Andris Nelsons assumed the position of Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig in February 2018, a post he holds concurrently with that of Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO). With these positions, and in leading a pioneering alliance between two such esteemed institutions, Grammy Award- winning Nelsons is firmly underlined as one of the most renowned and innovative conductors on the international scene today.
Andris Nelsons began his tenure as Music Director of the BSO in the 2014/15 season. After only one year, his contract was extended through to the 2021/22 season. Since the summer 2015, Nelsons has led the BSO on three tours of Europe, including appearances at the London Proms, in Hamburg, Vienna, Amsterdam, Paris and Leipzig. November 2017 saw the first tour of Japan, featuring performances in Tokyo’s Suntory Hall. In the current season, Nelsons will lead the BSO on a major tour of Far-East Asia with concerts in Seoul, Taipei, Hong Kong and Shanghai. As part of the Carnegie Hall’s Great American Orchestras series, the Orchestra will continue its regular New York appearances with a concert performance of the third act of Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde” featuring Jonas Kaufmann.
Andris Nelsons gave his debut with the Gewandhausorchester in 2011, followed by regular appearances with the orchestra in the subsequent years. The title of Gewandhauskapellmeister was bestowed upon Nelsons in February 2018, in a four-week inauguration festival, which also marked the 275th anniversary of the orchestra’s foundation. Shortly afterwards, in April 2018, Nelsons and the Gewandhausorchester embarked upon their first tour of Europe together, featuring appearances at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Vienna Musikverein, the Baden-Baden Festspielhaus, the Philharmonie de Paris and the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg. In the autumn of 2018, Nelsons led the orchestra in concerts in London, in Sweden and in the Latvian capital, Riga. 2019 saw the first tour together of Far-East Asia, including four concerts in Tokyo and appearances in Osaka, Shanghai and Beijing. The current season began with the first tour of the major European festivals of Nelsons’ tenure, including performances at the BBC Proms in London, the Lucerne Festival and the Salzburg Festival.
A major – and quite unique – highlight for Andris Nelsons, the BSO and the Gewandhausorchester will take place in October and November 2019: as part of their continuing alliance, the two orchestras will combine to perform three concerts together in Boston. In addition, the Gewandhausorchester will give two subscription concerts in Symphony Hall during its Boston residency.
During the 2019/20 season, Nelsons continues his regular collaborations with the Wiener Philharmoniker, with whom he conducted the prestigious New Year’s Day concert in 2020, broadcast to millions across the world. Furthermore, in celebration of the composer’s 250th anniversary, the Wiener Philharmoniker and Nelsons present a cycle of Beethoven’s symphonies at the Musikverein and on tour at the Philharmonie de Paris, Philharmonie am Gasteig in Munich, and Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie. Through the course of his career Nelsons has also been a frequent guest on the podium of the Berlin Philharmonic, the Concertgebouworkesrt and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, as well as at the Bayreuth Festival and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Andris Nelsons has an exclusive recording relationship with Deutsche Grammophon, which has paved the way for three landmark projects, currently in realisation: together with the Gewandhausorchester, Nelsons is currently engaged in a project to present Bruckner’s symphonies in a new light, coupling them with works by Richard Wagner. The initial release of the 3rd Symphony in the spring of 2017 received the Edison Klassiek Award. The 4th Symphony was released in February 2018, followed by the 7th in April that year. The most recent editions of the cycle, symphonies Nos. 6 and 9, were released in May 2019. Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra are in the process of producing a Shostakovich cycle, comprising all fifteen symphonies and the opera “Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk”. Four recordings have already been released, the first three of which were each awarded the Grammy for Best Orchestral Performance. The latest edition of the cycle received the Grammy for the category Best Engineered Album. Finally, Nelsons’ recordings of Beethoven’s complete symphonies with the Wiener Philharmoniker was 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 before studying conducting. He was Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra from 2008–2015, Principal Conductor of the North-West German Philharmonic in Herford from 2006–2009, and Music Director of Latvian National Opera from 2003-2007.
As of May 2020