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Andris Nelsons conducts Wilson, Szymanowski and Copland

Andris Nelsons conducts Wilson, Szymanowski and Copland

Boston Symphony Orchestra

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The Georgian violinist Lisa Batiashvili joins Andris Nelsons and the BSO as soloist in the important Polish composer Karol Szymanowski's Violin Concerto No. 1, a brilliant piece colored by both French Impressionism and German late Romanticism. American orchestral works open and close the concert. The St. Louis-born Olly Wilson, who died in March 2018 (and whose Sinfonia was commissioned by the BSO for its centennial), was a longtime faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley. His well-traveled orchestral work Lumina is a scintillating, single-movement orchestral landscape. Aaron Copland's Symphony No. 3, premiered by the BSO under Serge Koussevitzky in 1946, is a substantial, expressively rich work incorporating the composer's familiar Fanfare for the Common Man as the theme of its final movement.

Featured Performers

Andris Nelsons, conductor
Andris Nelsons, conductor View biography in full page >

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 Lisa Batiashvili, violin
Lisa Batiashvili, violin View biography in full page >

Lisa Batiashvili, Musical America's 2015 Instrumentalist of the Year, is this season's Artist-in-Residence with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich. Praised by audiences and fellow musicians for her virtuosity and "profound sensitivity" (Financial Times), the Georgian violinist has developed long-term relationships with some of the world's leading orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, with whom she was Artist-in-Residence last season.

Highlights in Lisa's 2015/16 season include performances with the Berliner Philharmoniker and London Philharmonic Orchestra (both under Yannick Nézet-Séguin), Orchestre de Paris (Paavo Järvi), Wiener Philharmoniker (Esa-Pekka Salonen), London Symphony Orchestra (Daniel Harding) and New York Philharmonic (Semyon Bychkov), as well as a European tour with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra (Sakari Oramo). Recent and forthcoming invitations include concerts at home and on tour with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, The Philadelphia Orchestra and Boston Symphony Orchestra. Last season Lisa also performed with Filarmonica della Scala and Staatskapelle Berlin (both under Daniel Barenboim), and Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Sir Antonio Pappano).

Recording exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon, Lisa's most recent release is an album dedicated to works by J.S. and C.P.E. Bach.

Lisa Batiashvili, violin
Program Notes Audio
WILSON - Lumina (10 min)
SZYMANOWSKI - Violin Concerto No. 1 (26 min)
COPLAND - Symphony No. 3 (42 min)
Audio Concert Preview - Full Program Notes
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