With record ticket sales and substantial critical praise Andris Nelsons’s first season as the City of Birmingham Symphony’s music director has been felt to be a great success. It therefore comes as small surprise that the 30-year-old Latvian conductor, who was initially hired on a three-year contract, has now extended his tenure until 2014.
According to CBSO chief executive Stephen Maddock, Nelsons has made a “phenomenal” impact “on the Orchestra, on Birmingham audiences and on our recording and touring activities.”
“It’s a great tribute to the musicians of the CBSO family and to the dynamism of this great city that such a talented and sought-after conductor has chosen to make Birmingham his musical home,” adds Maddock.
The 2008-09 season exceeded the orchestra’s previously best-selling selling season by more than 4 per cent. Nelsons conducted 27 concerts in Birmingham, and also appeared in Lucerne, Gstaad, Bonn and Berlin Festivals for the first time with the orchestra in August and September. The CBSO recently finished recording Stravinsky’s complete ballet The Firebird for Orfeo records under Nelsons. Their first recording for the label – of Tchaikovsky’s Hamlet and Symphony No 5 – is reviewed in the October issue of Gramophone.