Andris Nelsons, galvanizing presence at the Boston Symphony

Posted on: November 25, 2014

In the December 1 issue of the New Yorker, Alex Ross writes that the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s new music director, Andris Nelsons, is a “galvanic presence, and has the orchestra playing in wide-awake fashion…. A former martial-arts student, Nelsons lunges about uninhibitedly, violating textbook rules about the wisdom of minimizing one’s gestures. I imagine that Boston players have already mastered imitations of his signature moves: the Backward Lean, the Extreme Crouch, the Trapeze Grab, the Across-the-Table Ice-Cream Scoop. … This fall, the Nelsons effect was most evident toward the end of two familiar scores: in the accelerating crescendo into the finale of Sibelius’s Second Symphony … and in the ‘Danse Sacrale’ of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, which hurtled forward even as individual figures jumped spastically in place…. What Boston requires most from this hugely gifted, still maturing conductor is his full attention. Many European organizations, including the Lucerne Festival, want a piece of him, yet Boston operates on a year-round schedule…. Too often, frequent-flier maestros come across as frazzled business travellers, their minds perpetually racing ahead to the next date. It’s time for conductors to make the revolutionary gesture of staying home, with the orchestras that work to realize their vision.”

Posted November 25, 2014