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All-Strauss Program featuring Renée Fleming

All-Strauss Program featuring Renée Fleming

Boston Symphony Orchestra

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The incomparable American soprano Renée Fleming returns to Symphony Hall to join Andris Nelsons and the BSO in the gorgeous and touching final scene from Richard Strauss's "conversation piece for music," the opera Capriccio. The opera's opening Sextet for Strings and luminous Moonlight Music will precede the vocal scene. On the second half is the composer's Also sprach Zarathustra, his tone poem based on the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche's mystical meditation of the same name. The piece opens with a dramatic fanfare (widely known from its use by Stanley Kubrick in the sound track of 2001: A Space Odyssey), perhaps the most famous "sunrise" in music.

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 Renée Fleming, soprano
Renée Fleming, soprano View biography in full page >

Renée Fleming is one of the most highly acclaimed singers of our time, performing on the stages of the world’s greatest opera houses, concert halls, and theaters. Winner of four Grammy® awards and the US National Medal of Arts, Renée has sung for momentous occasions from the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to the Diamond Jubilee Concert for HM Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. In 2014, Renée brought her voice to a vast new audience as the only classical artist ever to sing the US National Anthem at the Super Bowl. In 2008 Renée was the first woman in the 125-year history of the Metropolitan Opera to solo headline an opening night gala.

When social distancing precautions began, Renée was preparing to depart for a recital tour of Europe and the US with the Russian pianist Evgeny Kissin. During the shutdown, the two artists collaborated from their respective continents to record Schubert’s “Ave Maria” in support of healthcare workers. Renée also appeared in the Metropolitan Opera’s live “At-Home Gala” in April. Last spring, she appeared opposite Ben Whishaw in Norma Jean Baker of Troy to open The Shed in New York City. Last summer, she performed the world premieres of André Previn’s Penelope and Kevin Puts’ The Brightness of Light at Tanglewood.  In June, she made her London musical theater debut as Margaret Johnson in The Light in the Piazza, bringing her acclaimed portrayal to Los Angeles and Chicago in the autumn. Renée earned a Tony Award nomination for her performance in the 2018 Broadway production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel. Her new album, Lieder: Brahms, Schumann, and Mahler, was released by Decca in June. She was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance on Broadway in Carousel.

 

Known for bringing new audiences to classical music and opera, Renée has starred in and hosted an array of television and radio broadcasts, including The Met: Live in HD and Live from Lincoln Center. Her voice is featured on the soundtracks of the Best Picture Oscar winners The Shape of Water and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Renée has recorded everything from complete operas and song recitals to indie rock and jazz; and her album Signatures was selected by the U.S. Library of Congress for the National Recording Registry, as an “aural treasure worthy of preservation as part of America’s patrimony.”

 

As Artistic Advisor to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Renée launched a collaboration with the U.S. National Institutes of Health, with participation by the NEA, focused on the science connecting music, health, and the brain. She has given presentations with scientists and practitioners on this subject around the world, earning Research!America’s Rosenfeld Award for Impact on Public Opinion.

In August, Renée was appointed co-director of the Aspen Opera Theater and VocalARTS. She is the Artistic Director of SongStudio at Carnegie Hall, another program for young artists, dedicated to the art of the song recital. Renée is a member of the Board of Trustees of Carnegie Hall, the Board of Sing for Hope, and the Artistic Advisory Board of the Polyphony Foundation, which works to bridge the divide between Arab and Jewish communities in Israel by creating a common ground where young people come together around classical music. She is also a spokesperson for the American Musical Therapy Association.

Renée’s other awards include the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, Germany’s Cross of the Order of Merit, and France’s Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur. Renée’s memoir The Inner Voice, published in the US and UK in 2004, has since been translated and published in France, Germany, Japan, Poland, Russia, and China, and is now in its 16th US printing.

www.reneefleming.com

Renée Fleming, soprano
Program Notes Audio
STRAUSS - Sextet, Moonlight Music, and Closing scene from Capriccio (33 min)
STRAUSS - Also sprach Zarathustra (32 min)
Audio Concert Preview - Full Program Notes
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