“He is, quite simply, a commanding presence, without a trace of ego, intent only on creating music and pulsating energy.” — The Guardian, November 2007
Latvian-born ANDRIS NELSONS is the newly appointed Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, starting from the 2008/09 season. While he is still in the early stages of an international career, this achievement in particular has already distinguished the name of Andris Nelsons as one of the most promising young conductors today.
Without exception, Nelsons has been invited to return to every orchestra with whom he has made his debut. These have lately included the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, NDR-Sinfonieorchester, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, and the Royal Stockholm, Helsinki, Oslo, and BBC Philharmonic Orchestras. Beyond these, the future holds further significant debuts with the Concertgebouw Orkest, the Orchestre National de France, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, and, this evening, the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Soloists Nelsons works with include Sarah Chang, Håkan Hardenberger, Gidon Kremer, Mischa Maisky, Olli Mustonen, and Baiba Skride.
Nelsons was Principal Conductor of Latvian National Opera from 2003-2007. He made his German opera debut in January 2007 at Deutsche Oper Berlin with performances of La bohème, and returned in June 2007 to lead their annual Wagner performance with Deborah Voigt; in May 2009, he returns again to conduct Eugene Onegin. Further debuts in 2008 include Turandot, both at the Hamburgische Staatsoper and at the Staatsoper Berlin. In June 2008, he made his debut at the Wiener Staatsoper with Pique Dame, and will return in the 2008/09 season to conduct Tosca and Madame Butterfly. In the 2009/10 season, Nelsons will perform for the first time at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and, in summer 2010, he will make his debut at the Bayreuther Festspiele, conducting Lohengrin.
Nelsons’ first commercial recording – a recording of Shostakovich’s two Violin Concertos with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and violinist Arabella Steinbacher – was released by Orfeo Records at the end of 2006. The disc received the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik in 2007. A Sony recording of Tchaikovsky works, with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and violinist Baiba Skride, has just been released internationally.
Born in Riga in 1978 into a family of musicians, Andris Nelsons began his career in music as a trumpeter in the Latvian National Opera Orchestra. He has also won many prizes for his singing. He was recipient of the prestigious Latvian Grand Music Award for outstanding achievement in music in 2001 and, after graduating that same year, went to St. Petersburg to study conducting with Professor Alexander Titov. He has been studying privately with Mariss Jansons since 2002 and is currently the Principal Conductor of the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie in Herford, Germany.