Review: Nelsons opens first season as BSO’s music director

Posted on: September 30, 2014

“Before a packed and expectant Symphony Hall, the 35-year-old Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons, looking humbled yet poised, stepped onto the podium of the BSO and gave the downbeat as its 15th music director, the youngest in over a century,” writes Jeremy Eichler in Monday’s (9/29) Boston Globe. “Television cameras from PBS swooped on long booms. Music critics from national media outlets came to Boston for the night.… Indeed his tenure at the BSO has just begun, but he already has the ears of the music world far beyond Boston. What will he be giving us to hear? On Saturday night, the answer was a festive gala program made up of operatic excerpts, with two topflight singers, tenor Jonas Kaufmann and soprano Kristine Opolais (Nelsons’s wife).… The night opened with the overture to Wagner’s ‘Tannhäuser,’ continued with opera excerpts from Wagner, Mascagni, and Puccini, and was capped by Respighi’s … the ‘Pines of Rome.’ … [Nelsons’] most important gift at this point may be his ability to serve as a catalyst, to inspire freshly energetic playing from an orchestra, and to convey a sense that a performance is not another event on a high-culture assembly line but rather an act of spontaneous creation.”

Posted September 30, 2014