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Andris Nelsons is Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and is Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. With these positions, and in leading a pioneering alliance between two such esteemed institutions, Grammy Award-winning Nelsons is firmly underlined as one of the most renowned and innovative conductors on the international scene today.
Nelsons began his tenure as Music Director of the BSO in the 2014/15 season and after one year, his contract was extended through the 2021/22 season. Last season, the BSO and Nelsons embarked on a tour to Japan together for the first time, notably with three performances in Suntory Hall. At the beginning of the 2018/19 seasons, Nelsons toured Europe together with the orchestra for the third time since Nelsons’ Music Directorship, visiting the London Proms, Hamburg, Berlin, Leipzig, Vienna, Lucerne, Paris and Amsterdam. Nelsons gave his debut with the Gewandhausorchester in 2011, followed by regular performances at the Gewandhaus zu Leipzig in subsequent years. In February 2018, Nelsons received the title of Gewandhauskapellmeister in a four-week inaugural festival, also marking the 275th anniversary of the orchestra. Three joint tours for the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and Nelsons have been incorporated into the 2018/2019 season: two European tours, one in October 2018, including stops at London’s prestigious Royal Festival Hall, in Scandinavia and in Nelsons' native city, Riga, and the other in January 2019, to venues including the new Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, Philharmonie de Paris and Vienna’s Musikverein. The season’s third tour in May/June 2019 takes the orchestra and Nelsons to Japan and China, where they will appear together for the first time.
The 2018/19 season marks Nelsons’ final season as Artist-in-Residence at the Konzerthaus Dortmund, and Nelsons’ first season as Artist-in-Residence at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie. Furthermore, Nelsons continues his regular collaborations with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Wiener Philharmoniker, with whom he lead a tour through China last season in addition to his ongoing guest performances at the Musikverein in Vienna. In 2020, he will conduct the Wiener Philharmoniker’s prestigious New Year’s Day concert, broadcast to millions across the world. Throughout his career, Nelsons has established regular collaborations with Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and Philharmonia Orchestra. Nelsons has been a regular guest at the Bayreuther Festspiele and at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.
Andris Nelsons has an exclusive recording relationship with Deutsche Grammophon, which has paved the way for three landmark projects. Nelsons and the BSO partner on recording the complete Shostakovich symphonies, and the opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtensk District. The first and second instalments have both received consecutive Grammy Awards for Best Orchestral performance, the third has been nominated for two Grammy Awards, and the fourth instalment will be released in February 2019. Nelsons and the yellow label also have embarked upon a project with the Gewandhausorchester that sheds new light on the symphonies of Bruckner, and pairs these distinctive symphonic pieces with works by Wagner. The most recent release appeared in April 2018 to widespread critical acclaim. Furthermore, Nelsons will record Beethoven’s complete symphonies with the Wiener Philharmoniker between 2016-2019, and will return to Vienna to perform the complete cycle in 2020, celebrating the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth.
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 2008-2015, Principal Conductor of Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie in Herford, Germany 2006-2009 and Music Director of Latvian National Opera 2003-2007.
Andris Nelsons, conductor
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Moments before Daniil Trifonov performs, profound silence
invariably takes possession of his audience. Its intensity depends
not on concert hall convention; rather, it arises naturally from
the Russian pianist's power to transcend the mundane and
communicate music's timeless capacity to bind communities together.
Out of that silence comes a rare kind of music-making. "What he
does with his hands is technically incredible," observed one
commentator shortly after Trifonov's triumph in the final of the
International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 2011. "It's also
his touch - he has tenderness and also the demonic element. I never
heard anything like that." That view was expressed not by a
professional critic but by one of the world's greatest pianists,
Martha Argerich. She concluded that her young colleague was in
possession of "everything and more", an opinion that has since been
boldly underlined in print, online and over the airwaves by a
succession of previewers and reviewers. The Washington
Post wrote of the "visceral experience" of hearing Trifonov's
playing; the Süddeutsche Zeitung, meanwhile, described his
debut concert at last year's Verbier Festival as "a real culture
shock", such was its blend of poetic insight, wit, nuance and
"The moment I signed to Deutsche Grammophon is, of course,
perhaps the most significant event in my life to date" In February
2013, Deutsche Grammophon announced the signing of an exclusive
recording agreement with Daniil Trifonov. His debut recital for the
yellow label, recorded live at Carnegie Hall, combines Liszt's
formidable Sonata in B minor, Scriabin's Sonata No. 2 in G-sharp
Minor Op. 19, the "Sonata-Fantasy", and Chopin's 24 Preludes Op.
28. Future plans include concerto albums and further recital
"The moment I signed to Deutsche Grammophon is, of course,
perhaps the most significant event in my life to date," he recalls.
"It's the greatest honour to record my first CD for the label,
especially in such a great hall as Carnegie Hall."
Since winning the Tchaikovsky Competition, Trifonov has
travelled the world as recitalist and concerto soloist. His list of
credits include debut recitals at Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, the
Berlin Philharmonie, London's Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Auditorium
du Louvre in Paris, Tokyo's Opera City, the Zurich Tonhalle and a
host of other leading venues. He has also appeared with the Vienna
Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, the New York
Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia, the Mariinsky Orchestra,
the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de
Radio France, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Cleveland
Orchestra. Forthcoming debuts include concerto performances with
the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra,
the San Francisco Symphony and the Moscow Philharmonic.
For all the demands of his busy performance schedule, Trifonov
still finds time to study with Sergei Babayan and take composition
lessons at the Cleveland Institute of Music. "I'm looking forward
to future projects with Deutsche Grammophon," he says. Exploring
the vast piano literature, he adds, is the work of a lifetime. "In
the coming years I hope to learn as many new pieces as possible and
also leave time for composition, as composing partly influences
"I was going to a piano lesson. It was winter and very slippery,
so I fell down and broke my arm and could not play normally for
more than three weeks." Daniil Trifonov was born in Nizhny Novgorod
on 5 March 1991. The old system of Soviet communism and the once
mighty Union of Soviet Socialist Republics had been dissolved by
the time Daniil's parents, both of them professional musicians,
celebrated their son's first birthday. For all the social and
economic upheavals of the time, the Trifonovs recognised their
son's prodigious musical talents and supported his formal training.
"I started playing piano when I was five and was also composing and
always playing some concerts," Daniil recalls. He gave his first
performance with orchestra at the age of eight, an occasion etched
in the soloist's memory by the loss of one of his baby teeth midway
through the concert. "It was quite an experience! But the first
understanding of how important piano playing is for me came when I
broke my left arm at the age of 13. I was going to a piano lesson.
It was winter and very slippery, so I fell down and broke my arm
and could not play normally for more than three weeks."
Physical injury focused young Daniil's mind on what making music
meant to him. It also heightened his emotional connection to the
piano and its repertoire. Scriabin's impassioned music - mystical,
transcendent and technically demanding - became a near-obsession of
Trifonov's early teens. The composer's harmonic language and
vibrant tone colours touched the aspiring performer's soul and
inspired him to enter Moscow's Fourth International Scriabin
Competition, where the 17-year-old secured fifth prize. Inspiration
also flowed from Trifonov's study of historic recordings of great
pianists, which he borrowed from his teacher Tatiana Zelikman at
Moscow's famous Gnessin School of Music. "When I was studying with
Tatiana Zelikman in Moscow she had a great collection of old
recordings and a lot of LPs, so I was fed by those recordings."
Trifonov absorbed lasting lessons from the recorded legacy of
Rachmaninov, Cortot, Horowitz, Friedman, Sofronitsky and other
representatives of a golden age of pianism. "Among pianists who
inspire me nowadays are Martha Argerich, Grigory Sokolov and Radu
Lupu," he adds.
"Mr Trifonov has scintillating technique and a virtuosic flair,"
noted the New York Times. "He is also a thoughtful artist . . .
[who] can play with soft-spoken delicacy, not what you associate
with competition conquerors." Daniil Trifonov himself became an
inspiration in the summer of 2011. He began by winning the 13th
Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in
Tel-Aviv before returning home to secure first prize, the Gold
Medal, and Grand Prix at the XIV International Tchaikovsky
Competition. Trifonov also won the Audience Award and the Award for
the best performance of a Mozart concerto. His work was already
known to influential critics and concert promoters thanks to his
appearance a year earlier at the prestigious International Chopin
Piano Competition in Warsaw. The media's broad and deep response to
his Moscow victory guaranteed that the whole world knew about the
20-year-old Russian. "Mr Trifonov has scintillating technique and a
virtuosic flair," noted the New York Times. "He is also a
thoughtful artist . . . [who] can play with soft-spoken delicacy,
not what you associate with competition conquerors." At the
beginning of 2012, cultural commentator Norman Lebrecht heralded
the young man's meteoric progress and neatly described him as "A
pianist for the rest of our lives"
Daniil Trifonov, piano