Andris Nelsons overloads in Leipzig

Andris Nelsons overloads in Leipzig


norman lebrecht

March 21, 2016

Despite not taking over as Kapellmeister until January 2018, Andris Nelsons has undertaken 15 heavy concerts in Leipzig next season, it was announced today. This is in addition to his considerable duties as music director in Boston and his busy guest conducting schedule.

Nelson, 37, is one of the most overworked maestros on the circuit.

How his Boston-Leipzig shuttle will work out is anyone’s guess.

andris nelsons bayreuth


  • RW2013 says:

    After Ticciati and Yannick, probably the next slipped disc victim.

  • Halldor says:

    He takes on 15 major programmes: awful, overworking himself; deeply irresponsible.
    He takes on fewer: awful, he’s a jet-setting token music director in name only.

    Either way: appalling. Sack him forthwith and replace him with an autocratic central European who’s been dead for at least 30 years. Only then can we have true greatness in this holiest of arts. Etc.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      He is not music director yet next season.

    • Max Grimm says:

      As “Brucknerliebhaber” pointed out, not 15 programmes but 4 programmes, consisting of 15 concerts.

      First Programme:
      – Ludwig van Beethoven — 9. Sinfonie d-Moll op. 125

      Second Programme:
      – Franz Schubert — 7. Sinfonie h-Moll D 759 (“Unvollendete”)
      – Anton Bruckner — 4. Sinfonie Es-Dur WAB 104 (“Romantische”)

      Third Programme:
      – Antonín Dvořák — Othello – Ouvertüre für großes Orchester op. 93
      – Antonín Dvořák — Měsíčku na nebi hlubokém (Lied an den Mond) – Arie der Rusalka aus der Oper “Rusalka” op. 114
      – Antonín Dvořák — Als die alte Mutter mich noch singen lehrte – aus Zigeunermelodien op. 55/4
      – Antonín Dvořák — Polonaise aus der Oper “Rusalka” op. 114
      – Bedřich Smetana — Dobrá! Já mu je dám!… Jak je mi? – Arie der Milada aus der Oper “Dalibor” T 96
      – Antonín Dvořák — O, marno, marno to je – Arie der Rusalka aus der Oper “Rusalka” op. 114
      – Antonín Dvořák — 9. Sinfonie e-Moll op. 95 (“Aus der Neuen Welt”)

      Fourth Programme:
      – Michael Gandolfi — “Ascending Light” for organ and orchestra 
(Deutsche Erstaufführung, Auftragswerk des Boston Symphony Orchestra)
      – Gustav Mahler — 6. Sinfonie a-Moll

  • Brucknerliebhaber says:

    Let’s be clear: 15 concerts, not 15 different programs in Leipzig next season. He will be responsible for 14 weeks ( about 13 different programs ) in Boston next season.

  • Andrew R. Barnard says:

    At some point, this is no longer music criticism and just vitriolic personal attacks. We knew from day one that Norman didn’t like Nelsons’ Leipzig appointment. Fine, so now move on. Seriously.

    • Petros LInardos says:

      I fully agree with your comments – and am definitely not a Nelsons fan.

    • Olassus says:

      Lack of depth and concentration.


      Notions of limitless ability.

      Taking someone else’s chance.


      Cynically moving closer to home.

      Disappointing Massachusetts.

      Vitriol, you say?

      • Andrew R. Barnard says:

        I disagree with most of the points you list. Regardless, the problem isn’t that Norman has problems with Nelsons’ career. It’s that he repeats the same story line every time there’s a new piece of news for Nelsons. It becomes spiteful.

        • Olassus says:

          It’s his blog. He does all the work. You can spend the day on Nelsons’ fan site if you prefer, or set up an Andrew R Barnard News Center with only spite-free posts. I just can never see the point of coming here and bashing our host.

          • Andrew R. Barnard says:

            You could easily say basically the same thing to Norman. Instead of criticizing leading musicians of the day, why doesn’t he enter the music scene himself? I actually don’t think that’s a fair line of attack on Norman, though. But just as it’s fair for Norman to critique musicians, it’s also fair for us to critique his writings when they become unfair and misguided.

  • Milka says:

    One just has to be clever enough to know there are suckers born every minute.

  • DESR says:

    Could he fit in Meistersinger at Glyndebourne too?

    They are in dire need. Ticciati is laid up with a slipped disc, and rehearsals have already started.

    Yikes. Ship in Levine?

  • Ganymede says:

    I’m with Norman here. I like Nelsons but he’s seriously over-loaded, he should step back and focus on fewer but more intensive working periods. I don’t know how much he rehearses, I would say 2-3 rehearsals per concert programme should be an absolute minimum.

  • Peter says:

    It’s not the rehearsing and conducting workload itself that’s the problem. It’s the intercontinental traveling and jet lag that’s going to kill you with such a workload.
    Nelsons is not the smartest guy when it comes to reality checks about oneself, and the managements just exploit him in the moment, they don’t care if he drops dead in the near future. He needs people who protect him from himself.

    • ganymede says:

      Yes, I totally agree

    • MIlka says:

      One might suggest it is his own greed and if Grimm is correct his programs are
      as exciting as cold porridge .

      • Halldor says:

        I’ve never met a musician with less interest in money. And Nelsons could conduct Happy Birthday and make it electrifying.

        But his agents have got worryingly greedy.

    • Will says:

      But we’re discussing “such a workload” and we have his commitments in Boston and Leipzig consuming all of at most 20 weeks. Add some summer weeks at Tanglewood. Much ado about nothing. He took a week off mid March and has another mid May to recover from the BSO European tour.

      But I checked Nelsons’ website and his calendar is blank starting in June! Better get NL on the case!

  • Nick says:

    Does anyone commute more regularly over longer distances than Jaap van Zweden – between his home in Holland, his orchestras in Dallas and Hong Kong and various guest engagements. Like Nelsons and Ticciati, JVP has also been a rostrum casualty having taken a month of concerts with Chicago and the DSO off last year with shoulder problems (and this was before the sad family problem which forced him to cancel recent concerts).