Andris Nelsons © Peter Fischli/Lucerne Festival
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Andris Nelsons © Peter Fischli/Lucerne Festival
Symphony Concert 7
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra | Andris Nelsons
Anton Bruckner knew that he owed everything solely to the power of God. “Among thousands, God has granted me this grace and given this talent to me, only me,” he declared. “Some day I will have to be accountable to him.” His Eighth Symphony fulfills this purpose with the bloodcurdling, violent power of its themes and dramatic climaxes, its chorale-like hymns, and also the supernatural beauty of immaterial sounds, spanning an arc from deep despair to religious ecstasy. “Bruckner occupied himself with the same existential questions and doubts as all of us – and that is why his music has so much to tell us today,” according to Andris Nelsons, who compares the result to a pilgrimage. “He invites us to accompany him and to continue with him on our path of life in search of humanity, love, and compassion. Bruckner’s music is not aimed at a particular age group or religion but speaks to all people, giving us a glimpse into the universe. And I feel how it brings me closer to God.”
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig © Gert Mothes
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
The Gewandhausorchester Leipzig is among the oldest civic music institutions in the world. Its roots go back to 1743, when a group of Leipzig merchants founded a society called “The Grand Concert.” In 1781 the Orchestra moved into its signature concert hall, a building used by textile merchants (the “Gewandhaus”), which gave the ensemble its name. Felix Mendelssohn, who took on the position of Music Director in 1835 – becoming its first conductor in the modern sense of the term – established the ensemble’s European reputation. His successors have included Carl Reinecke (1860–95), Arthur Nikisch (1895–1922), Wilhelm Furtwängler (1922–28), Bruno Walter (1929–33), Franz Konwitschny (1949–62), Kurt Masur (1970–96), and Herbert Blomstedt (1998–2005). From 2005 until the summer of 2016 Riccardo Chailly helmed the ensemble; in the 2017-18 season Andris Nelsons will take on that role. The ensemble performs operas and symphony concerts, as well as sacred music with the famous Thomaner Boys’ Choir at the Thomaskirche. The Gewandhausorchester has played an essential role in the development of symphonic music: Beethoven’s complete symphonies already formed part of its repertoire during the composer’s lifetime, and the world’s first Bruckner cycle was performed in Leipzig, as was the first complete cycle of Shostakovich symphonies. Numerous works have been given their world premieres by the Orchestra, including Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, Schubert’s Great Symphony in C major, Schumann’s Spring Symphony, and Brahms’s Violin Concerto. Under Chailly’s direction the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig has in recent years undertaken such recording projects as a Beethoven symphony cycle and all the orchestral works of Brahms, which have garnered many international awards. At the end of 2016 their Mahler cycle with Chailly, which was launched in 2011, will be released on DVD.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 8 September 1998, with Herbert Blomstedt conducting the Third Symphonies of Honegger and Bruckner.
For further information on this ensemble, visit their homepage at: www.gewandhaus.de
August 2016Other dates
Andris Nelsons © Marco Borggreve
Born in Riga in 1978, Andris Nelsons grew up in a family of musicians and began his career as a trumpeter at the Latvian National Opera. In parallel to this, he continued his education as a conductor, studying this discipline with Alexander Titov in St. Petersburg and taking private lessons with Mariss Jansons. As early as 2003, Nelsons was appointed Principal Conductor of the Latvian National Opera, which post he held for four years. From 2008 to June 2015, he subsequently helmed the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Since 2014, he has served as Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and he has also held the position of Gewandhaus Kapellmeister with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra since February 2018. Within a brief period, Nelsons succeeded in becoming a regular guest conductor of leading international orchestras and major opera companies. He has conducted at the Vienna, Munich, and Berlin State Opera companies; the Metropolitan Opera in New York; the Royal Opera House in London; and the Bayreuth Festival. He performs regularly with the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. LUCERNE FESTIVAL gave him the distinction of naming Nelsons “artiste étoile” in 2012 and engaged him to conduct several concerts of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA in 2014 and 2015. Andris Nelsons’s recordings have received many international awards. He is currently working with the Boston Symphony Orchestra on a Shostakovich cycle that includes all of the symphonies and the opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk; the first two CDs of the series have earned Grammy Awards. In 2019 he will release accounts of all nine Beethoven symphonies with the Vienna Philharmonic.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 31 August 2009 with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in works by Britten, Berlioz, Debussy, and Ravel.
17.30 | KKL Luzern, Auditorium
Concert Introduction with Susanne Stähr (in German)