Gewandhausorchester Leipzig

Date:2019-06-03      Source:National Centre for the Performing Arts

Font Size:   A   A   A

Venue: Concert Hall

Dates: June 08 - 09, 2019


June 8th
Symphony No. 5 in B-flat Major

June 9th
Violin Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 77
Violinist: Baiba Skride

Symphony No. 5 in E Minor, Op. 64


Andris Nelsons

Andris Nelsons assumed the position of Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig in February 2018, a post he holds concurrently with that of Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO). With these positions, and in leading a pioneering alliance between two such esteemed institutions, Grammy Award- winning Nelsons is firmly underlined as one of the most renowned and innovative conductors on the international scene today.

Andris Nelsons began his tenure as Music Director of the BSO in the 2014/15 season. After only one year, his contract was extended through to the 2021/22 season. Since the summer 2015, Nelsons has led the BSO on three tours of Europe, including appearances at the London Proms, in Hamburg, Vienna, Amsterdam, Paris and Leipzig. November 2017 saw the first tour of Japan, featuring performances in Tokyo's Suntory Hall.

Andris Nelsons gave his debut with the Gewandhausorchester in 2011, followed by regular appearances with the orchestra in the subsequent years. The title of Gewandhauskapellmeister was bestowed upon Nelsons in February 2018, in a four-week inauguration festival, which also marked the 275th anniversary of the orchestra's foundation. Shortly afterwards, in April 2018, Nelsons and the Gewandhausorchester embarked upon their first tour of Europe together, featuring appearances at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Vienna Musikverein, the Baden-Baden Festspielhaus, the Philharmonie de Paris and the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg. In the autumn of 2018, Nelsons led the orchestra in concerts in London, in Sweden and in the Latvian capital, Riga.

2019 will feature the Gewandhausorchester undertaking four major tours with Andris Nelsons: across Europe, the first tour together to Japan and China, a festival tour with appearances at the London Proms, the Lucerne Festival and the Salzburg Festival, and in the autumn, as part of the ongoing cooperation with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, a week-long residence in Boston, including concerts on an ambitious scale on stage together with the BSO.

2018/19 is Nelsons' final season as Artist in Residence at the Dortmund Konzerthaus, and simultaneously his first as Artist in Residence at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg. He will continue his regular collaboration with both the Berlin and the Vienna Philharmonic, having led the latter on tour to China, in addition to the continuing appearances at the Musikverein. In 2020, Nelsons will conduct the Vienna Philharmonic's illustrious New Year's Day Concert, broadcast around the world. Nelsons will continue to return to the podium of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra. In the pit, Nelsons has been a regular guest at the Bayreuth Festival and also at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.

Andris Nelsons has an exclusive recording relationship with Deutsche Grammophon, which has paved the way for three landmark projects, currently in realisation. Nelsons and the Gewandhausorchester shed new light on the symphonies of Bruckner, redefining his so very distinctive sound world. The recording of the 3rd symphony, released in spring 2017, received the Edison Klassiek Award. The 4th symphony was released in February 2018, followed by the 7th in April of that year. Nelsons and the BSO collaborate in recording the complete symphonies of Shostakovich and the opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtensk District. The first and second instalments in this project received, in 2016 and 2017, consecutive Grammy Awards for Best Orchestral Performance. The most recent edition of the cycle - the 4th and 11th symphonies - was released in July 2018. Furthermore, in 2019, Nelsons will complete the recording of Beethoven’s complete symphonies with the Vienna Philharmonic. He will return to Vienna to perform the complete cycle in 2020, celebrating the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

Born in Riga in 1978 into a family of musicians, Andris Nelsons began his career as a trumpeter in the Latvian National Opera Orchestra before studying conducting. He was Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra from 2008-2015, Principal Conductor of the North-West German Philharmonic in Herford from 2006- 2009, and Music Director of Latvian National Opera from 2003-2007.


Baiba Skride Violinist

Baiba Skride’s natural approach to her music-making has endeared her to some of today’s most important conductors and orchestras worldwide. She is consistently invited for her refreshing interpretations, her sensitivity and delight in the music. The list of prestigious orchestras with whom she has worked include the Berliner Philharmoniker, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Boston and Chicago Symphony Orchestras, New York Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Orchestre de Paris, London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Notable conductors she collaborates with include Marin Alsop, Christoph Eschenbach, Ed Gardner, Susanna Mälkki, Andris Nelsons, Andres Orozco-Estrada, Santtu-Matias Rouvali, Vasily Petrenko, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Tugan Sokhiev, John Storgårds and Simone Young.

Summer 2018 saw Baiba Skride return to the NHK Symphony Orchestra with Jukka-Pekka Saraste, and to the Tanglewood Music Festival with chamber music and concert appearances, performing Bernstein Serenade with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons, before they begin the 2018/19 season together on a distinguished tour to the BBC Proms, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Vienna’s Musikverein, KKL Lucerne, Philharmonie de Paris, and Concertgebouw Amsterdam. Further highlights include her return to Münchner Philharmoniker, Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Bilbao Orkestra Sinfonikoa, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, as well as Baltimore, Houston, Toronto, Vancouver and Utah Symphony Orchestras. In Spring 2019, Skride highly anticipated the world premiere of Sebastian Currier’s Violin Concerto, a co-commission by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, with which she tours to Spain, Japan and China. Skride continues to champion Sofia Gubaidulina’s Offertorium as well as Triple concerto for violin, cello and bayan and celebrates the piece’s Spanish premiere with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, following on from the successful premieres in the last seasons.

Baiba Skride is a sought-after chamber musician internationally. In 2018/19, invitations took her Skride Quartet with Lauma Skride, Harriet Krijgh and Lise Berthaud to Schubertiade Hohenems, Wigmore Hall London, Louvre Paris, Muziekgebouw Eindhoven, amongst others. Further afield, the Quartet looked forward to its debut at the Tanglewood Music Festival in summer 2018 and US tour in March 2019. In the same season, she also performed in trio with Daniel Müller-Schott and Xaiver de Maistre in Innsbruck, Budapest, St Pölten, Hannover, Coesfeld and Düsseldorf.

To add to her prolific discography, Baiba Skride anticipated the releases this season of her American disc featuring Bernstein, Korngold and Rózsa with the Gothenburg Symphony and Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Santtu-Matias Rouvali and her Bartok recording with the WDR Sinfonieorchester with Eivind Aadland, and the debut recording of the Skride Quartet, all under the Orfeo label.

Skride was born into a musical Latvian family in Riga where she began her studies, transferring in 1995 to the Conservatory of Music and Theatre in Rostock. In 2001 she won the 1st prize of the Queen Elisabeth Competition. Baiba Skride plays the Yfrah Neaman Stradivarius kindly loaned to her by the Neaman family through the Beare’s International Violin Society.



The Gewandhausorchester is the oldest civic symphony orchestra in the world. Not only was the orchestra founded during Johann Sebastian Bach's tenure as Thomaskantor, it also had a strong connection to this most revered of all musicians. Bach was responsible for the sacred music in Leipzig's principal churches (including those of St. Thomas and St. Nikolai) for 27 years. In this capacity he was Music Director of the musicians in the employment of the city, the “Stadtpfeiffer” ("Town Pipers"), as well as directing one of the “Collegia Musica”, consisting of students from the university.

The orchestra was founded in 1743 on the initiative of a group of 16 persons, comprising both nobility and regular citizens, to perform for the newly formed concert society “Das Große Concert”. The orchestra initially comprised the professional “Stadtpfeiffer”, members of Bach's “Collegium Musicum”, as well as pupils of the Great Master. It is a source of great pride that the majority of the original members of the Orchestra regularly made music with the “Übervater” of western music. On taking residence in the trading house of the city's textile merchants - the Gewandhaus - the Orchestra assumed the title Gewandhausorchester. Of the many celebrated Gewandhauskapellmeister who have directed the Orchestra over the centuries, Johann Adam Hiller, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Arthur Nikisch, Kurt Masur Herbert Blomstedt and Riccardo Chailly are worthy of particular mention. Andris Nelsons assumed the position of 21st Gewandhauskapellmeister in February 2018.

The Gewandhausorchester´s unique contribution to Europe´s historical and current musical wealth has been recognised with the award of the European Cultural Heritage Label.

Music lovers the world over treasure the unique sound of the Gewandhausorchester that distinguishes it from all other symphony orchestras. The unmistakable sound identity alongside the extraordinary diversity of repertoire to which the orchestra devotes itself in its three "homes" are cultivated in far in excess of 200 performances each year. The orchestra performs weekly concerts in the Gewandhaus, it serves as the orchestra in the Leipzig Opera and joins St. Thomas's Choir each week in the performance of cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach in the “Thomaskirche”. No other elite symphony orchestra in the world performs the music of JS Bach in such abundance. In addition to these core activities, the Gewandhausorchester has toured the world regularly since 1916. The orchestra's work is documented in an enormous wealth of CD and DVD recordings, as well as radio and television broadcasts.

Few orchestras have played such an active, formative role in the development of symphonic music as the Gewandhausorchester - still today an orchestra that attracts the world's most highly celebrated composers, conductors and soloists. The Leipzigers performed the first ever cycle of Beethoven's nine symphonies during the composer's lifetime (1825/26), as well as the first complete cycle of Bruckner's symphonic oeuvre (1919/20). The Gewandhausorchester has premiered an enviable wealth of the works which the wider music world counts amongst its most beloved: Wagner's prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Beethoven's 5th Piano Concerto (the Emperor), Brahms’ Violin Concerto and Deutsches Requiem to name but a few. Today, the Orchestra continues to commission and perform new compositions every season.

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy must be credited with exerting decisive influence on the development of today's core symphonic repertoire during his tenure as Gewandhauskapellmeister (1835-1847). During his incumbency, the Gewandhausorchester gave the first performances of several of his own most significant works, including the Violin Concerto in E Minor, the Scottish Symphony and the overture to Ruy Blas. Mendelssohn also conducted the orchestra in the world premieres of Schubert's C Major Symphony The Great, as well as the 1st, 2nd and 4th symphonies of Robert Schumann. By way of innovative programming, Mendelssohn also broadened the Leipzig audience's horizons towards the masterpieces of the past, in particular reintroducing and resurrecting interest in Bach's instrumental works - music that until Mendelssohn's arrival in Leipzig was, astonishingly, largely forgotten.

Thanks to Mendelssohn's inspiration and commitment to the undertaking, Germany's first conservatoire was founded in Leipzig in 1843, the modern-day University of Music and Theatre "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy". In keeping with Mendelssohn's original conception for the institution of providing the next generation of orchestral musicians with training to the highest professional standards, the Gewandhausorchester collaborates with the University in the provision of the Mendelssohn Orchestra Academy. Graduates of the Academy receive a masters degree in orchestral musicianship.

The recordings released by the Gewandhausorchester and Riccardo Chailly have been decorated with an enviable array of the music world's most coveted awards, including a Golden Disc.

The Gewandhausorchester collaborated with Herbert Blomstedt on a complete cycle of the symphonies of Anton Bruckner (on the Querstand label) from 2005 to 2012 - recordings which have already achieved reference status. The orchestra and Herbert Blomstedt, its Conductor Laureate, released a complete cycle of Beethoven's symphonies in July 2017, to mark the occasion of Herbert Blomstedt's 90th birthday. The cycle was received the ICMA Award in 2018.

The symphonies of Anton Bruckner will form the focus of a complete recorded cycle under the direction of Andris Nelsons, produced by Deutsche Grammophon. To date, symphonies 3, 4 and 7 have been released.