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Andris Nelsons conducts Einfelde and Mahler

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BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons leads the Tanglewood Festival Chorus in Latvian composer Maija Einfelde's brief but moving Lux aeterna for mixed chorus, the first of two Latvian works performed this year to mark the centenary of the country's independence. Mahler's all-embracing. ninety-minute Symphony No. 2, Resurrection, also features the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, along with Chinese soprano Ying Fang and Argentine-born mezzo-soprano Bernarda Fink. The third movement is a setting of "Urlicht," a poem from Des Knaben Wunderhorn, a source of texts for many of Mahler's songs, and the vast finale includes a setting for chorus and soprano of verses from Klopstock's poem "Resurrection."

Featured Performers & Ensembles

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 Ying Fang, soprano Ying Fang, soprano
Bernarda Fink, mezzo-soprano
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Bernarda Fink, daughter of Slovenian parents, was born in Buenos Aires and received her vocal and musical education at the Instituto Superior de Arte del Teatro Colón where she performed frequently. 

Bernarda Fink is one of the most sought-after singers in concerts and recitals. She has been acclaimed for her musical versatility and invited by the leading orchestras and conductors in Europe and America. Her repertoire ranges from ancient music up to music of the 20th century. She frequently appears with such well-known orchestras as the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Staatskapelle Berlin and Dresden, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, as well as with the best-known Baroque orchestras under such famous conductors as Daniel Barenboim, Herbert Blomstedt, Semyon Bychkov, Riccardo Chailly, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, René Jacobs, Mariss Jansons, Riccardo Muti, Sir Roger Norrington, Trevor Pinnock, Georges Prêtre, Sir Simon Rattle and Franz Welser-Möst. She had a close artistic cooperation with Nikolaus Harnoncourt which is testified by numerous TV and CD recordings.

Bernarda Fink has appeared to widespread critical acclaim in Argentina and at the most important opera houses in Europe. Recent highlights were the roles of Cecilio/LUCIO SILLA led by Nikolaus Harnoncourt at the Theater an der Wien, Idamante/IDOMENEO in a production of Luc Bondy and Jesus Lopez Cobos at the Teatro Real in Madrid, and Irene/THEODORA under Ivor Bolton at the Salzburg Festival. She also sang Sesto/LA CLEMENZA DI TITO and Idamante  in concert versions under the baton of René Jacobs, both of which were recorded and highly praised. In June 2017, Bernarda Fink made her debut in Debussy´s PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE at the Vienna State Opera. 

Bernarda Fink regularly appears in recital at the Wiener Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, Berlin Philharmonie, Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, Edinburgh Festival, Carnegie and Alice Tully Hall in New York. Furthermore Bernarda Fink performed Dvořák and Janacek songs together with the Pavel Haas Quartett at London´s Wigmore Hall, at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, in Den Haag and in Madrid. In the 2015/2016 season, she gave recitals in Buenos Aires, Ljubljana and Zeist.

Highlights of the past seasons were, alongside numerous recitals, a semi-staged production of Debussy´s PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE with Sir Simon Rattle, Peter Sellars and the Berlin Philharmonic, Mahler´s SYMPHONY No. 3 with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra under Daniel Harding, Dvořák´s BIBLICAL SONGS with the Ensemble Prisma at the festival Attergauer Kultursommer, at the Carinthian Summer Music Festival and in London´s Wigmore Hall as well as Mahler´s LIED VON DER ERDE with Jiří Bělohlávek in Prague and Brahms´ ALTO RHAPSODY with the Mozarteum Orchestra and Ivor Bolton in Salzburg. 

Amongst other concerts, season 2017/2018 includes Pergolesi´s STABAT MATER in Rome, Mahler´s SYMPHONY No. 2 with Mariss Jansons in Copenhagen and with Jakub Hrůša in Bamberg, a tour across South America with Camerata Salzburg, concerts at the Internationale Barocktage Stift Melk, Szymanowski´s STABAT MATER with Dennis Russell Davies in Grafenegg and Mahlers SYMPHONY No. 2 with the Vienna Philharmonic under the baton of Andris Nelsons at the Salzburg Festival.

Bernarda Fink regularly holds master classes at the Wiener Meisterkurse, the Young Singers Project (YSP) in Salzburg, the Academy of the Festival in Aix-en-Provence, the Schubert-Institute in Baden (near Vienna) and in Aldeburgh. She was also on the jury of the International Song Competition of London Wigmore Hall, DAS LIED Song Competition in Berlin and the Bach Wettbewerb Leipzig and as expert at the BBC Cardiff Singers of the World.

Bernarda Fink has made numerous highly acclaimed recordings. Her discography comprises more than 50 releases, ranging from Monteverdi and Rameau to Schubert and Bruckner and Schumann. Many of them have been awarded coveted prizes such as the Diapason d'Or or the Grammy. Bernarda Fink has a close collaboration with Harmonia Mundi. Recent recordings include Bach Cantatas with the Freiburger Barockorchester, and Lieder by Schumann with accompanist Anthony Spiri, Pergolesi's STABAT MATER with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and programs with Lieder by Slovenian as well as Argentinian composers together with her brother, the baritone Marcos Fink (Grammy nomination). In  2012, albums of Dvořák Lieder (together with Genia Kühmeier), and with Spanish Songs (de Falla, Granados, Rodrigo and others) again with Anthony Spiri at the piano, were released. Her latest album included Mahler Lieder accompanied by the Niederösterreichische Tonkünstlerorchestra and Andrés Orozco-Estrada and by the pianist Anthony Spiri.

In February 2006, Bernarda Fink was awarded the Austrian Honorary Medal for Art and Science by the Austrian Chancellor and in February 2013, together with her brother Marcos Fink, the most prestigious cultural award of Slovenia sponsored by the Prešeren-foundation for their recording Slovenija! and the related concerts. In September 2014 she received the title of Österreichische Kammersängerin.

Bernarda Fink, mezzo-soprano
Tanglewood Festival Chorus
Tanglewood Festival Chorus
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Tanglewood Festival Chorus
James Burton, BSO Choral Director and Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus
John Oliver, Founder and Conductor Laureate

This season at Symphony Hall, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus joins the Boston Symphony Orchestra for performances of Mahler's Symphony No. 3 (January 18-20) and Schumann's Nachtlied and Neujahrslied (February 8-10) under BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons; Grieg's incidental music to Peer Gynt under BSO Associate Conductor Ken-David Masur (October 19-24); Berlioz's The Damnation of Faust (October 26-28) and Ravel's complete Daphnis et Chloé (February 15-17) under Charles Dutoit, and Leonard Bernstein's Symphony No. 3, Kaddish, under Giancarlo Guerrero (March 15-17). Members of the chorus also participated in this season's all-Bernstein program on Opening Night. Originally formed under the joint sponsorship of Boston University and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the all-volunteer Tanglewood Festival Chorus was established in 1970 by its founding conductor John Oliver, who stepped down from his leadership position with the TFC at the end of the 2014 Tanglewood season. Awarded the Tanglewood Medal by the BSO to honor his forty-five years of service to the ensemble, Mr. Oliver now holds the lifetime title of Founder and Conductor Laureate and occupies the Donald and Laurie Peck Master Teacher Chair at the Tanglewood Music Center. In February 2017, having prepared the chorus for that month's BSO performances of Bach's B minor Mass led by Andris Nelsons, the British-born James Burton was named the new Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, also being appointed to the newly created position of BSO Choral Director.

Though first established for performances at the BSO's summer home, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus was soon playing a major role in the BSO's subscription season as well as BSO concerts at Carnegie Hall. Now numbering more than 300 members, the ensemble performs year-round with the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops. It has performed with Seiji Ozawa and the BSO in Hong Kong and Japan, and with the BSO in Europe under James Levine and Bernard Haitink, also giving a cappella  concerts of its own on the two latter occasions. The TFC made its debut in April 1970, in a BSO performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with Leonard Bernstein conducting. Its first recording with the orchestra, Berlioz's La Damnation of Faust  with Seiji Ozawa, received a Grammy nomination for Best Choral Performance of 1975. The TFC has since made dozens of recordings with the BSO and Boston Pops, with James Levine, Seiji Ozawa, Bernard Haitink, Sir Colin Davis, Leonard Bernstein, Keith Lockhart, and John Williams. In August 2011, with John Oliver conducting and soloist Stephanie Blythe, the TFC gave the world premiere of Alan Smith's An Unknown Sphere  for mezzo-soprano and chorus, commissioned by the BSO for the ensemble's 40th anniversary. Its most recent recordings on BSO Classics, all drawn from live performances, include a disc of a cappella  music led by John Oliver and released to mark the TFC's 40th anniversary; and, with James Levine conducting, Ravel's complete Daphnis and Chloé  (a 2009 Grammy-winner for Best Orchestral Performance), Brahms's German Requiem, and William Bolcom's Eighth Symphony for chorus and orchestra (a BSO 125th Anniversary Commission). Besides their work with the BSO, TFC members have performed Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic; participated in a Saito Kinen Festival production of Britten's Peter Grimes  under Seiji Ozawa in Japan, and sang Verdi's Requiem with Charles Dutoit to help close a month-long International Choral Festival given in and around Toronto. The ensemble had the honor of singing at Sen. Edward Kennedy's funeral; has performed with the Boston Pops for the Boston Red Sox and Boston Celtics; and can be heard on the soundtracks of Clint Eastwood's Mystic River, John Sayles's Silver City, and Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan. TFC members regularly commute from the greater Boston area, western Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine, and TFC alumni frequently return each summer from as far away as Florida and California to sing with the chorus at Tanglewood. Throughout its history, the TFC has established itself as a favorite of conductors, soloists, critics, and audiences alike.

James Burton
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James Burton was appointed Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and to the new position of BSO Choral Director, in February 2017. Born in London, Mr. Burton began his training at the Choir of Westminster Abbey, where he became head chorister. He was a choral scholar at St. John's College, Cambridge, and holds a master's degree in orchestral conducting from the Peabody Conservatory, where he studied with Frederik Prausnitz and Gustav Meier. He has conducted concerts with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Hallé, the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, Royal Northern Sinfonia, BBC Concert Orchestra, and Manchester Camerata; in early 2016 he made his debut with the Orquestra Sinfònica Nacional with concerts in the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. Opera credits include Don Giovanni and La bohème at English National Opera, Così fan tutte at English Touring Opera, The Magic Flute at Garsington, and Gianni Schicchi and Suor Angelica at the Prague Summer Nights Festival. He has served on the music staff of the Metropolitan Opera, Opéra de Paris, English National Opera, Opera Rara, and Garsington Opera, where he was honored with the Leonard Ingrams Award in 2008. He has also conducted in London's West End and led a UK tour of Bernstein's Wonderful Town in 2012. His extensive choral conducting has included guest invitations with professional choirs including the Gabrieli Consort, the Choir of the Enlightenment, Wrocław Philharmonic, and the BBC Singers, with whom he performed at the Dubai Opera house in its inaugural season earlier this year. From 2002 to 2009 he served as choral director at the Hallé Orchestra, where he was music director of the Hallé Choir and founding conductor of the Hallé Youth Choir, winning the Gramophone Choral Award in 2009. He returned to Manchester in 2014, preparing the choirs for a Grammy-nominated recording under Sir Mark Elder of Vaughan Williams's Sea Symphony. From 2002 to 2017 he was music director of the chamber choir Schola Cantorum of Oxford, touring all over the world and recording with Hyperion Records. He collaborates regularly with leading young musicians and in 2017 appeared as guest director of the National Youth Choir of Japan and the Princeton University Glee Club, as well as the Genesis Sixteen. He teaches conducting, and has given master classes at the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal Welsh College of Music. In 2011 he founded a conducting scholarship with Schola Cantorum of Oxford. His compositions and arrangements have been performed internationally, and his orchestral arrangements for Arlo Guthrie have been performed by the Boston Pops, by many other leading U.S. orchestras, and at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. His commissions have included the music for the 2010 World Equestrian Games opening ceremony, a setting for chorus and orchestra of Thomas Hardy's The Convergence of the Twain commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster, and a recent Christmas carol premiered by the Choir of St. John's College, Cambridge, live on BBC Radio 3. His choral works are published by Edition Peters. As BSO Choral Director and Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, James Burton occupies the Alan J. and Suzanne W. Dworsky Chair, endowed in perpetuity.

Program Notes Audio
Maija EINFELD - Lux Aeterna, for mixed chorus
MAHLER - Symphony No. 2, Resurrection
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