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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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Her singular blend of technical prowess, keen musical insight,
and emotional depth have established Yuja Wang as one of the
world's finest performers.
The power of her interpretations emerges from a distinct
combination of her exceptional presence on stage and a natural
affinity and inquisitive approach to the repertoire, which ranges
from Mozart to Gershwin and beyond. 'Charismatic', 'breathtaking',
'flawless' and 'heartfelt' are just a selection of the superlatives
used frequently by critics worldwide.
Yuja's 2017-18 season features recitals, concert series, and
extensive tours with some of the world's most venerated ensembles
and conductors. She begins the summer of 2017 on tour with the
London Symphony Orchestra and Michael Tilson Thomas and a programme
featuring Brahms' Piano Concerto No.2, followed by a performance of
the first concerto at the Ravinia Festival with the Chicago
Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Lionel Bringuier. Later
engagements include concerts with the Munich Philharmonic and
Valery Gergiev, a series of performances at the Verbier Festival,
and a three-city German tour with the St. Petersburg
She also embarks on play-conduct tours with two of the best
chamber orchestras in the world, Mahler Chamber Orchestra and
Chamber Orchestra of Europe, as well as joining the inaugural tour
of Jaap van Zweden with the New York Philharmonic and the final
tour of Yannick Nézet-Séguin's directorship with the Rotterdam
Philharmonic. Other notable appearances include concerts in Hong
Kong, Miami, Washington D.C., Prague, Tel Aviv, and Berlin.
Winter of 2017 sees Yuja reunite with violinist and frequent
collaborator Leonidas Kavakos for a European chamber tour, whilst
in the spring of 2018, Ms. Wang will embark on a vast-reaching
recital tour at premiere venues in the US and Europe; New York
City, San Francisco, Rome, Vienna, Berlin, Paris, and beyond.
As part of its commitment to the arts, Rolex selected Yuja Wang
as one of its cultural ambassadors in 2009, a distinction she holds
to this day. She has been described by the New York Times as "one
of the best young pianists around" and hailed by the Sydney Morning
Herald for her "blistering technique." In July 2015 the Los Angeles
Times declared: "Hers is a nonchalant, brilliant keyboard
virtuosity that would have made both Prokofiev (who was a great
pianist) and even the fabled Horowitz jealous." This combination of
critical acclaim, audience ovations, return engagements at leading
international venues, and an exclusive recording relationship with
Deutsche Grammophon confirm Yuja Wang's status as one of this
century's most compelling and engaging artists.
Yuja's way of making music connects with a strikingly broad
demographic. It appeals to everyone, from classical music newcomers
to devoted pianophiles, and has attracted an exceptionally youthful
following. Her love for fashion, recognized by her induction into
Giorgio Armani's Sì Women's Circle, has also contributed to the
popular appeal of an artist who is armed with the ability to
challenge the status quo and to welcome fresh converts to the
Yuja Wang was born in Beijing and encouraged to make music at a
young age by her dancer mother and percussionist father, which
served as the catalyst for the never-ending thirst for
knowledge that has sustained her continued musical development.
She began piano lessons at the age of six, and her progress was
accelerated by studies at Beijing's Central Conservatory of Music.
In 1999 she moved to Canada to participate in the Morningside Music
summer programme at Calgary's Mount Royal College, and thereafter
enrolled as the youngest ever student at Mount Royal Conservatory.
Wang's exceptional gifts were widely recognised in 2001 with her
appointment as a Steinway Artist, and again the following year when
she was offered a place at Philadelphia's prestigious Curtis
Institute of Music, where she studied with Gary Graffman.
By the time Yuja graduated from Curtis in 2008, she had already
gained momentum following the spectacular success of her debut
three years earlier with the National Arts Center Orchestra in
Ottawa. Wang attracted widespread international attention in March
2007 when she replaced Martha Argerich on short notice in
performances of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No.1 with the Boston
Symphony Orchestra, and within the span of just a few seasons she
was working with conductors of the highest calibre.
Over the past decade of her career, she has worked with such
pre-eminent Maestros as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim,
Gustavo Dudamel, Valery Gergiev, Michael Tilson
Thomas, Antonio Pappano, Charles Dutoit, and Zubin Mehta.
In January 2009, Yuja Wang became an exclusive Deutsche
Grammophon recording artist. Her debut album, Sonatas &
Etudes, prompted Gramophone to name her as its 2009 Young Artist of
the Year. Her 2011 release of Rachmaninov's Second
Piano Concerto and Paganini's Rhapsody with the Mahler Chamber
Orchestra and Claudio Abbado was nominated for a Grammy® Award
in the Best Classical Instrumental Solo category. Subsequent
releases for the label include Fantasia, an album of encore pieces
by Albéniz, Bach, Chopin, Rachmaninov, Saint-Saëns, Scriabin, and
others; a live recording of Prokofiev's Concertos Nos. 2 and 3
with Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra,
and an acclaimed coupling of Ravel's two piano concerti with
Fauré's Ballade, recorded with the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich and
Reviewers around the world have documented the full range of
Wang's work, capturing the essence of her musicianship and
observing the development of an artist blessed with consummate
technical abilities, an inexhaustible creative imagination, and an
Yuja Wang, piano