26.02.24 - 11.03.24
The Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, under the direction of Andris Nelsons, will focus intensively on the composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky on this tour.
Peter I. Tschaikowsky: Konzert für Violine und Orchester D-Dur op. 35
Peter I. Tschaikowsky: Symphonie Nr. 5 e-Moll op. 64
Peter I. Tschaikowsky: Polonaise aus der Oper "Eugen Onegin" op. 24
Peter I. Tschaikowsky: Romeo und Julia - Fantasie-Ouvertüre nach Shakespeare
Peter I. Tschaikowsky: Symphonie Nr. 6 h-Moll op. 74 ("Pathétique")
The Gewandhausorchester is the oldest civic symphony orchestra in the world. The enterprise was founded in 1743 by a group of 16 musical philanthropists – representatives of the nobility as well as regular citizens - forming a concert society by the name of Das Große Concert. On taking residence in the trading house of the city's textile merchants (the 'Gewandhaus') in 1781, the ensemble assumed the name Gewandhausorchester. Many celebrated musicians have been appointed to the office of Gewandhauskapellmeister (Music Director and Principal Conductor), including Johann Adam Hiller, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Arthur Nikisch and Kurt Masur. After his inauguration in 2005, Riccardo Chailly's phenomenally successful tenure as Gewandhauskapellmeister came to an end in 2016. Andris Nelsons assumed the position of Gewandhauskapellmeister in the 2017/18 season.
The Gewandhausorchester´s unique contribution to Europe´s historical and current musical wealth has been recognized with the award of the European Cultural Heritage Label.
Music lovers worldwide revere the highly individual sound palette that distinguishes the Gewandhausorchester from all other symphony orchestras. This unique sound identity, along with the extraordinarily rich diversity of the repertoire which the Gewandhausorchester performs, is cultivated in over 200 performances each year in the Orchestra's three 'homes': as concert orchestra in the Gewandhaus, orchestra of the Leipzig Opera and orchestra for the weekly performances of the cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach with the Thomanerchor in St. Thomas's Church. No other elite symphony orchestra dedicates itself so intensively to the performance of the music of J.S. Bach.
The Gewandhausorchester has toured the globe on a regular basis since 1916 and enjoys almost unparalleled presence in the media of radio, television, CD and DVD.
Few other ensembles have exerted such significant and enduring influence on the development of the symphonic music tradition as the Gewandhausorchester. Throughout its history, the Orchestra has consistently attracted the collaborative energies of the world's most eminent composers, conductors and soloists. The Gewandhausorchester performed a complete cycle of the symphonies of Beethoven during his lifetime (1825/26), as well as the first ever cycle of Bruckner's symphonies to be mounted (1919/20). Wagner's Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Beethoven's 5th Piano Concerto Emperor, Brahms' Violin Concerto and Deutsches Requiem and Bruckner's 7th Symphony are just a fraction of the wealth of the core symphonic repertoire to be given its first performance by the Gewandhausorchester. The Orchestra commissions and premieres new works each season to this day.
A decisive contribution to the development of the symphonic repertoire must be attributed to the celebrated Gewandhauskapellmeister, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. During his tenure from 1835 until 1847, he presided over the first performances of numerous works from his own pen, for instance the Violin Concerto, the Scottish Symphony and his Overture to Ruy Blas, as well as the world premieres of many works of other composers, including Schubert's C major Symphony The Great and Schumann's 1st, 2nd and 4th symphonies. Through the introduction of new programming concepts – highly innovative for the time - Mendelssohn sharpened the Gewandhaus audiences' awareness of the music of times past, most notably reviving the performance of the orchestral oeuvre of J.S. Bach.
It was on Mendelssohn's initiative that Germany's first conservatoire was founded, in Leipzig, in 1843 - the modern day University of Music and Theatre "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy". Following the principles established by Mendelssohn himself, the Gewandhausorchester and University collaborate in the form of the Mendelssohn Orchestra Academy, offering the most talented young musicians the opportunity to hone their skills to the level required by the world's elite orchestras. Graduates of the Orchesterakademie receive a master's degree from the University.
The CD and DVD productions released by the Gewandhausorchester since the turn of the millenium have been decorated with a plethora of international record awards, including a Golden Disc. Under the direction of Riccardo Chailly, the Decca label produced a complete cycle of Beethoven's symphonies and nine of his overtures (CD, 2007-2009) and a cycle of Brahms' symphonies (CD, 2012-2013). Riccardo Chailly also led the Orchestra in numerous acclaimed DVD recordings of the symphonies of Gustav Mahler (accentus music, 2011-2015). To mark the occasion of Herbert Blomstedt's 90th birthday in July 2017, a new complete cycle of Beethoven's symphonic oeuvre conducted by the Gewandhausorchester's Conductor Laureate was released by accentus music. This label has released two DVD productions with the Orchestra and the new Gewandhauskapellmeister, Andris Nelsons: Antonín Dvořák's 9th Szmphony From the New World (released in February 2018) and Alban Berg's Violin Concerto coupled with Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy's Scottish Symphony (released in August 2018). Andris Nelsons is currently leading the Gewandhausorchester in the recording of a complete cycle of the symphonies of Anton Bruckner, produced on CD by Deutsche Grammophon. The 3rd Symphony formed the initial release in the spring of 2017, followed by No. 4 in February 2018 and No. 7. in April of that year. Symphonies No. 6 and 9 were released in May 2019.
Conductor laureate Herbert Blomstedt is leading the Gewandhausorchester in the recording of a complete cycle of the symphonies of Johannes Brahms. The Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68 formed the initial release in September 2020, coupled with the Tragic Overture op. 81, followed by No. 2 in D major, Op. 73 & Academic Festival Overture op. 80 (Pentatone). On the occasion of Sofia Gubaidulina's 90th birthday in October 2021, Deutsche Grammophon released a CD with world premiere recordings of Der Zorn Gottes, Das Licht des Endes and the violin concerto No. 3 Dialog: Ich und Du (Vadim Repin violin) under the baton of 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. In October 2020, Nelsons extended his contracts with both orchestras. Autumn2019 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. Next season, this alliance will centre around symphonic works by Richard Strauss, including performances in conjunction with a joint recording release, the details of which will be announced in autumn 2021.
Following his return to orchestras including the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks last season, Nelsons looks forward to performances with the Berliner Philharmoniker in December 2021 and at the upcoming Salzburg Festival with the Wiener Philharmoniker, with whom he conducted the prestigious New Year’s Day concert in 2020, broadcast to millions across the world. This summer, Nelsons will also be conducting the Festspielorchester Bayreuth in Bayreuth, followed by the orchestra’s first European tour with performances in Paris, Riga, and throughout Germany.
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 under the Yellow Label. 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 by Deutsche Grammophon 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 2021/2022 - THIS BIOGRAPHY IS AVAILABLE BY COURTESY OF THE GEWANDHAUSORCHESTER
Leonidas Kavakos © Marco Borggreve
Leonidas Kavakos is recognised across the world as a violinist and artist of rare quality, acclaimed for his matchless technique, his captivating artistry and his superb musicianship as well as for the integrity of his playing. He works with the world’s greatest orchestras and conductors and plays as recitalist in the world’s premier recital halls and festivals. He is an exclusive recording artist with Sony Classical.
The three important mentors in his life have been Stelios Kafantaris, Josef Gingold, and Ferenc Rados, with whom he still works. By the age of 21, Leonidas Kavakos had already won three major competitions: the Sibelius Competition in 1985, and the Paganini and Naumburg competitions in 1988. This success led to him recording the original Sibelius Violin Concerto (1903/4), the first recording of this work in history, and which won Gramophone Concerto of the Year Award in 1991.
Kavakos is now an exclusive recording artist with Sony Classics. His latest recording, to be released worldwide in October 2019 in anticipation of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth in 2020, is the Beethoven Violin Concerto which he conducted and played with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, coupled with the Beethoven Septet played with members of the orchestra. In the anniversary year, Kavakos will both play and play/conduct the Beethoven Violin Concerto with orchestras across Europe and the USA. He will also play the complete Beethoven Sonata cycle in Shanghai and Guangzhou, Milan and Rome, and a number of single Beethoven recitals in various cities including London’s Wigmore Hall, Barcelona, Parma and Copenhagen.
In 2007, for his recording of the complete Beethoven Sonatas with Enrico Pace, Kavakos was named Echo Klassik Instrumentalist of the year. In 2014, Kavakos was awarded Gramophone Artist of the Year.
Further accolades came in 2017 when Kavakos was awarded the prestigious Leonie Sonning Prize – Denmark’s highest musical honour, given annually to an internationally recognised composer, conductor, instrumentalist or singer. Previous winners include Daniel Barenboim, Leonard Bernstein, Pierre Boulez, Alfred Brendel, Benjamin Britten, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Yehudi Menuhin, Simon Rattle, Mstislav Rostropovich, Arthur Rubenstein and Dmitri Shostakovich.
August 2019 was a full and rewarding month: after the Verbier Festival where he appeared in recital with Evgent Kissin and conducted the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra in a programme in which he played Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with Antoine Tamestit, he joined YoYo Ma and Emanuel Ax at the Tanglewood Music Festival for a programme of Beethoven Piano trios, in a duo recital with Ax of Beethoven Sonatas, and in an orchestral concert with the Boston Symphony in which he played and conducted Beethoven’s Violin Concerto and Dvořák Symphony No. 7.
Kavakos was also invited as Artiste Etoile at the Lucerne Festival where he appeared with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra with Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Mariinsky Orchestra with Valery Gergiev, Vienna Philharmonic with Andes Orozco Estrada, and in recital with Yuja Wang.
In the 2019/20 season, in addition to concerts with major orchestras in Europe and the United States, Kavakos will once again join YoYo Ma and Emanuel Ax for three programmes in Carnegie Hall comprising Beethoven trios and sonatas. He will undertake two Asian tours, first as soloist with the Singapore Symphony and Seoul Philharmonic and in recital in the NCPA Beijing, and then in the spring he performs with the Hong Kong Philharmonic and Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra, prior to playing Beethoven Sonata Cycles in Shanghai and Guangzhou with Enrico Pace.
In recent years, Kavakos has succeeded in building a strong profile as a conductor and has conducted the London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Gürzenich Orchester, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Vienna Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Filarmonica Teatro La Fenice, and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. In the forthcoming season he will return to two orchestras where he has developed close ties as both violinist and conductor: L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. This season he also play/conducts the Czech Philharmonic, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, and the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI.
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 and reflects his deep commitment to the handing on of musical knowledge and traditions. Part of this tradition is the art of violin and bow-making, which Kavakos regards as a great mystery and to this day, an undisclosed secret. He plays the 'Willemotte' Stradivarius violin of 1734 and owns modern violins made by F. Leonhard, S.P. Greiner, E. Haahti and D. Bagué.
SEASON 2019/2020 THIS BIOGRAPHY IS AVAILABLE BY COURTESY OF INTERMUSICA.
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig © Jens Gerber
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