Andris Nelsons (photo: Marco Borggreve)

Andris Nelsons conducts Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony

Composed in American exile, Arnold Schoenberg’s Piano Concerto is a seminal work of Modernism, but pianist Mitsuko Uchida also finds “lightness, serenity and sadness” in it. For her, the Concerto is not least an homage to the Viennese musical culture that Schoenberg came from. An especially impressive work from this Viennese tradition is Anton Bruckner’s solemn Seventh Symphony, which brought the composer an overwhelming triumph after many failures. Andris Nelsons, a Bruckner specialist from the younger generation of conductors, takes the podium of the Berliner Philharmoniker.

Berliner Philharmoniker

Andris Nelsons conductor

Mitsuko Uchida piano

Arnold Schoenberg

Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, op. 42

Mitsuko Uchida piano

Anton Bruckner

Symphony No. 7 in E major

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Biographies

Andris Nelsons

Andris Nelsons is one of the younger generation’s foremost conductors, and leads two of the world’s top orchestras, the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. His choice of a conducting career owes much to chance. At the age of 18, the son of a Latvian family of musicians became a trumpet player at the National Opera in Riga, but when a tooth was knocked out in a Taekwondo fight, it prompted a change of direction. This was followed by conducting studies under Alexander Titov in St Petersburg, master classes with Neeme Järvi and Jorma Panula, and an encounter with Mariss Jansons, who became his key mentor. Andris Nelsons’ career initially took him to leading positions at the Latvian National Opera and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Today he regularly conducts orchestras such as the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Vienna Philharmonic, with the latter including at their 2020 New Year Concert and in a complete recording of Ludwig van Beethoven’s symphonies. He is passionately committed to a wide variety of musical styles. Whether First Viennese School, Romantic, Modern or Contemporary – Andris Nelsons conveys strong emotions through his conducting. His approach is planned: “My whole conducting life consists of finding the places where energy, technical help or support is needed so that the orchestra achieves the best possible musical result.”

Mitsuko Uchida

Mitsuko Uchida is the "grande dame” of lyrical piano playing: a pianist whose trademarks include a crystal-clear touch and performances that balance intellect and emotion. For her, “it’s not enough to play the piano – it takes a lifetime to understand music”. In addition to her outstanding performances of the works of Mozart, Schubert, Schumann and Beethoven, she also devotes herself intensively to the piano music of Berg, Schoenberg, Webern, Debussy and Kurtág. For almost four decades, Mitsuko Uchida has enjoyed a close artistic collaboration with the Berliner Philharmoniker, where she made her debut in June 1984. Under the direction of Sir Simon Rattle, she performed all of Beethoven’s piano concertos as pianist in residence. Mitsuko Uchida is a regular guest with the world’s leading orchestras, she gives solo recitals in Vienna, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, London, New York and Tokyo and is a frequent guest at the Salzburg Mozart Week and the Salzburg Festival. With the Cleveland Orchestra, with which she recently celebrated her 100th performance at Severance Hall, she has made recordings of Mozart piano concertos that have won two Grammy Awards. Mitsuko Uchida is a founding member of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust, which supports musicians around the world, and is the director of the Marlboro Music Festival.

Andris Nelsons (photo: Marco Borggreve)

Mitsuko Uchida (photo: Decca / Justin Pumfrey)

The German California

An intellectual elite in American exile