Gewandhausorchester Leipzig © Gert Mothes


Gewandhausorchester Leipzig

26.02.24 - 11.03.24

about the tour.

The Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, under the direction of Andris Nelsons, will focus intensively on the composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky on this tour.

Programm 1:
Peter I. Tschaikowsky: Konzert für Violine und Orchester D-Dur op. 35


Peter I. Tschaikowsky: Symphonie Nr. 5 e-Moll op. 64

Programm 2:
Peter I. Tschaikowsky: Der Wojewode - Sinfonische Ballade op. 78

Peter I. Tschaikowsky: Hamlet - Fantasie-Ouvertüre nach Shakespeare op. 67 f-Moll


Peter I. Tschaikowsky: Symphonie Nr. 6 h-Moll op. 74 ("Pathétique")






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Philharmonie Luxembourg


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Philharmonie Luxembourg


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Philharmonie de Paris - Cité de la musique


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Philharmonie de Paris - Cité de la musique


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Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam


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Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam


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Philharmonie Essen


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Musikverein Wien



Musikverein Wien


Your contact persons:

Cornelia Schmid

Managing Director

+49 511 36607-73

Claude Boischot

Associate Director

+49 511 36607-85

An Orchestra full of experience.

Biography – about the orchestra.

The Gewandhaus Orchestra is the world’s oldest bourgeois symphony orchestra. The orchestra originated from the concert society “Das Große Concert”, founded in 1743 by 16 noblemen and burghers. The ensemble was renamed Gewandhaus Orchestra (“garment house orchestra”) when it moved to the Cloth Merchants’ Exhibition Hall in 1781. Amongst the most important Gewandhaus principal conductors are Johann Adam Hiller, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Arthur Nikisch, Kurt Masur, Herbert Blomstedt and Riccardo Chailly. Since the season 2017/2018, Andris Nelsons has held this position of principal conductor or “Gewandhauskapellmeister”.

The orchestra is globally recognized for its characteristic sound that distinguishes it from other symphony orchestras. The Gewandhaus orchestra nurtures its distinctive tonal quality and diverse repertoire during well over 200 annual performances in their three main venues: It is the concert orchestra of the Gewandhaus, the orchestra of Leipzig Opera and the ensemble that holds weekly performances of Bach cantatas in St. Thomas Church alongside the Thomanerchor Leipzig. The orchestra is unparalleled with its frequent performances of Bach’s works. Furthermore, it has been making guest appearances around the world since 1916 and regularly produces content for CD, DVD, radio and television.

Few other orchestras have played such an influential role in the development of the symphonic music tradition. To this day the Gewandhaus orchestra continues to attract famous composers, conductors and soloists: the Leipzig-based ensemble performed Beethoven’s nine symphonies as a cycle during his lifetime (1825/26) and played the world’s first cycle of all Bruckner symphonies (1919/20). Further, Wagner’s prelude to “Die Meistersinger” premiered with the Gewandhaus Orchestra; Beethoven’s 5th Piano Concerto, Brahms’ Violin Concerto and his “German Requiem” as well as Bruckner’s 7th Symphony among many other works of world musical literature were first performed by the orchestra. To this day, the Gewandhaus programme features premieres of new compositions each season.

During his time as Gewandhauskapellmeister (1835-1847), Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy significantly shaped the repertoire that continues to influence the orchestra today. Amongst the highlights of his tenure are the premieres of his Violin Concerto in E minor, his “Scottish Symphony” and the overture to “Ruy Blas”. Under his direction, also Schubert’s Great Symphony in C Major was performed for the first time as well as Schumann’s 1st, 2nd, and 4th symphonies. With newly conceived concert programs, Mendelssohn directed his attention to Early Music, preserving among other things Johann Sebastian Bach’s instrumental music from being lost.

Thanks to Mendelssohn, Germany’s first music conservatory was founded in Leipzig in 1843 and is known today as the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy University of Music and Theatre (HMT). In line with Mendelssohn’s founding idea of training the next generation of professional orchestral musicians, the Gewandhaus Orchestra runs the “Mendelssohn Orchestra Academy” in cooperation with the HMT. It is an artistic masterclass with an academic degree.

The orchestra’s CD recordings have received numerous international awards. The Gewandhaus Orchestra recorded the complete Beethoven symphonies including 9 of his overtures (CD, Decca 2007-2009) and the Brahms symphonies (CD, Decca 2012-2013) with Riccardo Chailly. Under his direction, the Gewandhaus Orchestra also extensively recorded Gustav Mahler’s symphonies (DVD, accentus music 2011-2015). In celebration of Herbert Blomstedt’s 90th birthday, a new complete recording of the Beethoven symphonies (CD, accentus music), directed by the conductor laureate himself, was released in July 2017.

In July 2022, just a few days before his 95th birthday, the first complete recording of all Schumann symphonies was released with Blomstedt (8th, 9th symphonies, Deutsche Grammophon). In the same year, Pentatone released the third and final recording of Johannes Brahms’ complete symphonies (coupled with the Tragic Overture op. 81 and the Academic Festival Overture op. 80) under the baton of Herbert Blomstedt.

Under the direction of the 21st Gewandhauskapellmeister Andris Nelsons, the orchestra recorded Peter Tchaikovsky’s 6th Symphony “Pathétique” and the 5th Symphony, released in February 2019 and 2020 respectively (DVD, accentus music). The Gewandhaus Orchestra recorded all of Bruckner’s symphonies with Andris Nelsons (CD, Deutsche Grammophon). In 2023, the individual CDs of the cycle were released as a box set including the first recording of the No.0 by the Gewandhaus Orchestra. In May 2022, a seven-disc box set featuring significant symphonic works by Richard Strauss was released. This box set was recorded for Deutsche Grammophon by the Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, whose principal conductor is also Andris Nelsons.

On the occasion of Sofia Gubaidulina’s 90th birthday in October 2021, Deutsche Grammophon released a CD featuring world premiere recordings of her compositions “The Wrath of God”, “The Light of the End” and her 3rd Violin Concerto “Dialogue: I and You” (Vadim Repin, violin) under Andris Nelsons. Furthermore, the Gewandhaus Orchestra recorded Hans Werner Henze’s “Tristan - Préludes for Piano, Tapes and Orchestra” under Franz-Welser Möst together with pianist Igor Levit (Sony Classic 2022). February 2023 saw the re-release of the complete recording of all Bruckner symphonies directed by conductor laureate Herbert Blomstedt. Even a decade after their initial release between 2005 and 2012, these recordings are still considered a benchmark (accentus music).

In May 2025, the Gewandhaus Orchestra will showcase one of the most comprehensive performances of Dmitri Shostakovich’s works in Leipzig to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his death. Under the direction of Andris Nelsons and Anna Rakitina, the Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Boston Symphony and the festival orchestra specially formed for the occasion – consisting of members of the Mendelssohn Orchestra Academy and the Tanglewood Music Centre Orchestra – will perform all of Shostakovich’s symphonies and solo concertos. A hand-picked line-up of world-class artists, including Daniil Trifonov, Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider and Baiba Skride, will give an extensive chamber music series. Two performances of the opera “Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk” at Leipzig Opera under the baton of Andris Nelsons will conclude the comprehensive festival programme.

Peter Tchaikovsky and the Gewandhaus Orchestra

Peter Tchaikovsky himself attached great significance to his first appearance as conductor with the Gewandhaus Orchestra in January 1888. Concerning the reception of his music in Germany he revealed: “The fact that my music had found its way into the Gewandhaus considerably strengthened my self-confidence as a composer. It was a wonderful feeling to start my artistic journey from Leipzig, as this circumstance was likely to lend my name considerable weight in Germany.” At the invitation of the Gewandhaus management, the first rehearsal with the Gewandhaus Orchestra took place on January 2, 1888. Tchaikovsky rehearsed his 1st Orchestral Suite in D major, op. 48. In his memoirs, he writes: “My shyness visibly disappeared, the whole rehearsal went very happily and I left convinced that I was dealing with an orchestra of unusual quality.” The German premiere of the orchestral suite took place on January 5.

During this concert tour, which also took him to Berlin, Magdeburg, Hamburg and Lübeck, he returned to Leipzig twice. In Leipzig, he met various musicians who were staying or living there at the time: Johannes Brahms, Ferruccio Busoni, Edvard Grieg, Carl Reinecke and Ethel Smyth. At the opera, he experienced Arthur Nikisch and Gustav Mahler conducting the Gewandhaus Orchestra. Tchaikovsky was very enthusiastic about Nikisch: “You only get a real idea of the splendour that this orchestra is capable of when you hear a master of his craft like Nikisch interpret the difficult Wagner scores.” However, Tchaikovsky only truly became aware of Mahler years later, when in Hamburg in 1892, the conductor directed his opera Eugene Onegin.

In the history of the orchestra, Tchaikovsky’s music traces back to October 12, 1876, when the solo piano pieces “Song Without Words” and the “Humoresque” were the first works by Tchaikovsky to appear on the Gewandhaus programme. Adolf Brodsky, the soloist in the world premiere of Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto, became a teacher at the Leipzig Conservatory in 1882. In the same year, on December 14, Brodsky made his debut at the Gewandhaus with the first movement of this famous violin concerto, which had never performed there before.



Andris Nelsons

Andris Nelsons © Jens Gerber

Andris Nelsons is Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. These two positions, in addition to his leadership of a pioneering alliance between both institutions, have firmly established Grammy Award-winning Nelsons as one of the most renowned and innovative conductors on the international scene today.

Nelsons’ positions in Boston and Leipzig commenced in the 2014/15 season and in February 2018, respectively. Autumn 2019 marked a ground-breaking highlight for Nelsons, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig: three performances featuring musicians from both institutions within one joint orchestra were given at Boston’s Symphony Hall as part of the alliance between the two orchestras. In 2020, this unique partnership between both orchestras culminated in another highlight, a joint release of the major symphonic works by Richard Strauss for Deutsche Grammophon, including Strauss’s Festliches Präludium jointly performed by musicians from both orchestras. To mark the release, Nelsons and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig completed a residency tour to London, Hamburg, Vienna and Paris to perform two all-Strauss programmes in May 2022.

Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra begin their 2023/24 season with a major European tour, performing in a number of prestigious summer festivals, including the BBC Proms, the Lucerne and Salzburg Festivals. In January 2024, the BSO and Nelsons will perform two guest concerts at Carnegie Hall with pianist Seong-Jin Cho and a concert performance of Shostakovich’s opera "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District". This season, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig embark on two tours under Nelsons’ direction: to Asia in November 2023, with concerts in Taiwan, Korea and Japan, and a European tour in March 2024, with three symphonic programmes celebrating the works of Tchaikovsky. Nelsons will also continue his guest appearances this season, performing with the Berliner Philharmoniker together with violinist Baiba Skride, and will return Vienna for performances with Wiener Philharmoniker in June, including the annual Summer Night Concert at Schönbrunn Palace. Nelsons will also conduct the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic for concerts featuring trumpeter Håkan Hardenberger.

Andris Nelsons has an exclusive recording relationship with Deutsche Grammophon, which has paved the way for three landmark projects with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and the Wiener Philharmoniker. Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra partner on recordings of the complete Shostakovich symphonies and the opera "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District" – this cycle is already the recipient of four GRAMMY awards in the categories "Best Orchestral Performance" and "Best Engineered Album". Furthermore, Nelsons and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig continue their critically acclaimed Bruckner symphonic cycle. Both cycles released their fifth instalments in 2021. Nelsons’ recordings of Beethoven’s complete symphonies with the Wiener Philharmoniker, in celebration of the composer’s 250th birthday, were released in October 2019.

Born in Riga in 1978 into a family of musicians, Andris Nelsons began his career as a trumpeter in the Latvian National Opera Orchestra whilst studying conducting. He was Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra from 2008-2015, Principal Conductor of the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie in Herford, Germany 2006-2009 and Music Director of the Latvian National Opera 2003-2007.

SEASON 2023/2024


Leonidas Kavakos, Violin

Leonidas Kavakos © Marco Borggreve

Leonidas Kavakos is recognized across the world as a violinist and artist of rare quality, acclaimed for his matchless technique, his captivating artistry and his superb musicianship, and the integrity of his playing. He works regularly with the world’s greatest orchestras and conductors and plays as recitalist in the world’s premier recital halls and festivals.

Kavakos has developed close relationships with major orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. Kavakos also works closely with the Dresden Staatskapelle, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Munich Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Academia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, as well as the major US Orchestras.

In recent years, Kavakos has succeeded in building a strong profile as a conductor and has conducted the New York Philharmonic, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Dallas Symphony, Vienna Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Filarmonica della Scala, and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. Most recently he had a great success conducting the Israel Philharmonic, to which he will return.

In the 23/24 season, Kavakos performs at the opening gala of Carnegie Hall with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Riccardo Muti. On the same visit to the US he will also perform with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra under Esa-Pekka Salonen. Kavakos will perform a number of concerts throughout Europe with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, as well as return to Staatskapelle Berlin, NDR Hamburg, the Bergen Symphony, the Vienna Symphony, and the Boston Symphony. He also conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra in London for the first time, as well as the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Kavakos will tour with regular recital partners Emanuel Ax and Yo-Yo Ma to concert halls across Europe and the US, and will return to China for a series of recitals and performances with the China Philharmonic and Shanghai Symphony. He will also perform Bach’s Partitas and Sonatas across Europe and Asia, following the release of his critically acclaimed album ‘Bach: Sei Solo’ in 2022.

Kavakos is an exclusive recording artist with Sony Classics. Releases have included the Beethoven Violin Concerto which he conducted and played with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, and the re-release of his 2007 recording of the complete Beethoven Sonatas with Enrico Pace, for which he was named Echo Klassik Instrumentalist of the year. In 2022 Kavakos released ‘Beethoven for Three: Symphony No. 6 “Pastorale” and Op.1, No. 3’ arranged for trio, with Emanuel Ax and Yo-Yo Ma. Further albums from this series containing arrangements of Beethoven Symphonies will be released in coming years. He has been Gramophone Magazine Artist of the Year.

Born and brought up in a musical family in Athens, Kavakos curates an annual violin and chamber-music masterclass in Athens, which attracts violinists and ensembles from all over the world. He plays the ‘Willemotte’ Stradivarius violin of 1734.


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