Performance Wednesday, April 15, 2015 | 8 PM

Boston Symphony Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
“Nelsons … very rarely give[s] a standard performance … His music making … project[s] freshness and a viscerally in-the-moment quality …” wrote The Boston Globe of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and its exciting new music director. Andris Nelsons and the orchestra present a fascinating program that includes the New York premiere of a work by Gunther Schuller, a beloved Mozart concerto, and Strauss’s sumptuously scored tone poem Ein Heldenleben.

The contemporary work on this program is part of My Time, My Music.


  • Boston Symphony Orchestra
    Andris Nelsons, Music Director and Conductor
  • Richard Goode, Piano


  • GUNTHER SCHULLER Dreamscape (NY Premiere)
  • MOZART Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-flat Major, K. 595
  • R. STRAUSS Ein Heldenleben

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.


  • Andris Nelsons

    Andris Nelsons begins his tenure as the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Ray and Maria Stata Music Director with the 2014-2015 season, during which he leads the orchestra in 10 programs at Symphony Hall, repeating three of them at Carnegie Hall. Mr. Nelsons made his BSO debut at Carnegie Hall in March 2011, conducting Mahler's Symphony No. 9; he made his Tanglewood debut in July 2012, leading both the BSO and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra as part of Tanglewood's 75th Anniversary Gala (a concert available on DVD and Blu-ray, and telecast nationwide on PBS). He is the 15th music director in the history of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. His first compact disc with the BSO (also available as a download)--live recordings of Wagner's Tannhäuser Overture and Sibelius's Symphony No. 2, from concert performances given this past fall at Symphony Hall in Boston--was released on BSO Classics in November.

    Maestro Nelsons has been critically acclaimed as music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra since assuming that post in 2008; he remains at the helm of that orchestra until summer 2015. Over the next few seasons he will continue collaborations with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Philharmonia Orchestra. He is a regular guest at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; the Vienna State Opera; and the Metropolitan Opera. In summer 2014, he returned to the Bayreuth Festival to conduct Lohengrin, a production by Hans Neuenfels that Mr. Nelsons premiered there in 2010.

    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 principal conductor of the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie in Herford, Germany, from 2006 to 2009 and music director of the Latvian National Opera from 2003 to 2007. Mr. Nelsons is the subject of a recent DVD from Orfeo, a documentary film entitled Andris Nelsons: Genius on Fire.

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  • Richard Goode

    A leading interpreter of Classical and Romantic music, Richard Goode is acclaimed for his performances with major orchestras, recitals in the world's music capitals, and his extensive discography. Recent performances have included appearances with the New York Philharmonic under David Zinman, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra under Peter Oundjian, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Mark Elder, and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin under Herbert Blomstedt, as well as an all-Mozart chamber music concert with members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Recital appearances have taken him to Wigmore Hall, Piano aux Jacobins Toulouse, the Aldeburgh Festival, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, and major concert halls across the United States, including Carnegie Hall.

    A native of New York, Mr. Goode studied with Nadia Reisenberg at Mannes College of Music and with Rudolf Serkin at the Curtis Institute of Music. His numerous prizes over the years include the Young Concert Artists Award, first prize in the Clara Haskil Competition, the Avery Fisher Prize, and a Grammy Award. His first public performance of the complete Beethoven sonata cycle at New York's 92nd Street Y in 1987-1988 garnered critical acclaim; he later performed the cycle at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall in 1994 and 1995. Mr. Goode continues to perform across Europe and the United States. An exclusive Nonesuch recording artist, he has made more than two dozen recordings, ranging from solo and chamber works to Lieder and concertos. His 2009 recording of the five Beethoven concertos with Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra was nominated for a Grammy. His 10-CD set of the complete Beethoven sonata cycle, the first ever by an American-born pianist, was nominated for a Grammy and chosen for the Gramophone Good CD Guide. Other recordings include a series of Bach partitas, a duo-recording with Dawn Upshaw, and Mozart piano concertos with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. He and Mitsuko Uchida serve as co-artistic directors of the Marlboro Music School and Festival in Marlboro, Vermont. Richard Goode is married to violinist Marcia Weinfeld; when they are not on tour, they and their collection of some 5,000 volumes live in New York City.

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Mozart Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-flat Major, K. 595 (Allegro)
Richard Goode, Piano | Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Nonesuch Records

At a Glance

Gunther Schuller’s Dreamscape was commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra for the 75th anniversary of Tanglewood, where the composer led the premiere in 2012 with the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra. According to Schuller, this brief, scintillatingly colorful, symphony-like work came to him wholly in a dream in remarkable detail—hence its title. Its personal aspects and use of quotation also make it a neat companion for Richard Strauss’s novelistic tone poem Ein Heldenleben, which closes this program.

Mozart made the genre of the piano concerto uniquely his own, one in which he could simultaneously exhibit his talent as both composer and performer. He premiered his autumnal last concerto—No. 27 in B-flat Major, K. 595, from 1791, the year of his death—not in a concert of his own, however, but in one given by the distinguished clarinetist Joseph Bähr; it was the final concert appearance of Mozart’s life. K. 595 is a work of symphonic scope and scale, with touches of pathos tingeing its warm and engaging personality.

Strauss completed EinHeldenleben in 1898 as the culmination of his series of immensely accomplished, innovative tone poems (symphonic works based on an explicit narrative idea) composed during the previous decade, including Don Juan, Tod und Verklärung, Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, Also sprach Zarathustra, and Don Quixote, all of which remain solidly in the orchestral repertoire. Ein Heldenleben is apparently a musical self-portrait—somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but serious and substantial in the breadth of its content and the sheer virtuosity of its treatment of the orchestra. Cast in several episodes, the piece finds its protagonist battling his critics, sharing blissful time with his wife, reminiscing about his “works for peace”—in an extended passage quoting from Strauss’s earlier music—and finally removing himself from worldly care.
Program Notes
This performance is part of Great Piano Concertos, and Concertos Plus.