The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra is delighted to announce the appointment of Andris Nelsons as music director from the start of the 2008/9 season.
The 28-year old Latvian conductor follows in the footsteps of such greats as Adrian Boult, Louis Frémaux, Sir Simon Rattle and Sakari Oramo, who will stand down as music director at the end of this season following 10 years with the Orchestra.
The appointment follows an extensive international search by a team of board members, staff and players. Sir Michael Lyons, chairman of the CBSO said:
“It has been an exciting and challenging exercise to find a conductor who is a worthy successor to Sakari Oramo. It has given us the opportunity to see some truly talented conductors here in Birmingham and I am confident that in choosing Andris we have found the right man both for our orchestra and for our audiences.”
Andris Nelsons said:
“This is a huge honour for me, particularly to work with an orchestra who have such a distinguished history. From the first moment I worked with them, I felt there was an obvious exchange of energy between us and also, artistically, that we are striving towards exactly the same goals. I am looking forward enormously to embarking on a wonderful musical journey together and to being part of the CBSO family.”
Stephen Maddock, CBSO chief executive said:
“We are delighted to welcome Andris as our new music director. He is a hugely impressive musician, with a really wide range of strengths in all kinds of repertoire. His versatility, his fresh and insightful musicianship, and his growing international reputation, together with his interest in our choral and educational activities, make him ideally placed to lead the CBSO forward after Sakari Oramo’s outstanding 10-year tenure.”
Andris Nelsons enthralled the Orchestra when he came to conduct a private concert at Town Hall, Birmingham in early September 2007, and also to record Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto with Baiba Skride for Sony/BMG Classics. Laurence Jackson, leader of the CBSO, spoke on behalf of the whole Orchestra when he said:
"From the first rehearsal, the Orchestra was very excited by Andris' artistic integrity, imagination, and charisma. These qualities, combined with a great musical and personal rapport, made him a clear top choice. We are all looking forward tremendously to his appointment and to many exciting concerts in the future."
Andris Nelsons will make his first public appearance with the CBSO at Symphony Hall in a special launch concert on Sunday 11 November 2007 with a performance of Strauss’s Don Juan and Dvořák’s New World Symphony. This will be a free concert and public booking will open on Monday 29 October and will be limited to two tickets per booker.
A podcast interview with Andris Nelsons will be available on www.cbso.co.uk from 10am on Monday 8 October 2007.