Appointments / Auditions & Appointments / Music News & Info: Classical

Andris Nelsons new BSO Music Director; initial press release tantalizingly incomplete

Andris Nelsons (photo by Marco Borggreve)The big buzz this morning is the Boston Symphony’s long-awaited announcement as to who will fill their Music Director’s chair that has been vacant since James Levine officially stepped down in 2011 (though health problems kept Mr. Levine away from the podium long before that).

The choice:  Andris Nelsons, the 34-year old Latvian maestro who has been Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra since 2008.

The BSO’s initial press release, along with reports based on it in the Boston Globe and The New York Times, contain the following salient facts:

  • Mr. Nelsons becomes Music Director Designate beginning in the 2013-2014 season, “making his first appearance in that official capacity October 17-19, leading Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25 in C, with soloist Paul Lewis, and Brahms’s Symphony No. 3; he returns to the BSO podium on March 6, 2014 to lead a performance of Strauss’s Salome.”
  • Prior to that, he will conduct the BSO in Symphony Hall in late June of this year (program TBA), and will return to the orchestra over the summer to conduct the Verdi Requiem at Tanglewood
  • He will be the third youngest Music Director in the BSO’s history.  Only Georg Henschel (31 years old in 1881) and Arthur Nikisch (33 years old in 1889) were younger when they began their respective tenures.

All good info; however, there are some important bits missing from this release.  The first three that come to mind:

  • When will Mr. Nelsons’ official tenure as Music Director (not just Designate) begin?
  • How long is his initial contract for?
  • How many weeks of concerts will he conduct that first season?

This is non-trivial stuff.  I’m guessing/hoping more details will be released later today.  Thankfully, Mr. Nelsons’ own website answers one of the questions:

“Andris Nelsons is the newly appointed Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, starting from the 2014/2015 season.”  (  May 16, 2013)

Unfortunately, that’s the only additional information available there.

All that said, it’s good to see that the BSO was able to finally make this important decision.  Congratulations and best of luck to Mr. Nelsons and the orchestra.


Photo credit:  Marco Borggrave

3 thoughts on “Andris Nelsons new BSO Music Director; initial press release tantalizingly incomplete

  1. According to unofficial sources close to BSO, he is doing probably 9 weeks during his first season as MD (’14-’15) and at least 12 weeks annually thereafter. It looks to me about normal for major orchestras these days.


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