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The 2019-20 season, Andris Nelsons’ sixth as the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Ray and Maria Stata Music Director, marks his fifth anniversary in that position. Named Musical America’s 2018 Artist of the Year, Mr. Nelsons leads fifteen of the BSO’s twenty-six weeks of concerts this season, ranging from repertoire favorites by Beethoven, Dvoˇrák, Gershwin, Grieg, Mozart, Mahler, Rachmaninoff, Ravel, and Tchaikovsky to world and American premieres of BSO-commissioned works from Eric Nathan, Betsy Jolas, Arturs Maskats, and HK Gruber. The season also brings the continuation of his complete Shostakovich symphony cycle with the orchestra, and collaborations with an impressive array of guest artists, including a concert performance of Tristan und Isolde, Act III—one of three BSO programs he will also conduct at Carnegie Hall—with Jonas Kaufmann and Emily Magee in the title roles. In addition, February 2020 brings a major tour to Asia in which Maestro Nelsons and the BSO give their first concerts together in Seoul, Taipei, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.
In February 2018, Andris Nelsons became Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester (GHO) Leipzig, in which capacity he also 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 highlight of the BSO/GHO Alliance is a focus on complementary programming, through which the BSO celebrates “Leipzig Week in Boston” and the GHO celebrates “Boston Week in Leipzig,” thereby highlighting each other’s musical traditions through uniquely programmed concerts, chamber music performances, archival exhibits, and lecture series. For this season’s “Leipzig Week in Boston,” under Maestro Nelsons’ leadership in November, the entire Gewandhausorchester Leipzig comes to Symphony Hall for joint concerts with the BSO as well as two concerts of its own.
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. 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.
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 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, and 11 (The Year 1905) as part of a complete Shostakovich symphony cycle for that label; and a recent two-disc set pairing Shostakovich’s symphonies 6 and 7 (Leningrad). This November, a new release on Naxos features Andris Nelsons and the orchestra in the world premieres of BSO-commissioned works by Timo Andres, Eric Nathan, Sean Shepherd, and George Tsontakis. 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.
During the 2019-20 season, Andris Nelsons continues his ongoing collaborations with the Vienna Philharmonic. Throughout his career, he has also established regular collaborations with the Berlin Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, 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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Equally at home on the concert and opera stages, Carolyn Sampson
has enjoyed notable successes in the UK as well as throughout
Europe and the US.
On the opera stage her roles for English National Opera have
included the title role in Semele and Pamina
in The Magic Flute. For Glyndebourne
Festival Opera she sang various roles in Purcell's The
Fairy Queen, now released on DVD. In 2012 she sang
Anne Truelove The Rake's Progress in Sir
David McVicar's new production for Scottish Opera.
Internationally she has appeared at Opéra de Paris, Opéra de Lille,
Opéra de Montpellier and Opéra National du Rhin. She also sang the
title role in Lully's Psyché for the Boston
Early Music Festival, which was released on CD and was subsequently
nominated for a Grammy in 2008. In the 16/17 season she
debuts the role of Mélisande Pelléas and
Mélisande for Scottish Opera.
Carolyn Sampson's numerous concert engagements in the UK have
included regular appearances at the BBC Proms and with orchestras
including The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The English
Concert, Bach Collegium Japan, Britten Sinfonia and The Sixteen.
She is a frequent guest with the Hallé and has performed with City
of London Sinfonia, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Liverpool
Philharmonic and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestras.
In Europe her many appearances have included concerts with
Bergen Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Freiburg
Baroque Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of the Bayerische Rundfunk,
WDR Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa
Cecilia, Gürzenich Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Leipzig
Gewandhaus Orchestra, Vienna Symphony Orchestra and the
Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra.
In the US Carolyn Sampson has featured as soloist with San
Francisco Symphony, Boston Symphony, Detroit Symphony, St Paul
Chamber Orchestra and is a regular guest at the Mostly Mozart
Festival. In October 2013 she made her Carnegie Hall recital
debut to a sold-out audience in the Weill Recital Hall.
Carolyn works with conductors such as Sir Mark Elder, Markus
Stenz, Ivor Bolton, Philippe Herreweghe, Harry Bicket, Trevor
Pinnock, Riccardo Chailly, Louis Langrée, Harry Christophers,
Robert King and William Christie.
A consummate recitalist, Carolyn Sampson appears regularly at
the Wigmore Hall where a recital of lute songs with Matthew
Wadsworth was recorded on the Wigmore Live label and released to
huge critical acclaim. She has given regular recitals at the
Saintes and Aldeburgh Festivals as well as the Amsterdam
Concertgebouw. In the 14/15 season Carolyn was a "featured
artist" at London's Wigmore Hall.
Carolyn has built up a partnership with the pianist Joseph
Middleton over recent years. Her debut song recital disc,
'Fleurs', with Joseph was released early in 2015 featuring songs by
composers from Purcell to Britten, and was nominated in the solo
vocal category of the Gramophone Awards. They recently released
their second recital disc together, 'A Verlaine Songbook',
exploring settings of the poetry of Paul Verlaine for BIS
Carolyn's Harmonia Mundi recording of
Poulenc's Stabat Mater and Sept
Répons de Ténèbres was awarded the Choc de l'Année
Classica 2014. Other recordings include
Mozart's Requiem with Bach Collegium Japan
and her recording of Purcell songs for BIS which was selected as
Editor's Choice in the December 2007 issue of Gramophone Magazine.
Her many recordings for Hyperion with The King's Consort include a
highly acclaimed CD of Mozart sacred music 'Exsultate jubilate'
which was selected as BBC Music Magazine's "Record of the Month"
and was also the recipient of an ECHO Award. She recorded a
highly-acclaimed CD of Stravinsky's Les
Noces and Mass for Harmonia
Mundi and Bach's Christmas Oratorio with the
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Riccardo Chailly for the Decca
Her recent recording with Ex Cathedra on the Hyperion label, 'A
French Baroque Diva' - celebrating Marie Fel, a star soprano of
Rameau's time won the recital award in the 2015 Gramophone
Recent highlights include Carolyn's debut with Yannick
Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra, concert performances
of Semele with Concerto Köln and Ivor
Bolton, recordings and concerts with both Bach Collegium Japan and
the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, two BBC Prom 2016 performances
(Mozart's Mass in C minor with BBC Scottish
Symphony Orchestra under Ilan Volkov, and a duet programme with
Iestyn Davies), a tour of Orlando (Dorinda)
with the English Concert, concerts with the Rotterdam Philharmonic,
Orchestre des Champs-Élysées, as well as further recording plans
and recitals with Joseph Middleton and Matt Wadsworth including the
Lincoln Centre New York, San Francisco, Wigmore Hall, and
Carolyn Sampson, soprano