Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons leads the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, two orchestras rich in tradition in the United States and Europe. This unique constellation has given rise to a cooperation between the two orchestras that includes joint commissions, pedagogical initiatives, and coordinated scheduling, and has no parallel on the international stage. The successful collaboration will continue in the coming years, with Andris Nelsons presiding over his orchestras in Boston until 2025 and in Leipzig until 2027.
Nelsons was born in 1978 in Riga, where he grew up in a family of musicians. He received piano, voice and trumpet lessons and had already won various awards as a bass-baritone when he joined the orchestra of the Latvian National Opera in his hometown as a trumpet player. At the same time, Nelsons took private conducting lessons. In 2001, he went to St. Petersburg for conducting studies and also attended several master classes. Even more important than this regular training course was his private study with Mariss Jansons, who acted as mentor to his protégé's great talent.
In 2003, at the age of 24, Andris Nelsons was appointed chief conductor of the Latvian National Opera in Riga and quickly made a name for himself far beyond the country's borders. Parallel to this assignment, Nelsons accepted an engagement with the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie Herford in 2006, where he was able to devote himself to the symphonic repertoire and gain further experience in the tranquility of the Westphalian province. At the same time, Nelsons received numerous invitations from leading orchestras and opera houses to guest conduct. In 2008, he succeeded Sir Simon Rattle as music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, where he remained until 2015 and made his mark internationally.
For the 2014/15 season, Andris Nelsons took over the principal conducting position at the Boston Symphony Orchestra, where he set strong programmatic accents through numerous world premieres and composition commissions. Since 2018, he has also served as Gewandhauskapellmeister. In addition to this dual role, Nelsons accepts invitations to guest conduct with the Vienna Philharmonic, Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam, and Berlin Philharmonic, among others.
The collaboration with his orchestras in Boston and Leipzig is reflected in Nelsons' recording projects. In 2022, a 7-CD edition with works by Richard Strauss will be released as a transatlantic cooperation between the two orchestras. Since 2016, two complete recordings of Anton Bruckner's symphonies with the Gewandhaus Orchestra and Dimitri Shostakovich's symphonies with the Boston Symphony Orchestra have also been in the works, several previously released parts of which have won Grammy awards, along with other honors.
As of August 2022