Andris Nelsons, Boston Symphony Orchestra Music Director andGewandhauskapellmeister Designate, will lead a uniquemultidimensional collaboration between his two orchestras over afive-year period beginning with the 2017-18 concertseason.

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Embargoed for online/broadcast publication on Wednesday, March 1 at noon ET; in print, Thursday, March 2


Bernadette Horgan,
617-638-9280

UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF ANDRIS NELSONS,
BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (BSO) AND LEIPZIG'S GEWANDHAUSORCHESTER (GHO) ANNOUNCE DETAILS OF UNPRECEDENTED PARTNERSHIP IN WORLD OF ORCHESTRAL MUSIC

BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA/GEWANDHAUSORCHESTER ALLIANCE-TO TAKE PLACE OVER A FIVE-YEAR PERIOD STARTING IN 2017-18-FEATURES
CO-COMMISSIONING PROGRAM, EDUCATIONAL INITIATIVES, SHARED AND COMPLEMENTARY PROGRAMMING, AND RESIDENCIES BY THE BSO IN LEIPZIG AND GHO IN BOSTON; NEW ALLIANCE ALSO TO INCLUDE MUSICIAN EXCHANGES BETWEEN THE TWO ORCHESTRAS AND THEIR RESPECTIVE ACADEMIES FOR ADVANCED MUSIC STUDIES

HIGHLIGHTS OF BSO/GHO ALLIANCE

BSO TO CELEBRATE "LEIPZIG WEEK IN BOSTON" (FEBRUARY 2018 AND NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018) AND GHO TO CELEBRATE "BOSTON WEEK IN LEIPZIG" (JUNE 2018 AND AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2018), SPOTLIGHTING EACH OTHER'S MUSICAL TRADITIONS THROUGH SPECIALLY PROGRAMMED ORCHESTRA CONCERTS, MUSICIAN EXCHANGES, CHAMBER MUSIC CONCERTS, ARCHIVAL EXHIBITS, AND LECTURE SERIES

BSO AND GHO TO COLLABORATE ON IMPRESSIVE COMMISSIONING PROGRAM, SHOWCASING WORKS BY A WIDE SPECTRUM OF COMPOSERS INCLUDING GERMAN COMPOSER JÖRG WIDMANN, LATVIAN COMPOSER ANDRIS DZENITIS, AND AMERICAN COMPOSERS SEAN SHEPHERD AND SEBASTIAN CURRIER, AMONG OTHERS

MAJOR BSO/GHO ALLIANCE INITIATIVES INCLUDE TOUR PERFORMANCES BY BSO IN LEIPZIG IN SEPTEMBER 2018 AND LEIPZIG GEWANDHAUSORCHESTER IN BOSTON IN OCTOBER 2019; SPRING 2022 EUROPEAN PROJECT TO FEATURE BOTH ORCHESTRAS IN SHARED ORCHESTRAL PRESENTATIONS

MUSICIAN EXCHANGE PROGRAM TO TAKE PLACE BETWEEN TANGLEWOOD MUSIC CENTER (TMC) AND MENDELSSOHN-ORCHESTERAKADEMIE (MOA), TWO OF THE WORLD'S MOST PRESTIGIOUS TRAINING PROGRAMS FOR CLASSICAL MUSICIANS; MOA STUDENTS TO TAKE PART IN TMC SESSION IN SUMMER 2018; TMC CONDUCTOR AND COMPOSER FELLOWS TO WORK WITH ANDRIS NELSONS AND GHO IN SPRING 2019

CHRISTOPH WOLFF, ADAMS UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR AT HARVARD UNIVERSITY AND FORMER DIRECTOR OF THE BACH ARCHIVE IN LEIPZIG, TO SERVE AS AN ARTISTIC ADVISOR TO THE BSO/GHO ALLIANCE, OVERSEEING MULTIPLE ARCHIVAL AND LECTURE SERIES IN CONJUNCTION WITH VARIOUS ASPECTS OF THE FIVE-YEAR BSO/GHO ALLIANCE

 OFFICIAL BOSTON KICKOFF OF BSO/GHO ALLIANCE TO TAKE PLACE AT BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY WITH GALA EVENT ON MONDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2018, DURING "LEIPZIG WEEK IN BOSTON"

Andris Nelsons, Boston Symphony Orchestra Music Director and Gewandhauskapellmeister Designate, will lead a unique multidimensional collaboration between his two orchestras over a five-year period beginning with the 2017-18 concert season.  An unprecedented partnership in the world of orchestral music, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Gewandhausorchester Alliance will explore the many historic connections between these two world-famous orchestras, inspire new cultural exchanges, and create a wide spectrum of performance and educational programs designed to bring a new dimension of concert experience to each of the orchestra's respective audiences. The official kickoff of the BSO/GHO Alliance in Boston will take place at the Boston Public Library with a gala celebration, on Monday, February 5, 2018, prior to the Boston Symphony's first "Leipzig Week in Boston," February 8-11.

The BSO/GHO Alliance informally began in May 2016 when the BSO, as part of a European tour to the major musical capitals of Austria, Germany, and Luxembourg, made its debut performance, under Andris Nelsons,  in Leipzig's Gewandhaus, one of the great European halls.  Mr. Nelsons takes on his new title with the Gewandhausorchester in February 2018, in addition to his long-term commitment as Boston Symphony Orchestra Music Director through 2022 and beyond. As the central figure in bringing the BSO and GHO together, Andris Nelsons is intricately involved in the planning and implementation of all the programming initiatives between the two orchestras.

OVERVIEW OF BSO/GHO ALLIANCE
Under the direction of Andris Nelsons, the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) and Gewandhausorchester (GHO) Alliance is a new multidimensional collaboration designed to create opportunities for these two orchestras and their respective audiences to explore each ensemble's unique world of music-making and discover the great traditions and historic accomplishments that have played an important role in building their reputations as two of the world's great orchestras. In addition, the programs of the BSO/GHO Alliance will celebrate the shared mutual heritage of these two orchestras, while also shedding light on the overall culture of each ensemble and the cities they are proud to call home.

Taking place over a five-year period starting in 2017-18, the BSO/GHO Alliance will feature an expansive co-commissioning program, educational programs designed to spotlight each orchestra's culture and history, and tour performances by the BSO at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig and GHO at Symphony Hall in Boston, providing an extraordinary opportunity for orchestra musicians and audiences alike. This new alliance will also include musician exchanges between the two orchestras and their respective acclaimed academies for advanced music studies. One of the major highlights of the BSO/GHO Alliance, to take place annually over the five-year period of the collaboration, will be a  focus on  complementary programming, whereby the BSO will celebrate "Leipzig Week in Boston" (February 2018 and November/December 2018) and GHO will celebrate "Boston Week in Leipzig" (June 2018 and August/September 2018), highlighting each other's musical traditions through uniquely programmed concerts, chamber music performances, archival exhibits and lecture series.  Christoph Wolff, Adams University Professor at Harvard University, former Director of the Bach Archive in Leipzig (2001-13), and author of numerous acclaimed texts on the history of music from the 15th to 20th centuries, will serve as an artistic advisor to the BSO/GHO Alliance.

QUOTE FROM ANDRIS NELSONS, RAY AND MARIA STATA BSO MUSIC DIRECTOR
"I am incredibly grateful to all my colleagues at the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Gewandhausorchester for coming together with me in a spirit of great camaraderie to create a new and absolutely unique partnership in music-making," said Andris Nelsons, BSO Music Director and Gewandhauskapellmeister Designate.

"The creation of an alliance is a natural step, since these two respected ensembles have, in the course of their history, already been closely associated with one another. I am so eager to invest my energies into the individual and joint musical direction of my two orchestral families in order  to bring new artistic enrichment and perspective to both orchestras and audiences. By bringing the tremendous strengths and gifts of these two remarkable orchestras together we have developed a new and dynamic approach to programming that we hope will inspire our audiences to discover more about this fascinating relationship.

"From commissioning new works to be performed in Boston and Leipzig, to creating musician exchanges at the professional and student levels, and presenting a wide spectrum of programs about the wonderful legacies of these two great orchestras and how they so beautifully relate to each other, this unique partnership has a great potential to bring a new and powerful perspective to our fantastic world of classical music. We truly hope that our audiences at home and around the world will be inspired by our growing BSO/GHO Alliance, to get to know their extraordinary musical gifts, both individually and  collectively."

QUOTE FROM MARK VOLPE, EUNICE AND JULIAN COHEN BSO MANAGING DIRECTOR
 "This new alliance between the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra-which celebrates the great traditions and vibrant ongoing influence of each organization, highlights our shared heritage, and stimulates new artistic synergies-is unprecedented in the orchestra world and has  inspired a new dimension of creative programming for both orchestras.
 
"The depth and breadth of the BSO/GHO Alliance's offering-co-commissions, education initiatives, complementary programming, musician exchanges, joint touring projects, and reciprocal residencies-emphasize Andris Nelsons' role as a visionary leader who thinks creatively and passionately about his deep commitment to these two great orchestras and to the world of orchestral music at large. Under Andris Nelsons' guidance and leadership, the BSO/GHO Alliance has created many opportunities for important musical and cultural exchanges that will bring the extraordinary musical gifts of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Gewandhausorchester to a greater world-wide audience." 


QUOTE FROM ANDREAS SCHULZ, GEWANDHAUS GENERAL DIRECTOR
"We want to initiate a modern collaboration, the structure and content of which not only serve the demands of our audiences for stimulating programmes but also reflect the function and work of orchestras in today's world. Beyond the conception of diverse and exhilarating programmes, we are creating structures and opportunities of a quite exemplary nature to promote our musicians' development."

DETAILS OF BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AND GEWANDHAUSORCHESTER ALLIANCE
"Leipzig Week in Boston" (February 2018) and "Boston Week in Leipzig" (June 2018) and Musician Exchanges between BSO and GHO
During the 2017-18 subscription season, the BSO will celebrate its first "Leipzig Week in Boston" at Symphony Hall  (February 2018) and the GHO will present its first "Boston Week in Leipzig" at the Gewandhaus (June 2018), giving each orchestra an opportunity to focus on some of the repertory for which its partner organization is best known. This programming theme-with each orchestra annually spotlighting the other's musical tradition-will also be featured in chamber music performances, lectures, panel discussions, and exhibits, with the goal of bringing audiences a new understanding of the signature repertoire of each orchestra.  Additionally, these special weeks of thematic programming in Boston and Leipzig will be further enhanced by musician exchanges whereby several BSO members join their colleagues for performances of chamber music in Leipzig for "Boston Week in Leipzig" and several GHO members will do the same for "Leipzig Week in Boston." 

For the first Boston chapter of the BSO/GHO Alliance, "Leipzig Week in Boston" will open on February 8, 9, and 10 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra performing works of composers closely associated with the great legacy of the Gewandhausorchester, founded in 1743. The program will open with Bach's Concerto in D minor for Three Keyboards, with three distinguished soloists, followed by Schumann's Nachtlied, Op. 108, and Neujahrslied, Op. 144. The second half of the program will open with the first BSO/GHO commission by Sean Shepherd and close with Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 3, Scottish, in honor of the famed composer who served as Gewandhauskapellmeister from 1835-1847. On February 11, the Gewandhaus Quartet, made up of members of the GHO, will join musicians of the BSO for a program to include Mendelssohn's Octet, among other works to be announced.  In connection with these programs, a distinguished group of specialists, including Christoph Wolff, Harvard Professor Alexander Rehding, Gewandhaus archivist Claudius Bohm, among others, will be featured in lectures and panel discussions about the history of the Gewandhausorchester and its hall; Mendelssohn and Schumann; and concert hall acoustics.  

The first "Boston Week in Leipzig," June 21, 22, and 24, 2018, will feature the  Gewandhausorchester Leipzig in performances of works by Stravinsky, Copland, Carter, and Bernstein, all of whom are very closely tied to the BSO's musical tradition.  An iconic BSO commission, Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms, opens the program, followed by Copland's Old American Songs with acclaimed American baritone Thomas Hampson. Elliott Carter's Clarinet Concerto with composer/clarinetist JörgWidmann as soloist and Bernstein's Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, a BSO signature work, make up the second half of the program. The Mendelssohn Octet chamber music program in Boston will be repeated in Leipzig on June 24.  These concerts will also feature a film presentation about the history of the Boston Symphony and Symphony Hall.  A distinguished group of specialists, including Christoph Wolff, Ken-David Masur, Harvard Professor Anne Shreffler, BSO Artistic Administrator and Director of Tanglewood Anthony Fogg, and BSO Archivist Bridget Carr will be featured speakers. 

The second "Leipzig Week in Boston" (November/December 2018) will feature the BSO in a performance of Bach's Christmas Oratorio, in celebration of the great musical traditions of Bach cantata and oratorio performances in Leipzig, where Bach's own musical activities were centered for many years. These performances will be accompanied by displays of historic materials from the Leipzig Bach Archive and panel discussions on the traditions of Bach performance in the United States.   

With a special focus on Tanglewood, the BSO's summer home in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, the second "Boston Week in Leipzig" (August/September 2018), will feature music of Leonard Bernstein, who was a major presence at Tanglewood throughout his career.  In celebration of the 100th anniversary year of his birth, programming will include Three Meditations from his Mass, with cellist Yo-Yo Ma as soloist. Accompanying exhibits and panel discussions will focus on the Tanglewood experience to help familiarize Leipzig concertgoers with the BSO's acclaimed music festival.  Additional repertoire to be performed by the GHO includes Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra, commissioned by Serge Koussevitzky for its BSO premiere, and the European premiere of a BSO/GHO co-commission by Sean Shepherd. Mr. Ma will also be soloist in Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1.

Christoph Wolff to Serve as an Artistic Advisor for the BSO/GHO
Christoph Wolff, Adams University Professor at Harvard University, former Director of the Bach Archive in Leipzig (2001-13), and author of numerous acclaimed texts on the history of music from the 15th to 20th centuries, will serve as an artistic advisor to the BSO/GHO Alliance.  In that capacity, Mr. Wolff, working closely with archivists and historians at the BSO and GHO, will oversee the creation and presentation of multimedia/film presentations; he will also oversee  panel discussions with musicians, historians, and archivists close to these organizations, offering fascinating insights into the stories and accomplishments that make these two institutions legendary.   

Boston Symphony Orchestra /Gewandhausorchester Musician Exchange Program
Starting in 2018, another highlight of the BSO/GHO Alliance will be a musician exchange program offering musicians from each orchestra a rare opportunity to spend 3-6 months performing with its partner orchestra in the latter's home city. BSO musicians participating in the exchange program will immerse themselves in the many activities of the GHO, including weekly subscription concerts with the GHO, regular concerts with the Leipzig Opera,  and Sunday performances of Bach cantatas at St. Thomas Church, where Bach served as Thomaskantor, composing weekly cantatas from 1723 through 1750, the year of his death at age 65.  GHO musicians who participate in the exchange program will perform with the BSO during their weekly subscription concerts, perhaps also taking part (depending on the timing of their visits) in performances during the Boston Pops spring season and Tanglewood summer season. Though final details are still being worked out, the musician exchange program will be offered to strings, wind, brass, and percussion players of each orchestra.

BSO and GHO to Partner on Impressive Co-Commissioning Program
The BSO/GHO Alliance, under the leadership of Andris Nelsons, will feature a series of co-commissions, with new works presented each year of the partnership, starting with works by German composer Jörg Widmann and American composer Sean Shepherd to be premiered in Boston and Leipzig in the 2017-18 season. During the 2018-19 season, additional composers to be featured in the BSO/GHO Alliance co-commissioning program include American composer Sebastian Currier, who will compose a violin concerto to feature Baiba Skride as soloist, and Latvian composer Andris Dzenitis, who will compose an orchestral work in honor of Latvia's centenary year of 2018.  The co-commissioning program will also feature new works by several other prominent composers in subsequent seasons, details of which will be announced at a later date.  

Major Tour Performances by BSO in Leipzig and GHO in Boston
A highlight of the BSO/GHO Alliance-sure to be greatly anticipated by Boston and Leipzig audiences alike-is an opportunity for Boston audiences to hear the Gewandhausorchester live in Symphony Hall and for Leipzig audiences to hear the BSO in Leipzig's Gewandhaus. To that end, major touring and performance initiatives will include a performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 3 by the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Leipzig in September 2018 as part of a late-summer European tour, and a residency by the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester in Boston in October 2019.  The latter will include a special joint concert featuring the combined orchestras in a large-scale symphonic work, as part of the BSO's 2019-20 subscription season. 

Additional European touring activities and shared presentations are being developed for spring 2022.

First-ever Musician Exchange Program Between Tanglewood's and Leipzig's Acclaimed Music Academy programs
One of the major highlights of the BSO/GHO Alliance will be a musician exchange program between the Tanglewood Music Center (TMC) and the Mendelssohn-Orchesterakademie (MOA), two of the world's most acclaimed training programs for classical musicians. This first-ever exchange program between the TMC and MOA will be initiated in summer 2018, with several instrumentalists from the famed Leipzig academy becoming Fellows at the Tanglewood Music Center, where they will participate in master classes and be featured in orchestral and chamber performances. 

In spring 2019, a TMC Composition Fellow and TMC Conducting Fellow, chosen from a recent TMC class, will have an opportunity to travel to Leipzig to work closely with Andris Nelsons in residencies with the GHO.  The TMC Composition Fellow chosen to participate in the Leipzig residency will be offered a commission for a chamber orchestra work, to be performed during her or his time in Leipzig. The TMC Conducting Fellow will be given an opportunity to lead a performance with an ensemble of the GHO and Mendelssohn-Orchesterakademie players. 

BSO/GHO MUTUAL HERITAGE; WORKS CLOSELY ASSOCIATED WITH EACH ORCHESTRA
The history of close cultural connections between Boston and Leipzig began in 1881, when the Boston Symphony Orchestra's founder, Henry Lee Higginson, appointed Leipzig Conservatory-trained Georg Henschel as the BSO's first conductor. Subsequent conductors of the BSO, including Wilhelm Gericke, Emil Paur, Max Fiedler, Karl Muck, and particularly Arthur Nikisch, were either educated in Leipzig and/or held posts with the Gewandhausorchester. In the mid-20th century, the Leipzig tie was reinforced when Charles Munch was BSO Music Director from 1949 to 1962. Munch, who studied in  Leipzig, was concertmaster of the Gewandhausorchester from 1926 to 1933.

Symphony Hall in Boston, which was inaugurated in 1900, is not simply a replica of the historically  renowned second Gewandhaus that opened its doors in 1884 and was destroyed in 1944. Mr. Higginson had visited the Leipzig concert hall while touring Europe and had instructed his team of architects to design a larger version of the Gewandhaus, with as many as 2600 seats. Boston's new hall also added the latest acoustic principles to the overall design of its Leipzig counterpart. These acoustical principles played a major role in determining the size of the stage and the placement of sound-absorbing statues in the auditorium, among other features. In 1974, the Gewandhausorchester appeared in Boston's Symphony Hall during its first tour of the United States. To date, Boston has welcomed the Gewandhausorchester for ten guest performances, including its most recent appearance in the 2014-15 concert season. While the BSO made its debut appearance at the Gewandhaus in May 2016, the Leipzig hall featured the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, affiliated with the BSO, in 2008 during its European tour. 

Since its founding in 1743, the GHO has been associated with some of the greatest figures of music history, including Johann Sebastian Bach, who lived and worked in Leipzig from 1723 until 1750, the year of his death at age 65.  In addition to the GHO's widely known reputation for performances of the works of Bach, the orchestra also gave the premieres of works by such luminaries of classical music as Beethoven, Schumann, Mendelssohn, and Brahms. This tradition has continued into the 20th and 21st centuries with scores by such significant composers as Henze, Kancheli, and Rihm, among others. The BSO's own compositional legacy is similarly without parallel, including some of the seminal scores of the last century from composers ranging from Stravinsky, Prokofiev, and Bartók, to Messiaen and Dutilleux, and myriad Americans including Copland, Bernstein, Sessions, Carter, and Harbison, among others.

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