Congratulations to Andris Nelsons, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig on extending their creative partnerships well into the future! We at Deutsche Grammophon feel privileged to be a part of this unique orchestra alliance. Enjoy a performance of Strauss’ Festive Prelude, performed by both orchestras under the baton of Andris Nelsons, celebrating their alliance at Symphony Hall Boston in November 2019.
The Latvian conductor’s current contract as 21st Gewandhauskapellmeister runs until 2022. The second term of Mr. Nelsons’ tenure will commence – subject to ratification by Leipzig City Council – on 1 August 2022 for a five-year period until 31 July 2027. The new contract includes the musical direction of one production each season at the Oper Leipzig, the Gewandhausorchester’s operatic home.
On Andris Nelsons’ initiative upon first assuming the position of Gewandhauskapellmeister, the repertoire of the Gewandhausorchester’s Große Concerte has been enriched by a prodigious number of world premiere performances, the majority of which have been commissioned jointly with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Nelsons has been Music Director of the BSO since 2014 and is simultaneously extending this successful relationship. Just as with his original contract, the new contract extension running through 2025 comes with an evergreen clause reflecting a mutual intent for a long-term commitment between the BSO and Mr. Nelsons well beyond the years of the first contract.
On the basis of both Andris Nelsons’ twin responsibilities and the wealth of common history the two orchestras share, a formal alliance was conceived: a seminal and quite unprecedented collaboration between two such elite orchestras. In addition to the awarding of joint composition commissions, a continuing exchange programme for the orchestras’ musicians has been established and annual thematic weeks are programmed in each orchestra’s seasons featuring the partner orchestra’s core repertoire, all serving to expand the artistic horizons of each orchestra and their musicians. The alliance facilitates an intensive cooperation between the Mendelssohn Orchestra Academy and the Tanglewood Music Center, uniting the most talented orchestral musicians and composition students of the next generation from both sides of the Atlantic in courses, masterclasses and high-level performance.
Plans for the second term of Andris Nelsons’ tenure, encompassing the years 2022 to 2027, include the staging of two festivals under the auspices of Musikstadt:Leipzig. Following the Mahler Festival in 2021, a Leipziger Romantik festival will be mounted in 2023 and a Shostakovich festival in 2025. In addition, the title of Gewandhaus Composer will continue to be awarded, and the Mendelssohn Festival, to be re-established in 2021, will continue on an annual basis.
From 2021, within the context of the Gewandhausorchester’s and the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s burgeoning artistic alliance, a focus of Andris Nelsons’ endeavours will be the symphonic oeuvre of Richard Strauss. The project will culminate in 2022 with an extensive tour featuring both these celebrated orchestras with residencies in Europe’s major musical centres.