Andris Nelsons
© Marco BorggreveArtist

"Charming. Enthralling. Phenomenal."

Süddeutsche Zeitung
12 / 24

Biography

Andris Nelsons is Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) and in fall 2015, he was announced as Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, commencing in the 2017/18 season. With both appointments, and in leading a pioneering alliance between these two esteemed institutions, Andris Nelsons is firmly underlined as one of the most renowned and innovative conductors on the international scene today.

Nelsons made his BSO debut in March 2011, leading Mahler’s Symphony no. 9 at Carnegie Hall. In summer 2012, Nelsons made his debut in Tanglewood, and in January 2013 at Boston Symphony Hall. Nelsons began his tenure as Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the 2014/15 season and after one year in Boston his contract was extended through the 2021/22 season. In summer 2015, the BSO and Nelsons embarked on their first European summer festival tour together, with performances in London, Salzburg, Grafenegg, Lucerne, Milan, Paris, Cologne and Berlin, to wide critical acclaim.


 

Nelsons gave his debut performance with the Gewandhausorchester with works by Richard Strauss, Beethoven and Sibelius in December 2011. This was followed by performances in June 2013, July and December 2014 with a guest performance in Frankfurt am Main. Nelsons will return to the Gewandhaus on May 5 2016 on tour with the Boston Symphony, and with the Gewandhausorchester on May 25, 26, 27 2016 and on June 2, 3 2016.

In the 2015/2016 season, Nelsons continues collaborations with  Berliner Philharmoniker, Wiener Philharmoniker, Het Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest and Philharmonia Orchestra. Andris Nelsons is a regular guest at Royal Opera House Covent Garden and the Metropolitan Opera New York. In summer 2016, he returns to Bayreuther Festspiele conducting Parsifal, in a new production directed by Uwe Eric Laufenberg.

In an exciting collaboration with Deutsche Grammophon, Andris Nelsons and the BSO partner on a series of live recordings of works by Shostakovich; summer 2015 marked the release of the first disc, combining the Passacaglia from Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and Symphony No. 10. For audiovisual recordings, Nelsons has an exclusive agreement with Unitel GmbH. Praised for his profound interpretation of a wide repertoire, commitment to new works and transformative music-making with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Nelsons received the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award as Conductor in spring 2015.

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.

SAISON 2015/2016

 

Quotes

“Shostakovich: scandalously successful. [about the recording of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra]”

The Times "Album of the Week", Hugh Canning, 12.8.15

“Nelsons leaned forward into the sound, sculpting the music with surpassing tenderness.”

The Boston Globe, Jeremy Eichler, 8.8.15

“Nelsons’s performance [Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10] is mighty, marked by a wonderful nose for atmosphere [...] What makes Nelsons so lethally impressive here is the precision with which he addresses every accent, every ferocious sforzando. He is the most rhythmic of conductors. [...] Be in no doubt that this is one of the finest performances that I have ever heard of this great piece (it must surely bid fair for ‘best in catalogue’) and to say that it augurs well for Nelsons’s future with the Boston Symphony is an understatement and then some.”

Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice recordings, Edward Seckerson, 1.8.15

“This [Shostakovich’s 10th Symphony] is thrilling music-making, already whetting the appetite for the next instalment: Symphonies 5, 8, and 9 next spring [Deutsche Grammophon].”

The Times, Neil Fisher, 31.7.15

“Additionally Andris Nelsons has the charismatic “jump jet” that every leading orchestra needs […], he has the potential to drive younger people as classical music audiences. Something that appears very clear is his kind and liking personality.”

Die Welt, Peter Krause, 3.6.15

“Mr. Nelsons has brought a jolt of youthful energy, along with charisma and accomplishment [to the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall]. The audience gave Mr. Nelsons and the players an enormous ovation. Whatever the future, for now the Boston Symphony has placed its trust in a young dynamo.”

New York Times, Anthony Tommasini, 19.4.15

“This was a persuasive account [of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7]: texturally vital, musically alert, and sonically rich. […] Nelsons’s interpretation found a charismatic balance between weight and transparency of detail, from the diaphanous sheen of the pianissimo tremolos to the radiant brass-heavy climaxes of the first and second movements.”

Boston Globe, Jeremy Eichler, 16.1.15

“Every time I’ve seen him conduct—in Boston, Tanglewood, New York, and Bayreuth—he has set off brushfires of intensity. […] Nelsons produces full-body impact: instead of shattering about your ears, the sound engulfs you. He is a master at controlling dynamics to create a kinetic, fluctuating mass.”

The New Yorker, Alex Ross, 1.12.14

“Nelsons’s Brummies [the CBSO] pump fresh air through the notes. […] His sunrise is sublime in the original, uncorrupted meaning of that word – an unfathomable beauty so awe-inspiring that it terrifies with the same intensity it beguiles. [...] I’m handing the ultimate accolade to Andris Nelsons, whose version embodies many of Karajan’s qualities while telling us lots we didn’t already know about this inscrutable, endlessly fascinating score. Nelsons is Superman.”

Gramophone, Philip Clark, 24.11.14

“Andris Nelsons conducted with keen focus and vigor, eliciting tonal beauty, technical precision and obvious engagement from the orchestra.”

Wall Street Journal, David Mermelstein, 18.11.14

“With an unusually large audience, the Boston Symphony Orchestra was engaged and the conductor infectiously dynamic with performances of Beethoven, Bartok and Tchaikovsky. It was just his fourth concert in his new role, but it felt as if Mr. Nelsons had been working under Symphony Hall’s golden proscenium arch for years. The orchestra already sounds cleaner, more unified and more focused than I have heard since James Levine’s departure in March 2011.”

New York Times, David Allen, 5.10.14

“Nelsons’ treatment of the Fourth [Symphony of Beethoven with the CBSO] was startling. Like all outstanding conductors, he has the precious ability to conjure something unexpectedly brilliant out of thin air. [...] Its slow introduction seemed pregnant with dramatic possibilities, and what followed exploited most of them, with every rhythm sprung, every chord perfectly balanced, the perpetuum mobile of the finale fabulously precise.”

The Guardian, Andrew Clements, 19.9.14

“For his part, Nelsons has deeply internalized this score [of Salome by Strauss], its idiom, and its pacing, to the point of almost dancing along on Thursday during his delicately shaped Dance of the Seven Veils. [...] During the famous kiss chords near the end the sound seemed to take on an almost physical quality, hanging in the air like a vapor.”

Boston Globe, Jeremy Eichler, 7.3.14

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Discography

let me tell youBavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Andris Nelsons & Barbara HanniganJan. 2016, Winter & Winter, CD, Available on: iTunes Amazon
Shostakovich: Under Stalin's ShadowAndris Nelsons conducts Shostakovich's Symphony No. 10 and the Passacaglia from "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk" with the Boston Symphony OrchestraJul. 2015, Deutsche Grammophon, CD, Available on: Amazon
Pyotr Tchaikovsky: "Manfred"The programmatic symphony "Manfred" by Pyotr Tchaikovsky was recorded by Andris Nelsons and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra for the Label Orfeo. Also on the disc: the ...May. 2015, Orfeo, CD, Available on: Amazon
Brahms, Serenade No. 2, Symphonie No. 2Andris Nelsons conducts the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and the Bavarian Radio Choir. The recording from 2014 encompasses works by Brahms: the Serenade No. 2 in A major, Op. 16, the ...Apr. 2015, Accentus, DVD
Memorial Concert for Claudio AbbadoIn August 2014, Andris Nelsons conducted a memorial concert in Lucerne to honour the late Claudio Abbado.Jan. 2015, Accentus, DVD, Available on: Amazon
Wagner: Tannhäuser; Sibelius, Symphony No. 2Andris Nelsons and das Boston Symphony Orchestra recorded Wagner's "Tannhäuser" and the 2nd Symphony by Sibelius for the orchestra's label, BSO Classics.Dec. 2014, BSO Classics, CD, Available on: iTunes
Wagner: The Flying DutchmanRichard Wagner's "Flying Dutchman", recorded by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Radio choirs of the Bavarian Radio, the NDR and WDR, under the baton of Andris Nelsons. The ...Dec. 2014, RCO Live, CD, Available on: iTunes Amazon
Strauss: Thus spake Zarathustra, Macbeth, Till Eulenspiegel's Merry PranksRichard Strauss's setting of Nietzsche's "Thus spake Zarathustra" was recorded on this DVD with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under Andris Nelsons' baton. Further works on this ...Dec. 2014, C-Major, DVD, Available on: Amazon
Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra Op. 30, Don Juan Op.20, Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche Op. 28In this year of Richard Strauss's 150th birthday the CBSO performs works by the composer under the baton of Andris Nelsons.Apr. 2014, Orfeo, CD, Available on: Amazon
Genius on Fire - a documentary on Andris Nelsons50 minutes documentary on conductor Andris Nelsons.Dec. 2013, Film Fritz & Orfeo, DVD, Available on: Amazon
Johannes Brahms: Piano concerto 1 & 2Andris Nelsons conducts the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and the Wiener Philharmoniker. Hélène Grimaud plays the solo part in Brahms' 1st and 2nd piano concerto.Sep. 2013, Deutsche Grammophon, CD, Available on: Amazon
From the new worldAndris Nelsons and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks with works by Ives, Adams, Stravinsky and Dvorák.Jun. 2013, C Major, DVD, Available on: Amazon
Antonin DvorákAndris Nelsons and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks with works by Antonin Dvorák: Symphony No. 9 & "Heldenlied", op.111Mar. 2013, BR Klassik, CD, Available on: Amazon
Shostakovich Symphony No. 7 "Leningrad"Andris Nelsons and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra present Shostakovich's 7th Symphony "Leningrad".Oct. 2012, Orfeo, CD, Available on: Amazon
Wagner: LohengrinAndris Nelsons conducts Wagner's 'Lohengrin' at the Festspiele Bayreuth.Oct. 2012, Opus Arte, CD, Available on: Amazon
Benjamin Britten: War RequiemAndris Nelsons conducts the "War Requiem" by Benjamin Britten. Orchestra: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Erin Wall, soprano; Mark Padmore, tenor; Hanno Müller-Brachmann, ...Oct. 2012, Arthaus, DVD, Available on: Amazon
Puccini: Suor AngelicaAndris Nelsons conducts the WDRRundfunkorchester and the WDR Sinfonieorchester Cologne. Kristine Opolais sings Angelica one of our most exciting young Puccini sopranos, Lioba Braun ...Aug. 2012, Orfeo, CD, Available on: Amazon
Shostakovich Symphony No. 8Andris Nelsons and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra present Shostakovich's 8th Symphony.May. 2012, Unitel, DVD, Available on: Amazon
Beethoven's piano concerto No.5 and 'Scheherazade' by Rimsky-KorsakovThe Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Andris Nelsons play Rimsky-Korsakovs 'Scheherazade' and the piano concerto No. 5 by Beethoven with Yefim Bronfman.Apr. 2012, Unitel, DVD, Available on: Amazon
TschaikowskyAndris Nelsons and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra present works by Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 in f minor op.36 & Francesca Da Rimini op.32Oct. 2011, Orfeo, CD, Available on: Amazon
Chopin Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2Nelsons with the Staatskapelle Berlin and the first and second piano concertos by Frédéric Chopin. Daniel Barenboim plays the solo part.Sep. 2011, Arthaus, DVD, Available on: Amazon
Richard StraussAndris Nelsons and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with works by Richard Strauss: Alpensinfonie & Salomes DanceFeb. 2011, Orfeo, CD, Available on: Amazon
TschaikovskyAndris Nelsons and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with works by Tchaikovsky: "Romeo and Juliet" – Fantasy-Overture & Symphony No. 6 ("Pathétique")Nov. 2010, Orfeo, CD, Available on: Amazon
La BohèmeAt the Royal Opera House Covent Garden Andris Nelsons conducts La Bohème.Jun. 2010, Opus Arte, DVD, Available on: Amazon
Igor StravinskyAndris Nelsons and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with works by Igor Stravinsky: The Firebird & Symphony of PsalmsMar. 2010, Orfeo, CD, Available on: iTunes
Richard StraussAndris Nelsons and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with works by Richard Strauss: Rosenkavalier-Suite & Ein Heldenleben op. 40Jan. 2010, Orfeo, CD, Available on: Amazon

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