Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Who’s Andris Nelsons? The Latvian conductor and his finest recordings


He is some of the acclaimed conductors at present working, famed for his vitality and keenness, and is at present chief of two of the world’s most revered orchestras. Right here is our introduction to Andris Nelsons.

Who’s Andris Nelsons?

Andris Nelsons is a conductor, born in Latvia. He is now one of many world’s most revered and admired conductors, recognized specifically for his interpretations of the symphonies of Shostakovich, Mahler and Bruckner.

What orchestras does Andris Nelsons conduct?

Andris Nelsons is at present music director of each the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. Each these orchestras featured in our record of the world’s finest orchestras.

How previous is Andris Nelsons?

Andris Nelsons was born on 18 November, 1978.

The place was Andris Nelsons born?

Nelsons was born within the Latvian capital, Riga.

Did he come come from a musical background?

Sure. Nelsons’s father was a choral conductor, cellist, and instructor, whereas his mom based Latvia’s first early music ensemble.

Nelsons was simply 5 when his mom and stepfather (one other musical determine: he was a choir conductor) took him to a efficiency of Wagner‘s opera Tannhäuser. This expertise had a profound impact on the longer term conductor.

‘It had a hypnotic impact on me,’ he has recalled. ‘I used to be overwhelmed by the music. I cried when Tannhäuser died. I nonetheless suppose this was the largest factor that occurred in my childhood.’

The younger Nelsons realized piano and trumpet (taking part in the latter for the orchestra of the Latvian Nationwide Opera). He additionally sang bass-baritone in his mom’s ensemble.

How did Andris Nelsons get into conducting?

After learning conducting in Saint Petersburg and taking masterclasses with conductors together with Neeme Järvi, Nelsons was noticed by fellow Latvian conductor Mariss Jansons, who has acted as a mentor for him.

Which different orchestras has Nelsons carried out?

Earlier than the Boston and Leipzig jobs, Nelsons was chief conductor on the Metropolis of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

Who’re Andris Nelsons’s favorite composers?

In a 2018 interview, Andris Nelsons informed us: ‘Mahler may be very particular for me (…) Each be aware in Mahler you must give 100 per cent. He isn’t a composer the place it can save you it at some moments and perhaps give 120 per cent somewhere else. I believe you must burn your self, Mahler requires it.’

Nelsons can be a famous conductor of Shostakovich, having carried out your entire cycle of 15 Shostakovich symphonies with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Take a look at our 15 Shostakovich symphony guides, written by one other famous Shostakovich conductor, Vasily Petrenko.

What has Nelsons mentioned concerning the joys and challenges of conducting totally different orchestras?

‘In a single sense conducting is a nationwide, international language the place one gesture means the identical in a single continent because it does in one other,’ Nelsons informed us in our 2018 interview. ‘After all as a conductor that’s your language, your method – your gestures, your face, the vitality, or charisma.

‘It’s like so many languages; I imply you look to the Baltic states, it’s a small territory comparatively talking, and there are such a lot of nations and every has totally different languages. A few of these nations don’t have anything to do with one another, like Latvian is nothing to do with Estonian, or Russian, or Lithuanian, but they’re so shut they usually perceive one another’s existence and traditions. However they’re additionally so totally different they usually wish to cherish their id and maintain that.

Extra like this

‘Within the orchestra world I discover it’s the identical; there’s a common understanding, however there’s a very particular person, private method – the style, the color, the aftertaste. I’m comparatively younger, however by some means the thought of this I’m very a lot interested in.’

Andris Nelsons: finest recordings

Shostakovich: Symphonies 5, 8 & 9 / Hamlet Suite
Boston Symphony Orchestra
DG 479 5201

From our overview: ‘This Eighth goes even additional [than Nelsons’s previous acclaimed account of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10], if solely as a result of this most adamantine of the 15 symphonies calls for even higher focus from performers and listeners.

‘The sound is an important part: to listen to the very best frequencies of shrill piccolos and the presence of the bass within the largest vertical shocks is to conjure up photographs of skyscrapers burning and toppling. And but alongside Nelsons’s distinctive feeling for rubato, the sheer expressive fantastic thing about the string taking part in, the fixed surprises when the torch passes to the numerous aching or screaming woodwind solos and ensembles additionally symbolize a tonal sophistication past Mravinsky’s and Rozhdestvensky’s Soviet ensembles.’

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