Andris Nelsons has extended his contract as music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra until 2014.
The outstanding 30-year-old Latvian conductor has just completed his first Birmingham season with the CBSO, and so successful has the relationship been - with record ticket sales and glowing reviews - that the orchestra unanimously invited him to extend his initial three-year contract for a further three years.
Birmingham audiences have been hugely supportive of their new music director: in 2008-9 the CBSO sold 112,521 tickets for its concerts at Symphony Hall, an increase of more than 4 per cent on its previous highest total.
Since September 2008, the CBSO and Nelsons have given 27 concerts in Birmingham, and also travelled to Bedworth, Malvern, Leeds, Gateshead, Lichfield, Athens, Cuenca and Madrid. In August and September they make their first appearances together at the Lucerne, Gstaad, Bonn and Berlin Festivals.
They end the current season on Tuesday 28 July with a concert at the BBC Proms in London’s Royal Albert Hall, including John Casken’s Orion over Farne and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.2 with Stephen Hough.
This concert - which marks Andris Nelsons’ London debut - finishes with a performance of Stravinsky’s complete ballet The Firebird, a work they have just recorded together for Orfeo records. The partnership’s first Orfeo CD, of Tchaikovsky’s Hamlet and Symphony No.5, has recently been released to excellent reviews.
Stephen Maddock, CBSO chief executive said: “We are all absolutely delighted that Andris has decided to extend his contract here for a further three years to 2014.
“His impact on the Orchestra, on Birmingham audiences and on our recording and touring activities has already been phenomenal, and we look forward to some very exciting years ahead.
“It’s a great tribute to the musicians of the CBSO family and to the dynamism of this great city that such a talented and sought-after conductor has chosen to make Birmingham his musical home.”
Andris Nelsons said: “I am extremely excited and honoured to be extending my contract with this fantastic orchestra. I have enjoyed every minute of work and music-making in our first season, and am very much looking forward to many more years as part of the CBSO family - great musicians, and a great team behind them. I’m also really pleased that together we are able to bring our music to lots of new audiences in Birmingham and around the world.”
Highlights of the CBSO’s 2009-10 concerts with Andris Nelsons include a performance of Wagner’s Lohengrin, two performances of Shostakovich’s massive Symphony No.4, Haydn’s Creation, and an 11-concert tour of Germany, as well as further recordings. The season begins on 9 September with a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No.5.