The conductor Andris Nelsons, music director-designate of the Boston Symphony Orchestra has announced that he will not be renewing his contract with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra when it expires at the end of the summer in 2015. 'I have enjoyed five great seasons with this incredible orchestra and, while I look forward to another two in my current role, this difficult decision comes in view of my new position with the Boston Symphony Orchestra alongside my wish to protect precious time with my young family,' he said.
He takes up his role in Boston at the start of the 2014-15 season and currently serves as the orchestra's music director designate. His profile in Birmingham will remain high over the next seasons as he will conduct the CBSO in more than 90 concerts and will undertake a major touring programme that will include 35 concerts overseas.
Stephen Maddock, the CBSO's chief executive, commented that 'Andris is one in a line of conducting superstars that have taken the role of music director in the last 35 years. Sir Simon Rattle, appointed at just 25 years old, held the post for 18 years before moving to the Berlin Philharmonic. He then passed the baton to the superbly talented Sakari Oramo who is now with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. As Andris heads to the Boston Symphony Orchestra it’s clear to everyone that we have very good taste in music directors and, whilst our search for our next music director is only just beginning, you can trust the CBSO to bring another outstanding talent to the podium in Birmingham.'
Among the projects scheduled for this coming season are highly anticipated concerts to mark the 150th birthday of Richard Strauss featuring the Symphonia domestica, the Four Last Songs (with Erin Wall) and Don Juan, and a concert performance of Der Rosenkavalier with Soile Isokoski as the Marschallin, Alice Coote as Octavian, Sophie Bevan as Sophie and Franz Hawlata as Ochs (May 24).
A documentary about Andris Nelsons, 'Genius on Fire', has just been released on DVD by Orfeo (the company for whom Nelsons has made a number of critically acclaimed recordings). Directed by Astrid Bscher, the film follows Nelsons for two years from his home in Riga via engagements in England and Germany and includes interviews with Sir Simon Rattle and Daniel Barenboim