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Boston Symphony Orchestra

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 8 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Shostakovich’s colossal “Leningrad” Symphony honors the composer’s native city and its heroism during the 900-day siege it suffered during World War II. While the work does not have a program, visions of war, mechanized invaders, and ultimate victory are conjured with striking power. There’s also the premiere of a new work from legendary Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina that’s part of Carnegie Hall’s ongoing 125 Commissions Project.


Boston Symphony Orchestra
Andris Nelsons, Music Director and Conductor
Baiba Skride, Violin
Harriet Krijgh, Cello
Elsbeth Moser, Bayan


SOFIA GUBAIDULINA Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Bayan (NY Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)

SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 7, "Leningrad"

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission. Please note that there will be no late seating before intermission.

Lead support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Public support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Additional funding is provided by members of Carnegie Hall's Composer Club.

At a Glance

A generation younger than Dmitri Shostakovich, Sofia Gubaidulina is one of many Russian-born composers who came of age under the influence of his work. Recognized now as one of the great living composers in her own right, Gubaidulina was scarcely known in the West until the early 1980s, but her reputation spread rapidly as such world-famous musicians as Gidon Kremer and Mstislav Rostropovich began championing her music. Her latest concerto, premiered last week by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, is for three instruments she has featured individually in a number of concertos: violin, cello, and bayan (the Russian chromatic button accordion). The variety of timbres and performance styles among the three soloists, and their contrast (as both individuals and as a trio) with the orchestral body, make for an intense and dynamic interplay.

Arguably the greatest symphonist of the 20th century, Shostakovich was 35 when he composed his epic, 75-minute Symphony No. 7, the so-called “Leningrad,” during the German army’s siege of that city, which lasted from September 1941 to February 1943. Viewed as a symbol of Soviet and, later, Allied resistance to Nazi aggression, the symphony was completed in December 1941 and premiered in Russia in March 1942, the surrounding circumstances generating such interest that several leading conductors vied for the honor of giving the American premiere, which took place that July in an NBC Symphony broadcast led by Arturo Toscanini. The American concert premiere followed in August at Tanglewood, with Serge Koussevitzky leading the Berkshire Music Center Orchestra in a “Gala Benefit for Russian War Relief.” Shostakovich, who had actually begun thinking about a seventh symphony prior to the siege, suggested that the content of the work had primarily to do with the scourge of oppression in general, with the 30-minute first movement—a sort of “mass requiem”—representing war, “break[ing] suddenly into our peaceful life.” The remaining three movements offer an emotionally compelling succession of contrasting moods, imbuing the whole with dramatic and powerful cumulative impact.


Andris Nelsons

In 2016-2017, his third season as the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Ray and Maria Stata Music Director, Andris Nelsons leads the BSO in 14 wide-ranging subscription ...

In 2016-2017, his third season as the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Ray and Maria Stata Music Director, Andris Nelsons leads the BSO in 14 wide-ranging subscription programs at Symphony Hall, repeating three of them at Carnegie Hall, followed by two concerts in Montreal and Toronto. In the summer of 2015, following his first season as music director, his contract with the Boston Symphony Orchestra was extended through the 2021-2022 season. In 2017-2018, he becomes Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, in which capacity he will also bring both orchestras together for a unique multidimensional alliance. He and the Boston Symphony Orchestra have made two European tours, following the 2015 Tanglewood season and in May 2016.

The 15th music director in the history of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Nelsons made his BSO debut at Carnegie Hall in March 2011 and his Tanglewood debut in July 2012. His first CD with the BSO-live recordings of Wagner's Tannhäuser Overture and Sibelius's Symphony No. 2-was released in November 2014 on BSO Classics. In an ongoing, multi-year collaboration with Deutsche Grammophon, he and the BSO will release live recordings of Shostakovich's complete symphonies, the opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, and other works by the composer. The first two releases in this series (featuring symphonies nos. 5, 8, 9, and 10) won the Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance in 2016 and 2017.

In the next few seasons, Mr. Nelsons continues his collaborations with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Philharmonia Orchestra. A regular guest at the Royal Opera House, Vienna State Opera, and Metropolitan Opera, he was critically acclaimed as music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra from 2008 to 2015.

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 2013 DVD from Orfeo, a documentary film entitled Andris Nelsons: Genius on Fire

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Baiba Skride

Baiba Skride has appeared with some of today's most important orchestras worldwide, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Royal Concertgebouw  ...

Baiba Skride has appeared with some of today's most important orchestras worldwide, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, and NHK Symphony Orchestra. Notable conductors with whom she has collaborated include Christoph Eschenbach, Thierry Fischer, Paavo Järvi, Neeme Järvi, Andris Nelsons, Santtu-Matias Rouvali, Vasily Petrenko, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, John Storgårds, and Kazuki Yamada. European highlights for 2016-2017 include debuts with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai, and Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona. She returns to the Vienna Symphony with Gustavo Gimeno, the Royal Stockholm and Bergen philharmonic orchestras, Copenhagen Philharmonic, and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic under Vasily Petrenko. She opens the season for the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra with Alain Altinoglu before touring Northern Europe. Further afield, she performs with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra and the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, and returns to the Sydney, Tasmanian, and Western Australian symphony orchestras. In February 2016, Ms. Skride made her acclaimed New York Philharmonic debut under Christoph Eschenbach. The current season brings appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and The Cleveland Orchestra, as well as with the Boston Symphony Orchestra for the world premiere of Sofia Gubaidulina's Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Bayan. A sought-after chamber musician, she regularly performs at such festivals and venues as the Concertgebouw, London's Wigmore Hall, Palais des Beaux-Arts Brussels, Bad Kissingen, and Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. In 2016-2017, she performs a new piano quartet with Lauma Skride, Harriet Krijgh, and Lise Berthaud at the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, Malmö Chamber Festival, and BASF Ludwigshafen. Other artists with whom she collaborates include Bertrand Chamayou, Brett Dean, Sol Gabetta, Alban Gerhardt, Xavier de Maistre, and Daniel Müller-Schott. Baiba Skride was born into a musical Latvian family in Riga, where she began her studies, transferring in 1995 to the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Rostock. In 2001, she won first prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition. Ms. Skride plays the Yfrah Neaman Stradivarius, kindly loaned to her by the Neaman family through the Beare's International Violin Society. 

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Harriet Krijgh

Harriet Krijgh is one of today's most exciting and promising young cellists; her 2016-2017 season brings debuts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Andris Nelsons ...

Harriet Krijgh is one of today's most exciting and promising young cellists; her 2016-2017 season brings debuts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Andris Nelsons and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under Robert Spano, and North American recital debuts in San Francisco, Vancouver, and at Lincoln Center. Ms. Krijgh has performed with such orchestras as the Frankfurt and Vienna radio symphony orchestras, Bruckner Orchester Linz, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, and Copenhagen Philharmonic. Other recent highlights include her London Philharmonic Orchestra debut, a tour with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields under Sir Neville Marriner, and performances with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Bamberg Symphony, and radio symphony orchestras of Berlin, Hamburg, and Vienna. This season she is featured in a four-concert cycle in Vienna's Musikverein and also performs in Amsterdam, The Hague, Budapest, Hamburg, Baden-Baden, and Ludwigshafen. She has participated in the Lucerne, Ghent, and Gstaad festivals, and the Malmö Chamber Music Festival. In quartet she performs with Baiba Skride, Lauma Skride, and Lise Berthaud, as well as with the Signum Saxophone Quartet and in Wigmore Hall with the Pavel Haas Quartet. In June 2017, she becomes artistic director of the International Chamber Music Festival Utrecht, succeeding Janine Jansen. In 2012, she founded the "Harriet & Friends" Festival, which takes place every summer in Feistritz. Her many honors include the first prize and audience award at the 2012 Cello Biënnale Amsterdam in her native Holland and the WEMAG-Soloists prize at the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in 2013. In 2015-2016, she was named a Rising Star of the European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO), performing in Europe's major concert halls. For the Capriccio label she has recorded Haydn's cello concertos, a duo CD of French works, the cello sonatas of Brahms and Rachmaninoff, and a CD of Romantic works with the Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz under Gustavo Gimeno. Born in the Netherlands in 1991, Harriet Krijgh studied in the class of Lenian Benjamins at the Music College in Utrecht, subsequently studying with Lilia Schulz-Bayrova at the Vienna Conservatory and Frans Helmerson at the Kronberg Academy. She plays a Giovanni Paolo Maggini cello from 1620, which is generously loaned to her privately.

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Elsbeth Moser

Born in Bern, Switzerland, accordionist Elsbeth Moser is also a highly successful teacher. One of the world's outstanding artists on her instrument, she has toured ...

Born in Bern, Switzerland, accordionist Elsbeth Moser is also a highly successful teacher. One of the world's outstanding artists on her instrument, she has toured worldwide. She studied accordion and piano at the Bern Conservatory and at the Music Academy in Trossingen. Appointed a professor at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien in Hanover in 1983, she was made an honorary professor of the Tianjin Conservatory of Music in 1998, and is a guest professor at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and at the University of Pula (Croatia). Many of her students have achieved international success as soloists, chamber music performers, or teachers. Among Ms. Moser's honors are first prizes in such competitions as Evian (1969) and Annemasse (1972), the Bernhard Sprengel Prize of the city of Hanover (1979), and the Order of Merit awarded in 1997 by Federal President Roman Herzog for her contribution to the establishment of the accordion as a concert instrument. Ms. Moser's international breakthrough came when violinist Gidon Kremer invited her to the Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival, where they gave the Western premiere of Sofia Gubaidulina's Seven Words with cellist David Geringas and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen under the direction of Mario Venzago. Ms. Moser and Mr. Kremer have since performed this work with such cellists as Maria Kliegel, Karine Georgian, Heinrich Schiff, Boris Pergamenschikow, Vladimir Toncha, and Torleif Thedéen, accompanied by, among others, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Kremerata Baltica, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and the Munich Chamber Orchestra. Sofia Gubaidulina dedicated Silenzio--a work for bayan, violin, and cello--to Ms. Moser. The accordionist has been invited to such festivals as Lockenhaus, Sigulda, Holland, Les muséiques (Basel), Riffelalp (Zermatt, Switzerland), Rheingau, Melos-Ethos (Bratislava), and 2days-2Nights (Odessa, Ukraine). She co-founded the quintet "that," for which Sofia Gubaidulina, Vinko Globokar, and Nicolaus A. Huber have composed commissioned works. The ECM recording of Gubaidulina works featuring Ms. Moser and Boris Pergamenschikow was awarded the Star of the Month by the magazine Fono Forum. Sikorski Music has published Ms. Moser's instructional book about the bayan.

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