Songs from the Arc of Life," with
pianist Kathryn Stott. His most recent release, "Sing Me Home,"
recorded with the Silk Road Ensemble, was released in April 2016 as
the companion album to documentary film The Music of Strangers.
Created by Oscar-winning producer Morgan Neville, the film follows
the Ensemble's more than 50 musicians, composers, visual artists
and storytellers as they explore the ways art can both preserve
traditions and shape cultural evolution. In spring 2017, Mr. Ma
will release and tour "Bach Trios," recorded with Edgar Meyer and
Chris Thile. Mr. Ma remains one of the best-selling recording
artists in the classical field. All of his recent albums have
quickly entered the Billboard chart of classical best sellers,
remaining in the Top 15 for extended periods, often with as many as
four titles simultaneously on the list.
Yo-Yo Ma was born in 1955 to Chinese parents living in Paris. He
began to study the cello with his father at age four and soon came
with his family to New York, where he spent most of his formative
years. Later, his principal teacher was Leonard Rose at the
Juilliard School. He sought out a traditional liberal arts
education to expand upon his conservatory training, graduating from
Harvard University in 1976. He has received numerous awards,
including the Avery Fisher Prize (1978), the Glenn Gould Prize
(1999), the National Medal of the Arts (2001), the Dan David Prize
(2006), the Leonie Sonning Music Prize (2006), the World Economic
Forum's Crystal Award (2008), the Presidential Medal of Freedom
(2010), the Polar Music Prize (2012) and the Vilcek Prize in
Contemporary Music (2013). In 2011, Mr. Ma was recognized as a
Kennedy Center Honoree. Appointed a CultureConnect Ambassador by
the United States Department of State in 2002, Mr. Ma has met with,
trained and mentored thousands of students worldwide in countries
including Lithuania, Korea, Lebanon, Azerbaijan and China. He also
serves as a UN Messenger of Peace. He has performed for eight
American presidents, most recently at the invitation of President
Obama on the occasion of the 56th Inaugural Ceremony.
Mr. Ma and his wife have two children. He plays two instruments,
a 1733 Montagnana cello from Venice and the 1712 Davidoff
Yo-Yo Ma, cello