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Andris Nelsons

Ray and Maria Stata Music Director, endowed in perpetuity, Boston Symphony Orchestra

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The 2023-2024 season is Andris Nelsons’ tenth as the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Ray and Maria Stata Music Director. The fifteenth music director in the BSO’s history, Nelsons made his debut with the orchestra at Carnegie Hall in March 2011, his Tanglewood debut in July 2012, and his Symphony Hall debut in January 2013.

Andris Nelsons has led the orchestra on four European tours and two of Japan. During the 2022-2023 season, he and the BSO embarked on their second major tour in Japan, including three concerts at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall. They closed their 2022-2023 season with a nine-city tour of Europe, making return stops in London, Lucerne, Salzburg, Cologne, Berlin, Hamburg, and Paris and debut performances in Ljubljana and Dortmund, for a total of 12 concerts. Joining them in Europe were Anne-Sophie Mutter performing the Violin Concerto No. 2, composed for her by John Williams, and Jean-Yves Thibaudet performing piano concertos by Gershwin and Saint-Saëns. In January 2024, Nelsons and the BSO will continue their annual appearances at Carnegie Hall, including a concert performance of Shostakovich’s monumental opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk with soprano Kristine Opolais in the title role as well as at home in Symphony Hall.

Nelsons led ten programs during the 2023 Tanglewood season, including a concert performance of Mozart’s Così fan tutte and Orff’s Carmina burana, and programs featuring guest soloists Julia Bullock, Renée Fleming, Hilary Hahn, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and Daniil Trifonov.

Nelsons’ expansive BSO repertoire in 2023-2024 includes Shostakovich’s cello concertos with Yo-Yo Ma, all five Beethoven piano concertos with Paul Lewis, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 with Rudolf Buchbinder, Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette with mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges, tenor Lawrence Brownlee, and bass John Relyea, Scriabin’s Prometheus, Poem of Fire with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and pianist Yefim Bronfman, and Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphonie with pianist Yuja Wang. Nelsons also will lead the orchestra in works by Brahms, Ellington, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Prokofiev, Ravel, Strauss, Stravinsky, and Tchaikovsky as well as in BSO co-commissions by Iman Habibi and Sofia Gubaidulina and compositions by Thomas Adès, Anna Clyne, Hannah Kendall, James Lee III, Tania León, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, and Carlos Simon.

Andris Nelsons and the BSO’s ongoing series of recordings of the complete Shostakovich symphonies for Deutsche Grammophon has earned three Grammy Awards for Best Orchestral Performance and one for Best Engineered Album. The release in October 2023 of symphonies 2, 3, 12, and 13 completes the symphony cycle; future releases will explore the composer’s concertos for piano, violin, and cello, and his Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. Nelsons is also Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig (GHO) and has brought the orchestras together in a unique artistic alliance including a concert series at Boston’s Symphony Hall in November 2019 and a seven-CD set for Deutsche Grammophon featuring both orchestras in the major orchestral works of Richard Strauss, released in May 2022. Under exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon, he has recorded the complete Beethoven symphonies with the Vienna Philharmonic and is recording the Bruckner symphonies with the GHO.

Nelsons works with such orchestras as the Berlin Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and appears with such opera companies as the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and the Bayreuth Festival.

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, Principal Conductor of Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie in Herford, Germany, and Music Director of the Latvian National Opera.

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