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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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BSO principal flutist Elizabeth Rowe joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 2004 and holds the Walter Piston Principal Flute Chair. Prior to joining the BSO, she held titled positions with the orchestras of Fort Wayne, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. Regularly featured in front of the orchestra, Ms. Rowe has been soloist with the BSO in Ligeti’s Double Concerto for flute and oboe with conductor Christoph von Dohnányi and BSO principal oboe John Ferrillo (a collaboration to be repeated in the closing concerts of the BSO’s 2019-20 subscription season); the American premiere of Elliott Carter’s Flute Concerto; Mozart’s G major flute concerto, K.313 (with which she made her first BSO appearance as a concerto soloist); Mozart’s C major concerto for flute and harp with BSO principal harpist Jessica Zhou (including a performance on tour with the orchestra in Tokyo); Gabriela Lena Frank’s Illapa, Tone Poem for Flute and Orchestra; Frank Martin’s Concerto for Seven Wind Instruments, Timpani, Percussion, and Strings; Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 2 and 5; and Leonard Bernstein’s Ḥalil (in the BSO’s Opening Night all-Bernstein program under Andris Nelsons in September 2017 and at Tanglewood in July 2018 under Herbert Blomstedt). Noted for her insightful teaching, Ms. Rowe attracts flute students from around the country to her lessons and master classes. She works regularly with students at the New England Conservatory and the Tanglewood Music Center and is a frequent guest artist at the New World Symphony. She previously taught at the Peabody Conservatory of Music and University of Maryland. As a member of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, she can be heard in a wide variety of chamber works throughout the season at NEC’s Jordan Hall and in several recordings. Elizabeth Rowe grew up in Eugene, Oregon. She received her bachelor of music degree from the University of Southern California, where she was a Trustee Scholar and a student of Jim Walker, former principal flute of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Ms. Rowe’s connection to the Boston Symphony Orchestra dates back to the summer of 1996, when she was a Tanglewood Music Center Fellow and performed as principal flute under Seiji Ozawa’s direction in the TMC production of Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes that marked the fiftieth anniversary of the opera’s 1946 American premiere at Tanglewood. For more information, please visit iamelizabethrowe.com.
Visit bostonsymphonychamberplayers.org for more information about the Boston Symphony Chamber Players.
|Elizabeth Rowe, flute|
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Soprano Julia Bullock has been hailed as an "impressive, fast-rising soprano… poised for a significant career" (The New York Times). Equally at home with opera and concert repertoire, she has captivated audiences with her versatile artistry and commanding stage presence. This season, Ms. Bullock appears as Clara in Porgy and Bess with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Robertson, Anne Trulove in The Rake's Progress at Aix en Provence, and Kitty Oppenheimer in the BBC Symphony's production and recording of John Adam's Dr. Atomic, conducted by John Adams. She also performs twice with the Los Angeles Philharmonic: in John Adams' El Niño, and in the role of "A Girl" in West Side Story at the Hollywood Bowl, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. Ms. Bullock is featured in a recital program with tenor Ian Bostridge presented by the LA Phil, entitled Night and Dreams: A Schubert & Beckett Recital, directed by Yuval Sharon.Her busy season also includes the premiere of a work by Jonathan Berger with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, a continued collaboration with the International Contemporary Ensemble (I.C.E) on "Perle Noir: Meditations for Joséphine," in performances at Mostly Mozart and Da Camera, a concert presented by the Resonant Bodies Festival (a New York-based contemporary music festival that celebrates new vocal works), and a performance of Villa Lobos' Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 with the Baltimore Symphony, conducted by Marin Alsop.
She has appeared as soloist with orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra with Simon Rattle, the New World Symphony with Christian Reif, and the Orchestra of St. Luke's. In summer 2015, Ms. Bullock made her debut with the New York Philharmonic, performing Bernstein's West Side Story Concert Suite No. 1 with Alan Gilbert in New York City parks, at Bravo! Vail, and in Santa Barbara. She made her San Francisco Symphony debut in West Side Story in Concert, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas; an album of the concert was released on the orchestra's label in 2014. The San Francisco Chronicle wrote: "The evening's most remarkable showstopper, Julia Bullock, appeared out of nowhere to deliver a full-voiced stunningly paced account of 'Somewhere'-for just a moment, it seemed as though nothing Bernstein ever wrote was quite as magical as that one song."
She sang the lead role in the Berlin Philharmonic's Orchestra Academy performance of Saariaho's La Passion de Simone, directed by Peter Sellars, which she reprised at the Ojai Festival in 2016. She performed the title role in Purcell's The Indian Queen at the Perm Opera House, Teatro Real, the Bolshoi, and the English National Opera, and she has toured South America as Pamina in Peter Brook's award-winning A Magic Flute. Other opera roles include Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Monica in The Medium, and the title roles in Cendrillon, The Cunning Little Vixen, and L'Enfant et les Sortilèges.
Ms. Bullock's contextually-driven recital and educational outreach programs have taken her across the United States to venues including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concerts, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, San Francisco Performances, University of Florida Performing Arts, and the Levine School of Music. She has sung numerous times with the New York Festival of Song, and in art song young artist programs at Caramoor and Songfest. She has also participated in master classes with bass-baritone José van Dam, soprano Jessye Norman, bass-baritone Eric Owens, and soprano Dawn Upshaw.
Ms. Bullock's accolades include a 2016 Sphinx Foundation Medal of Excellence, a 2015 Leonore Annenberg Arts Fellowship, the 2015 Richard F. Gold Grant from the Shoshana Foundation, Lincoln Center's 2015 Martin E. Segal Award, First Prize at the 2014 Naumburg International Vocal Competition, and First Prize at the 2012 Young Concert Artists International Auditions. She holds the Lindemann Vocal Chair of Young Concert Artists. Her management is also supported by the Barbara Forester Austin Fund for Art Song. From 2003 to 2005, Ms. Bullock participated in the Artists-in-Training program with the Opera Theater of St. Louis. She holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, Bard Graduate Vocal Arts Program, and graduated with an Artist's Diploma from the Juilliard School in 2015.
Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Ms. Bullock integrates her musical life with community activism. She has organized and participated in benefit concerts in support of the FSH Society, the Music and Medicine Initiative for New York's Weill Medical Center, and the Shropshire Music Foundation, a non-profit that serves war-affected children and adolescents through music education and performance programs in Kosovo, Northern Ireland, and Uganda. www.juliabullock.com
|Julia Bullock, soprano||
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Described by the New York Times as "one of America's finest artists and singers," Frederica von Stade continues to be extolled as one of the music world's most beloved figures. Known to family, friends, and fans by her nickname "Flicka," the mezzo-soprano has enriched the world of classical music for four and a half decades.
Ms. von Stade's career has taken her to the stages of the world's great opera houses and concert halls. She began at the top, when she received a contract from Sir Rudolf Bing during the Metropolitan Opera auditions, and since her debut in 1970 she has sung nearly all of her great roles with that company. In January 2000, the company celebrated the 30th anniversary of her debut with a new production of The Merry Widow specifically for her, and in 1995, as a celebration of her 25th anniversary, the Metropolitan Opera created for her a new production of Pelléas et Mélisande. In addition, Ms. von Stade has appeared with every leading American opera company, including San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Los Angeles Opera. Her career in Europe has been no less spectacular, with new productions mounted for her at Teatro alla Scala, Royal Opera Covent Garden, the Vienna State Opera, and the Paris Opera. She is invited regularly by the finest conductors, among them Claudio Abbado, Charles Dutoit, James Levine, Kurt Masur, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, André Previn, Leonard Slatkin, and Michael Tilson Thomas, to appear in concert with the world's leading orchestras, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, London Symphony Orchestra, Washington's National Symphony, and the Orchestra of La Scala.
With impressive versatility, Ms. von Stade has effortlessly traversed an ever-broadening spectrum of musical styles and dramatic characterizations. A noted bel canto specialist, she excelled as the heroines of Rossini's La cenerentola and Il barbiere di Siviglia and Bellini's La sonnambula. She is an unmatched stylist in the French repertoire: a delectable Mignon or Périchole, a regal Marguerite in Berlioz' La damnation de Faust, and, in one critic's words, "the Mélisande of one's dreams." Her elegant figure and keen imagination have made her the world's favorite interpreter of the great trouser roles, from Strauss' Octavian to Mozart's Sesto, Idamante and - magically, indelibly - Cherubino. Ms. von Stade's artistry has inspired the revival of neglected works such as Massenet's Cherubin, Thomas' Mignon, Rameau's Dardanus, and Monteverdi's Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria. Her ability as a singing actress has allowed her to portray wonderful works in operetta and musical theater including the title role in The Merry Widow and Desirée Armfeldt in A Little Night Music.
Though she retired from full-time performances in 2010, she continues to make appearances across the United States. To open the 2016-17 season, Ms. von Stade will sing with Tony award-winning Broadway star Liz Callaway, Daniel Rodriguez, and Matthew Lee Robinson in the New York premiere of the 45-minute cantata Street Requiem - composed in 2014 by Australian's Kathleen McGuire, Andy Payne and Jonathon Welch - at Carnegie Hall. She will also make her Arizona Opera debut by joining The 45th Anniversary Sapphire Celebration concert celebrating the company. In January, the mezzo-soprano will perform on a gala benefit concert with Sarasota Ballet in Florida. The spring finds Ms. von Stade singing with Hawaii Opera Theater in Three Decembers - composed by Jake Heggie based on the play by Terrence McNally - before going to Peabody Conservatory to give a master class.
Ms. von Stade enjoys close collaborations with several contemporary composers, including Jake Heggie, Ricky Ian Gordon, and Dominick Argento, among others. She created the role of Tina in The Dallas Opera's world premiere production of Dominick Argento's The Aspern Papers (a work written for her), as well as the role of Madame de Merteuil in Conrad Susa's Dangerous Liaisons and Mrs. Patrick De Rocher in Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking, both for San Francisco Opera. Ms. von Stade created the role of Myrtle Bledsoe in the world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon's A Coffin in Egypt at Houston Grand Opera, a role she later reprised at Opera Philadelphia, The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, and with the Chicago Opera Theater. Ms. von Stade will also create the role of Mrs. Edward "Winnie" Flato in the world premiere of Jake Heggie and Terrence McNally's Great Scott directed by Jack O'Brien, with performances at The Dallas Opera and San Diego Opera.
Ms. von Stade's orchestral repertoire is equally broad, embracing works from the Baroque to those of today's composers. She has garnered critical and popular acclaim in her vast French repertoire as one of the world's finest interpreters of Ravel's Shéhérazade, Berlioz's Les nuits d'été, and Canteloube's Les chants d'Auvergne, as well as the orchestrated songs of Debussy and Duparc. She is continually in demand for the symphonic works of the great Austrian and German composers including Mozart and Mahler, as well as the new works of American composers.
It was the American composer Richard Danielpour who in 1998
helped Ms. von Stade to realize an artistic and personal dream when
he wrote Elegies. The work, scored for orchestra,
mezzo-soprano and baritone, is a tribute to Ms. von Stade's father,
Charles von Stade, who was killed in the final days of World War
II, and is based on the text of letters Mr. von Stade sent to his
wife during the war. It is through these letters that Ms. von Stade
came to know her father, who died two months before her birth. In
January 1998 the Jacksonville Symphony, led by Roger Nierenberg,
offered the world premiere of Elegies with
performances in Florida and in New York's Carnegie
Hall. Elegies is available on SONY Classical and
has been performed throughout North America and Europe.
She has made over seventy recordings with every major label, including complete operas, aria albums, symphonic works, solo recital programs, and popular crossover albums. Her recordings have garnered six Grammy nominations, two Grand Prix du Disc awards, the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, Italy's Premio della Critica Discografica, and "Best of the Year" citations by Stereo Review and Opera News. She has enjoyed the distinction of holding simultaneously the first and second places on national sales charts for Angel/EMI's Show Boat and Telarc's The Sound of Music.
Ms. von Stade appears regularly on television, through numerous PBS and other broadcasts. In 2002 she was seen on national television in a concert with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir as part of the opening ceremonies of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games. In 2001 she participated in the opening of Philadelphia's Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts performing in a concert together with Sir Elton John, Andre Watts, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Other highlights of recent television appearances include a gala concert with the San Francisco Symphony to open the 1998-99 season at New York's Carnegie Hall and a "Live from Lincoln Center" television event opening the 1999 season of the Mostly Mozart Festival, both broadcast throughout North America. She can be seen in "Live from the Met" performances as Cherubino, Hansel, and Idamante, and through PBS broadcasts of her celebration of the art of American song with Thomas Hampson, Marilyn Horne, Dawn Upshaw and Jerry Hadley in a program at New York's Town Hall titled "I Hear America Singing," as well as a program with Tyne Daly which included arias, art songs and popular crossover material. Also seen on PBS were a holiday special, "Christmas with Flicka," shot on location in Salzburg, "A Carnegie Hall Christmas" with Kathleen Battle, and an evening of operatic and musical theater selections with Samuel Ramey and Jerry Hadley titled "Flicka and Friends." Her recent portrayals in Dangerous Liaisons and The Aspern Papers were broadcast throughout North America. She can also be seen in the Unitel film of the classic Jean-Pierre Ponnelle production of La cenerentola.
Ms. von Stade is the holder of honorary doctorates from Yale University, Boston University, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (which holds a Frederica von Stade Distinguished Chair in Voice), the Georgetown University School of Medicine, and her alma mater, the Mannes School of Music. In 1998 Ms. von Stade was awarded France's highest honor in the Arts when she was appointed as an officer of L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and in 1983 she was honored with an award given at The White House by President Reagan in recognition of her significant contribution to the arts.
|Frederica von Stade, mezzo-soprano and host|
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