In a seemingly accidental leak, the website of the Leipzig Gewandhaus revealed briefly this morning (before substituting a notice that “an important announcement would come tomorrow”) that Andris Nelsons would become its 21st Kapellmeister in its 2017/18 season. Clicking on the link brought no additional detail, nor did clicking on the intriguing notice of a “New Alliance” between the BSO and Leipzig orchestras. The BSO press office released an official statement a couple of hours after our posting. It begins, “The BSO is announcing a multi-dimensional relationship with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra that will coincide with the appointment of Andris Nelsons as the Gewandhaus Kapellmeister. This strategic alliance will allow Andris to consolidate the core of his European work in a place that shares a musical heritage with the BSO.”
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I hope it’s okay with Alex Ross and the Publisher of BMInt if I copy the following comment from Mr. Ross.
“Reviewing Andris Nelsons’s first concerts as the music director of the Boston Symphony last fall, I wrote: ‘What Boston requires most from this hugely gifted, still maturing conductor is his full attention.’ With the announcement today that Nelsons will become the Kapellmeister of the Leipzig Gewandhaus in 2017, it’s clear that Boston won’t be getting it. I concur with the Twitter reaction of my New Yorker colleague Leo Carey: ‘Stars too powerful. Music needs wider pool of performers considered bankable. Orchestras need committed directors.'”
Comment by Joe Whipple — September 9, 2015 at 4:56 pm
I was never among those who complained that James Levine couldn’t serve both MET and Boston, and despite what Alex Ross says, I’m not sure that the BSO will get short shrift (although I’m surprised), but I do wonder what the critics if the Levine arrangement will say about this trans-Atlantic division of responsibilities.
Comment by Joe Whipple — September 9, 2015 at 5:00 pm
The estimable Lloyd Schwarz has this to say:
Comment by Martin Cohn — September 10, 2015 at 10:06 am
If he really is putting the dampers on guest appearances in Berlin, Amsterdam, Vienna, London (onstage and in the pit), having a mere two orchestras may be a bit of a relief. Especially if he can share programming between them.
Comment by Camilli — September 14, 2015 at 6:31 pm
Also, while the particular institutions may change the dynamic, I’ve got to believe that running an orchestra would be much less taxing on the non-musical front than being at the top of an opera house.
Comment by Camilli — September 14, 2015 at 6:35 pm
>> estimable Lloyd Schwarz has this to say
Huh? Not any analysis by him, or close; he has nothing to observe and puzzle beyond what everyone here and everywhere else is saying.
Comment by David Moran — September 14, 2015 at 8:38 pm
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