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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.
Born in Lvov, Poland, Emanuel Ax moved to Winnipeg, Canada, with his family as a young boy. He studied at The Juilliard School and Columbia University, and captured public attention in 1974 as winner of the first Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv. In 1975, he won the Michaels Award of Young Concert Artists, followed four years later by the Avery Fisher Prize. An exponent of contemporary composers-with works written for him by John Adams, Christopher Rouse, Krzysztof Penderecki, Bright Sheng, and Melinda Wagner-he features two newly commissioned works this season. He performs the world premiere of HK Gruber's Piano Concerto with the New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert, followed by the European premiere with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle. His recital program for the season includes works by Schubert and Chopin partnered with Samuel Adams's Impromptus, commissioned by Music Accord and inspired by Schubert. His ongoing relationship with the Boston Symphony Orchestra includes concerts in Montreal and Toronto; with The Cleveland Orchestra, he was the featured artist for the season-opening gala; and he returns to the orchestras of Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Toronto, Seattle, Milwaukee, and Detroit. An exclusive Sony Classical recording artist since 1987, he received Grammys for the second and third volumes of his Haydn piano sonata cycle. Other releases include Grammy-winning recordings of the Beethoven and Brahms sonatas for cello and piano with Yo-Yo Ma; Mendelssohn trios with Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman; discs of two-piano music by Brahms and Rachmaninoff with Yefim Bronfman; three solo Brahms albums; tangos by Astor Piazzolla; and the premiere recording of John Adams's Century Rolls. In the 2004-2005 season, Mr. Ax contributed to an International Emmy-winning BBC documentary commemorating the Holocaust that aired on the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. In chamber music, he has worked regularly with such artists as Young Uck Kim, Cho-Liang Lin, Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Peter Serkin, Jaime Laredo, and the late Isaac Stern. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he holds honorary doctorates from Yale and Columbia universities