The Latvian conductor has announced his is leaving the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in the summer of 2015. This is no surprise. He has too much going on elsewhere – Boston Symphony, Bayreuth and Lucerne Festival – and he has suffered several health issues from overwork and avoidable accidents. This summer, his much-hyped Tangelwood debut was called off after he was concussed at Bayreuth.
Nelsons, 35 next month, will be missed. Over the past six years, he has maintained the CBSO as a high-performance team, challenging the top orchestras at the biggest festivals.
Here’s his statement: “With an extremely heavy heart I have reached the decision not to continue in my role as music director with my beloved CBSO after the 2014-2015 season. I have enjoyed five great seasons with this incredible orchestra and, while I look forward to another two in my current role, this difficult decision comes in view of my new position with the Boston Symphony Orchestra alongside my wish to protect precious time with my young family.”
UPDATE: And here’s what subscribers are being told:
I thought you would wish to be among the first to receive the statement below containing news of Andris Nelsons’ decision to conclude his tenure as CBSO Music Director in summer 2015.
Our ability to put on so many wonderful concert performances during Andris’ time as music director has resulted in large part from the regular support of our most loyal concert-goers. He has asked me to pass on his sincere thanks.
News of Andris’ decision will be announced publicly at 6pm today.
We look forward to over 90 concerts with Andris in his final two years as Music Director, and indeed to regular collaboration thereafter. A global search for his successor is already underway, and I am certain that with your continued support we will make a world-class appointment worthy of the tradition which he, Sir Simon Rattle and Sakari Oramo have built up over so many years.
Thank you once more for your support, and we look forward to welcoming you this Autumn for more fantastic music-making.
With best wishes
Chief Executive, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra