Ray and Maria Stata Music Director, endowed in perpetuity
In 2016-17, his third season as the BSO's Ray and Maria Stata Music Director, Andris Nelsons leads the Boston Symphony Orchestra in fourteen wide-ranging subscription programs at Symphony Hall, repeating three of them at New York's Carnegie Hall in late February/early March, followed by two concerts in Montreal and Toronto. In the summer of 2015, following his first season as music director, his contract with the Boston Symphony Orchestra was extended through the 2021-22 season. In addition, in 2017 he becomes Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, in which capacity he will also bring the BSO and GWO together for a unique multi-dimensional alliance. Following the 2015 Tanglewood season, Maestro Nelsons and the BSO undertook a twelve-concert, eight-city tour to major European capitals as well as the Lucerne, Salzburg, and Grafenegg festivals. A second European tour, to eight cities in Germany (including the BSO's first performance in Leipzig's famed Gewandhaus), Austria, and Luxembourg, took place in May 2016.
The fifteenth music director in the history of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Andris Nelsons made his BSO debut at Carnegie Hall in March 2011 with Mahler's Symphony No. 9. He made his Tanglewood debut in July 2012, leading both the BSO and Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra as part of Tanglewood's 75th Anniversary Gala. His first CD with the BSO-live recordings of Wagner's Tannhäuser Overture and Sibelius's Symphony No. 2-was released in November 2014 on BSO Classics. In 2014-15, in collaboration with Deutsche Grammophon, he and the BSO initiated a multi-year recording project entitled "Shostakovich Under Stalin's Shadow," to include live performances of Shostakovich's symphonies 5 through 10 and other works composed under the life-threatening shadow of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. Released in July 2015, their first Shostakovich disc-the Symphony No. 10 and the Passacaglia from the opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk-won the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance. May 2016 brought not only the second release in this series-a two-disc set including symphonies 5, 8, and 9 and excerpts from Shostakovich's 1932 incidental music for Hamlet-but also the extension of the collaboration with Deutsche Grammophon to encompass the composer's complete symphonies and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. More recently, this past August, their disc of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 10 won Gramophone Magazine's Orchestral Award.
From 2008 to 2015, Andris Nelsons was critically acclaimed as music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. In the next few seasons, he continues his collaborations with the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Philharmonia Orchestra. A regular guest at the Royal Opera House, Vienna State Opera, and Metropolitan Opera, he returned to the Bayreuth Festival in summer 2014 to conduct Wagner's Lohengrin, in a production directed by Hans Neuenfels, which he premiered at Bayreuth in 2010. Under a new, exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon, Mr. Nelsons will record the complete Beethoven symphonies with the Vienna Philharmonic and Bruckner symphonies with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig.
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 principal conductor of the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie in Herford, Germany, from 2006 to 2009 and music director of the Latvian National Opera from 2003 to 2007. Mr. Nelsons is the subject of a 2013 DVD from Orfeo, a documentary film entitled "Andris Nelsons: Genius on Fire."