BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons and the BSO win two Grammys

Dmitri Shostakovich Symphonies 4 & 11 CD Cover

BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons and the BSO WIN Two Grammys!
Music Director Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s latest Deutsche Grammophon recording featuring Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphonies Nos. 4 and 11 won two Grammy Awards today (February 10, 2019) at the 61st annual Grammy Awards: for Best Orchestral Performance and Best Engineered Album (Classical). For the past four years, the BSO has garnered a total of four Grammy Awards. This year also marks the first time the orchestra has won for Best Engineered Album (Classical).

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The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s recording of Shostakovich’s Symphonies Nos. 4 and 11—released in July 2018—is part of an ambitious collaboration between the BSO, Andris Nelsons, and Deutsche Grammophon to record Dmitri Shostakovich’s entire canon of 15 symphonies, plus the composer’s masterpiece opera, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. This year’s Grammy award follows upon the success of the first live recorded album of the BSO/DG collaboration—Shostakovich Under Stalin’s Shadow: Symphony No. 10, also featuring the Passacaglia from Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk—which won the Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance at the 58th annual Grammy Awards in February 2016. In February 2017, Shostakovich Under Stalin’s Shadow: Symphonies Nos. 5, 8, and 9, also featuring incidental music from Hamlet, won the same award at the 59th annual Grammy Awards. The Boston Symphony now holds a total of 11 Grammy Awards, four of which are from the DG Shostakovich cycle. 


“All of us at the Boston Symphony Orchestra are incredibly honored to win the 2019 Grammys for Best Orchestral Performance and Best Engineered Album (Classical) for our Shostakovich Symphonies Nos. 4 and 11 CD, recorded live from our magnificent home in Symphony Hall.

"This prestigious recognition from the Recording Academy is particularly gratifying as I feel the musicians and engineers perfectly captured the spiritual dimensions and sound worlds of these two symphonies. Everyone, working very closely together, once again committed whole-heartedly to communicating the heart and soul living deep within the score of this profound music. I can’t help but hope that Shostakovich himself would be pleased with our efforts.

"For me, this is what the very best music-making is all about—entering into the composer’s world of ideas and experiences expressed through his music and doing everything in our power to convey the deepest emotions unique to each piece of music. That is what the gorgeous Boston Symphony Orchestra has done with these recordings of the fourth and eleventh symphonies of Dmitri Shostakovich, one of the greatest geniuses of orchestral composition in the history of classical music. 

"I feel nothing but tremendous respect and gratitude for the BSO’s dedicated work and the amazing skill set and commitment of our sound engineering team, as well as the tireless efforts by the staffs and management teams at the BSO and Deutsche Grammophon. We hope these recordings will give everyone who hears them a great sense of this music’s extraordinary power, beauty, and transcendence.”

The BSO’s recording of Shostakovich’s Symphonies Nos. 4 and 11 was produced and engineered by Shawn Murphy, with recording engineer Nick Squire and assistant engineers Joel Watts and John Morin. The album was edited by Robert Wolff and Nick Squire; Brian Losch was production assistant. Tim Martyn of Phoenix Audio was producer and mastering engineer, and the executive producer was Sid McLauchlan from Deutsche Grammophon.

Symphony No. 11 was recorded live at Boston’s Symphony Hall in September and October 2017; Symphony No. 4 was recorded live at Symphony Hall in March and April 2018. Special thanks go to Lloyd Axelrod, M.D. for his support of the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Shostakovich recording project.

The fourth installment in Andris Nelsons and the BSO’s Shostakovich Under Stalin’s Shadow recording series—a 2-album set including Shostakovich’s Symphonies Nos. 6 and 7, incidental music from the Suite from King Lear, and the composer’s Festive Overture—will be released by Deutsche Grammophon on Friday, Feburary 22, 2019. Further details about additional recordings in the BSO’s Shostakovich cycle on the Deutsche Grammophon label will be announced at a later date.  

Andris Nelsons

The 2019–2020 season is Andris Nelsons’ sixth as the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Ray and Maria Stata Music Director. Named Musical America’s 2018 Artist of the Year, Mr. Nelsons leads fourteen of the BSO’s twenty-six subscription programs in 2018–2019, ranging from orchestral works by Haydn, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, and Copland to concerto collaborations with acclaimed soloists, as well as world and American premieres of pieces newly commissioned by the BSO from Thomas Adès, Sebastian Currier, Andris Dzenītis, and Mark-Anthony Turnage; the continuation of his complete Shostakovich symphony cycle with the orchestra, and concert performances of Puccini’s one-act opera Suor Angelica. In summer 2015, following his first season as music director, Andris Nelsons’ contract with the BSO was extended through the 2021–2022 season. In November 2017, he and the orchestra toured Japan together for the first time. In February 2018, he became Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, in which capacity he brings both orchestras together for a unique multi-dimensional alliance. Immediately following the 2018 Tanglewood season, Maestro Nelsons and the BSO made their third European tour together, playing concerts in London, Hamburg, Berlin, Leipzig, Vienna, Lucerne, Paris, and Amsterdam. Their first European tour, following the 2015 Tanglewood season, took them to major European capitals and the Lucerne, Salzburg, and Grafenegg festivals; the second, in May 2016, took them to eight cities in Germany, Austria, and Luxembourg.

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 Nos. 5, 8, 9, and 10, the initial releases in a complete Shostakovich symphony cycle for that label; and a new two-disc set pairing Shostakovich's Symphonies Nos. 4 and 11, The Year 1905. 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.

The 2018–2019 season is Maestro Nelsons’ final season as artist-in-residence at the Konzerthaus Dortmund and marks his first season as artist-in-residence at Hamburg's Elbphilharmonie. In addition, he continues his regular collaborations with the Vienna Philharmonic and Berlin Philharmonic. Throughout his career, he has also established regular collaborations with Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Philharmonia Orchestra, 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.

hostakovich Symphonies 4 and 11 (Symphonies 4 and 11 ("The Year 1905") Two-Disc Set

BUY NOW: $21.95

Shostakovich2-Disc Set: Shostakovich Symphonies 5, 8, 9

BUY NOW: $21.98

Shostakovich Symphony No. 10 and "Passacaglia" 
Interlude from Act II of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk

BUY NOW: $17.95

Online Exhibit: An archival companion to the BSO/DG recordings

View Online Exhibit Now

In 2015 the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Deutsche Grammophon announced a new recording partnership. The first project, entitled Shostakovich: Under Stalin's Shadow, focuses on works composed during the period of Shostakovich's difficult relationship with Stalin and the Soviet regime - starting with his fall from favor in the mid-1930s and the composition and highly acclaimed premiere of his fifth Symphony, through the premiere of the composer's Tenth Symphony, purportedly written as a response to Stalin's death in 1953.

Shostakovich's symphonies have figured in the BSO's repertoire on frequent occasions since the BSO's initial performances of the composer's Symphony No. 1 in November 1935. The online exhibit features a selection of documents preserved in the BSO Archives that pertain to early BSO performances of each of the works being recorded by the BSO and DGG. For each work a link is provided that enables you to explore the BSO's entire performance history of that work in HENRY (the BSO's performance history search engine). In addition, relevant concert reviews, photographs, program notes, audio and visual files, and other documents can be accessed. As an adjunct, materials relating to the 1959 visit to Boston by a delegation of Soviet composers led by Shostakovich is included.