Nelsons extends BSO contract through 2022

August 6, 2015 at 7:56 am

By Aaron Keebaugh

Andris Nelsons Photo: Marco Borggreve

Andris Nelsons
Photo: Marco Borggreve

Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra announced this week that they have reached agreement to extend Nelsons’ contract as music director through the 2021-2022 season.

Nelsons’ initial five-year contract, which began in the 2014-2015 season, will be replaced with an eight-year contract that also includes an “evergreen clause” that reflects the desire for a long-term commitment that could stretch beyond 2022.

The contract stipulates that Nelsons leads twelve weeks of programs at Symphony Hall during the regular season as well as several engagements with the orchestra at Tanglewood during the summer. Annual tours–including concert trips to Europe, Asia, and North America–are also planned for each season during Nelsons’ tenure.

In their first year together, the conductor and orchestra have signed media contracts with Deutsche Grammophon and Google, and their performances have received acclaim from audiences and critics alike. The mutual enthusiasm and admiration that Nelsons and the BSO musicians have for each other is reflected in the new agreement.

“This is a significant opportunity for me and the orchestra to work together on deeper levels, artistically and musically,” Nelsons said in a statement released by the BSO.  “It is particularly through this kind of closeness in our work together that we will be able to go much further in our growth, in the hope to realize inspirational performances and embrace new audiences with wonderful music.”

“After a wonderfully successful first year as music director, it is clear that the BSO under Andris Nelsons’ leadership is poised to experience another thrilling period in its 134-year storied history,” said Mark Volpe, BSO managing director. “Andris’s magnificent musicianship, his extraordinary generosity of spirit, and his deeply felt enthusiasm for music and for life, have brought the BSO and its audiences a whole new level of appreciation for the transformative power of great music resulting from a partnership between conductor and orchestra that resounds so affirmatively on every level of interaction.”

Speaking on behalf of musicians of the orchestra, BSO principal French horn James Sommerville stated that, “The opportunity to work closely with Maestro Nelsons during his first season as music director has deepened our faith in his outstanding musical gifts, his passion for our art, and his warm, genuine and sincere nature.”

“The performances we have shared have been electrifying and inspired, and the respect he so clearly feels for the players at every rehearsal, performance, and social interaction, has proved to be a revitalizing force to our orchestra. . . . We look forward to many of these glorious moments together with Maestro Nelsons over the coming years.”

News of the agreement comes on the heels of Nelsons’ and the BSO’s first release on Deutsche Grammophon from their planned multi-season Shostakovich project, which spotlights the composer’s symphonies. The new disc, entitled Shostakovich Under Stalin’s Shadow, features live recordings of Symphony No. 10 and the Passacaglia from Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk.

Nelsons is scheduled to lead concerts at Tanglewood during the next two weekends. Performances will include Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra Saturday night and Mahler’s Symphony No. 6 with the BSO on August 14.

Following Tanglewood, Nelsons will embark on his first European festival tour with the BSO, which will run from August 22 through September 5.

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One Response to “Nelsons extends BSO contract through 2022”

  1. Posted Aug 09, 2015 at 7:29 pm by Gary Engler

    Bravo! This is well deserved! Maestro Nelsons has returned the BSO to a truly world-class ensemble. I’ve enjoyed many concerts at Symphony Hall and at Tanglewood (most recently this past week, which concluded with a magnificent Mahler 8 with the TMC orchestra) and look forward to hearing many more memorable performances under his baton!