Andres Nilssons, born in Riga in 1978 to a family of musicians, was considered a shooting star in the classical music scene from an early age. Encouraged and taught by fellow countryman Maris Jansson, among others, he became principal conductor of the Latvian National Opera at just 24 years old, having previously been a trumpeter.
In the years that followed, he impressed on the podiums of several important bands. He made one of his famous debuts as an opera conductor in 2010 as the conductor of Jansson’s opera in “Carmen” at the Vienna State Opera – the beginning of a brilliant friendship with the Vienna Philharmonic, which has remained constant throughout his fast-paced career. Shared highlights have included the world premiere of Evan Erod’s triple clarinet concerto in 2016, as well as tours in the United States and China.
On January 1, 2020, the Nelsons gave a New Year’s party at the Wiener Musikverein for the first time, and the invitation was an “incredible honor” for him. The day follows another honorable mission: the 43-year-old makes his debut in the second main event of the Philharmonic Orchestra – the world-famous “Summer Night Concert” in the garden of Schönbrunn Palace.
Britain’s Guardian newspaper described Nelson as “one of the most exciting bandleaders of our time”. Indeed, the Latvian has confirmed his excellent reputation by appearing as a guest around the world and taking on important positions. Having held a senior position with the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra from 2008 to 2014, Nelsons became musical director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the 2014/15 season, and from 2015 also as Gewandhauskapellmeister in Leipzig.
to the party
When the Vienna Philharmonic invites you to its traditional summer night concert with free admission to the Schönbrunn Palace Park, this year the focus will be on the musical heritage of Europe with a focus on Ukraine. Among other things, they play the waltz “Farewell” by Ukrainian composer Mykola Lysenko.
Voices will also be heard from Nelson’s homeland, where the Philharmonic will also be performing a tango by 64-year-old Latvian Arturs Muscats. The greatest work of the evening, in which Beethoven, Rossini and Dvorak will also play, is the Concerto Saint Sens Cello No. 1, which will be accompanied by the orchestra, French superstar Gautier Capuçon.
“We chose a European music program this year to signal the importance of Europe’s cultural ties and its rich aspects and musical traditions,” said Philharmonic Board Member Daniel Frochoir, explaining the program design. The classic event can not only be watched live by tens of thousands in Vienna but will also be broadcast by ORF 2 with a time delay from 9.20 pm and by 3sat from 9.45 pm.
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