Nelsons, who first rose to fame at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, became Music Director of the critically acclaimed Boston Symphony Orchestra in 2014, and Kapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig in 2018.
Germany’s oldest orchestra outside the royal court, the Gewandhausorchester has been playing for 275 years, and its roster of previous Kapellmeisters includes such famous names as Felix Mendelssohn, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Bruno Walter, and more recently Kurt Masur and Riccardo Chailly. It performs frequently at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, where Johann Sebastian Bach was the music director until his death in 1750.
This evening celebrates the centenary of the birth of composer Bernd Alois Zimmerman, whose towering contribution to 20th-century music incorporates powerful experimentation, the bleakest nihilism and an astonishing wealth of musical possibilities.
Embittered by his experience of the Second World War, Zimmerman was obsessed with social injustice, and his trumpet concerto is fuelled by an African-American spiritual and an implicit denunciation of racism.
Andris Nelsons began his career as a trumpet player, and the instrument continues to play an important part in this programme with the famous, tension-building fanfare marking the beginning of Mahler’s much-loved Fifth Symphony, with which the concert ends.
RepertoireZimmermann: Nobody knows de trouble I see (Trumpet Concerto)