Leipzig reports: It’s Andris Nelsons

Leipzig reports: It’s Andris Nelsons


norman lebrecht

September 09, 2015

The Leipziger Volkszeitung reports this morning across half a page (not yet online) that the Gewandhaus is about to announce Andris Nelsons as its next music director from June 2016, in succession to Riccardo Chailly.

The announcement will be made late this afternoon.

Independently, we can confirm on good authority that the new chief will not be Alan Gilbert, who is well liked in the orchestra, or (on less good authority) Vladimir Jurowski, who has not worked with them all that much.

Apart from Nelsons, we are hearing no big names. But Leipzig may yet pull a rabbit from a hat. Watch this space.

And the new music director is… click here.

nelsons boston

If Nelsons accepts the post, he will struggle to balance it with his Boston commitments.


  • RW2013 says:

    Nelsons MUUUUST stay
    in the U.S. and A.!!!

  • Peter says:

    Are even the top orchestras now so weak and beholden to star brands that they don’t get any kind of exclusivity? More fool Boston if they didn’t say ‘hey, we are committing to you, for a lot of money, commit to us’.

    • Tom says:

      I never fail to be amazed by this. To my mind, principal conductor (or music director) should mean doing the majority of an orchestra’s concerts – by which I mean at least half and ideally more like two-thirds. That leaves room for guests, but also means that a conductor is genuinely committing to one ensemble (rather like Rattle did with the CBSO and Vasily Petrenko appears to be doing in Liverpool). I find it impossible to believe that any conductor can genuinely do a proper job with more than one ensemble, especially if – as it looks as if may be the case here – they are on two separate continents.

      How on earth can such a key figurehead lead the outreach/education, fundraising and musical endeavours, and be a genuine leader, if they are forever on a plane between the two places? It’s utter bollocks to suggest that both jobs can be done equally well, and does an orchestra a disservice, especially when – as with Leipzig and Boston – they are truly great ensembles that really ought to insist on full-time commitment. It’s like expecting somebody to be chief executive of Shell and BP at the same time.

      • Martin says:

        Shell and BP are competitors. The two orchestras are not.
        In many cases chief conductor jobs a are not full time jobs.

        • Tom says:

          You miss the point re: competition – the point is that they are two massive businesses in the same sphere, which would be impossible for one person to lead simultaneously (leaving any conflicts of interest aside).

          The point I was making is that a music directorship really SHOULD be a full-time job, and that orchestras (especially of this stature) are selling themselves short by accepting anything less.

          • Martin says:

            A full time job is something someone does all year. A chief conductor works with an orchestra for a few weeks, the rest of the year not or just for some quick updates.

            The Vienna Phil doesn’t have a chief conductor and lives well without one.

      • Petros LInardos says:

        Moreover, during the summer he’ll have to juggle between Tanglewood and Bayreuth, where he starts a new Parsifal in 2016. Something has to give in, and that’s probably not the number of Nelsons’ appearances.

  • Jonathan Cavett Dunsby says:

    Boulez of course simultaneously led BBC SO and NYPO

  • urania says:

    It became a business and Leipzig is in event fever….they just want a big name…town responsibles do not care about music! Ok….fine…I find my inspirations more and more in the ‘Abseits’.

  • You Lu says:

    Wouldn’t be Jonathan Nott?

  • urania says:

    Nott got a 20 years contract in Tokyo….! Lets see how the world will be in 2 years…things might change tremendously! Last time I saw him with Bamberger, it was boring, just routine.

  • urania says:

    Sorry think it was 10 years…2026????

  • Nigel Harris says:

    I thought Jonathan Nott was also taking on the Suisse Romande. As a CBSO subscriber I’m in no doubt of Nelsons’s exceptional abilities, but I really do fear for him if he takes on Leipzig as well as Boston. The man can’t say no, and, as someone said earlier, he seems to have imbibed the Jansons’s approach all too uncritically. The latter’s health problems are of course we’ll documented, but we Brummies have been aware of worrying signs with Nelsons as well. He often looks overworked and tired, cancels more often than a man of his age should, and apparently has real problems with flying! I hope he has a good doctor as well as a good agent, because burn-out could happen sooner or later. So I sympathise with any cheesed off Bostonians, but fear that the Maestro himself might turn out to be the main victim of this new deal – if it’s confirmed, of course.

  • Max Grimm says:

    Well, the Leipziger Volkszeitung is now reporting that the decision has been made and it is indeed Nelsons.

  • Malcolm Kottler says:

    Long story in the Boston Globe, as you would expect, with lots of details. No need to guess or speculate about what is going to happen.

    Read it here: