Just in: Nelsons cancels ‘a number of weeks’

From the conductor’s site:

Andris Nelsons withdraws from his upcoming performances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (December 11, 18 and 20, 2015), on Doctor’s orders, with an acute shoulder strain issue. Mr Nelsons will have complete rest from conducting duties for a number of consecutive weeks, whilst receiving a course of physiotherapy. Mr Nelsons is expected to make a full recovery, returning to the podium in January 2016.

opolais nelsons wedding

He won’t be doing any of this

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  • Don’t worry, his diary over the coming years won’t be too packed, so he’s unlikely to have too much physical burden. It’s not as if he’s taken on an additional orchestra recently and might find it was an unwise decision. Oh no, wait, hang on…

  • If you are under the compulsion to conduct every composer under the sun (some of whom he does passably well) and clearly cannot say “no” to agents and orchestral managements, sooner or later the body will start giving you warning signals. This has been happening for a number of years now and he still hasn’t heeded the message. What next? A heart attack like the one suffered by his mentor Jansons?

      • Well, Yes, he did walk into a door, but that was in his hotel room & he didn’t bother to put a light on when he went to the ‘Loo’ and forgot where the door was until too late!!!

        Anyone can do that….

    • What a bizarre couple of comments. I can think of few conductors Nelsons’ age who are more selective about their repertoire: outside of the opera house, Nelsons is devoted almost exclusively to German romantics from Schumann onwards and Russian music from Tchaikovsky to Stravinsky. Very selective indeed about everything else.

      As for ‘passably’, chacun a son gout but a sizeable body of informed opinion around the world considers him to be rather more than that. Still, while he certainly works himself too hard, one of his most likeable quaities is his complete obliviousness to the bitter sniping of the Salieris of his profession.

      • I suggest you study the repertoire he conducted while he was the CBSO as well as with the many orchestras with whom he has appeared on both sides of the Atlantic. You won’t find many of his age who conduct that wide spread of works from the 18th to the 21st centuries, and for good reason. You need time to internalise each addition to your repertory, and not assume that because you’ve become everybody’s darling you are actually able to deliver first-class interpretations of everything you choose to conduct.

        • It’s hard to see a link between your assertion that Andris Nelsons is too open to a wide range of repertory (composers, periods, etc.) and your previous claim that this could be the cause of physical problems. Indeed, the repertory in which he specializes, such as Wagner and Strauss operas, is probably the most demanding from a physical perspective. A change-up with, say, Haydn (he led a fine and imaginative Symphony 30 with the Boston Symphony a few weeks ago) is probably conducive to better physical health than sticking exclusively with Meistersinger and Heldenleben. As a member of the Boston Symphony’s Tanglewood Festival Chorus, I enjoyed singing a Bach motet with him last month, and he seemed to be in good physical (and mental) form then.

          • There is actually a link, even though you may not be able to find one. It happens quite a lot in the international music business. Let me give you the first example I personally noted. Moshe Atzmon, a relatively young Israeli conductor, was appointed to the NDR Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg in the early 1970s in succession to Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt. On the strength of this appointment he received numerous invitations to conduct elsewhere, and in a wide range of repertory, until he was arriving back in Hamburg in such an exhausted state (“abgehetzt” was the term actually used) that the orchestral management refused to renew his contract. That was when Klaus Tennstedt came into the picture. And what did the world hear of Atzmon after that? Very little, as it happens. That is the real danger, even today. Conducting great scores is not painting by numbers. For the authority to be there you need to have lived with the printed notes for some time and thought deeply about them. I have heard Nelsons give very fine performances, but his appearances are not always divinely persuasive, no matter what the claques say. Any doctor will tell you that if you are putting your body under too much pressure (and waving your arms furiously around is one kind), having to switch from one score to the next within a short space of time and jetting hither and thither 24/7, sooner or later your body will rebel. The same applies to the international opera world. Gwyneth Jones, to name just one soprano, was warned time and time again to slow down and not to sing as much as she was contracted to do. What happened? First, there was a recognisable wobble. Then the voice was ruined. Sometimes less is more.

  • Congratulations to Maestro Nelsons for his Grammy nomination today with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Wonderful sign of things to come.

  • He will have a nice family xmas…anyhow he is not on my list….it so comforting nowadays…not so many travels anymore….not much exciting music out there. 😉 I had the great times…!

  • I wonder how they’re thinking about this in Boston? Being an injury prone workaholic is about the only thing Nelsons has in common with former music director James Levine. Although now that I think about it, hasn’t A. N. put on some weight lately??

      • Actually, what was not announced – for obvious reasons – is that this pause also serves as a detox cure from all the fish and chips he was forced to eat in Birmingham, ’cause that’s about all he could find.

  • Boston wishes Maestro Nelsons a restful and peace filled holiday season. We look forward to his return to the podium.

  • I haven’t been very lucky recently – Kaufmann cancelling Carmen at Covent Garden (although he was just flying in for a couple of ‘guest appearances’), Will Young not feeling up to doing matinees in Cabaret and now Nelsons being indisposed in Amsterdam. On the good side, CG offered to exchange my ticket for the much maligned Eugene Onegin and Mark Elder should get away with beating time as the cast of the Bayreuth production can sing Lohengrin in their sleep.

  • Mark elder’s interpretation of Lohengrin was much praised at both covent garden and Paris.
    Why do people think sneering is clever, the old cliché is any fool can sneer.

    • I’m a great fan of Mark Elder, a musician who seems to be totally committed to whatever he takes on. But this is the Bayreuth team – minus the orchestra. I just wonder how much rehearsal time he’ll be given with the Concertgebouw.

  • I too was at his Philharmonia concert Sunday night – much better than the reviews reported. I did fear his extremely physical conducting style might lead to shoulder/back problems. Didn’t think it might be so immediate…

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