Maestro stays: DC nails down Noseda to 2025

Maestro stays: DC nails down Noseda to 2025


norman lebrecht

September 23, 2018

After just one season, the National Symphony Orchestra has added a four-year extension to Gianandrea Noseda’s contract as music director.

The NSO also announced it had raised $10 million in special funding to support a number of Noseda initiatives.



  • Tamino says:

    Terms of the contract?
    How many programs and tours per season?

    • Olassus says:

      Would guess an annual salary of $2 million and “initiatives” to refer to vocal stuff outside the symphony orchestra realm. In other words, an overpriced maestro and a board of directors out of touch with mission.

      • norman lebrecht says:

        Does the sun never shine through your window?

        • Olassus says:

          Oh, come on — it is wrong when money for orchestral music is diverted to operatic stuff, usually at three times the outlay.

          • Michael says:

            You my friend are one of those people who are never happy about anything in life.

            Congratulations to the NSO and Mr. Noseda for what appears to be a good fit and for their accomplishments thus far.

          • Olassus says:

            I’m happy with Noseda. I think he’s fine for D.C. I think he’s good in Russian music. Okay?

      • Robert Groen says:

        What do you mean by “vocal stuff”? Das Lied von der Erde? Zemlinsky’s Lyric Symphony? Mozart’s concert arias? Strauss’ Vier Letzte Lieder? Beethoven’s Ninth? What are you on about? DC has got itself a good catch. Noseda is a superb conductor.

        • Olassus says:

          I mean that a symphony orchestra board should ensure that its money goes on symphonic repertory. Andris using BSO resources for Tristan (step-by-step) is wrong, to cite just one costly example (that I believe is near you). Boards used to be guided by executives who actually understood this and who had the artistic skills to function as orchestral impresarios, truly knowing their way around the rep. That has been lost in the U.S. generally.

          • MacroV says:

            I don’t find anything wrong with a symphony orchestra taking on one of the towering achievements of western art. Shows some ambition. Doing anything that varies from the Overture/stage reset/concerto/intermission/symphony format is good with me.

          • Olassus says:

            Wouldn’t you rather have a complete Sibelius cycle?

          • MacroV says:

            A Sibelius cycle and Tristan are not mutually exclusive. There are a lot of programs to fill in a symphony season.

            Maybe orchestras do opera on occasion simply because it’s cool. And a concert opera puts the focus on the orchestra, more than on the singers and certainly more than on the scenery/costumes (of which there may be none). If you have an amazing orchestral score (Tristan arguably being the greatest of all) you experience the opera in a very different way than in a staged production.

            A couple years ago I saw the Czech Philharmonic play Jenufa in a concert performance. There’s the cliche about how Czechs “get” Janacek in a way others don’t, but the Czech Philharmonic doesn’t play the operas very often, so it was cool to see them have a crack at it. And putting the orchestra in the center of this extraordinary work was thrilling.

            In the case of Nelsons/BSO doing Tristan: Boston doesn’t have an opera house that’s likely to stage Tristan, and certainly not an opera orchestra that could render it the way the great BSO under Nelsons can. But the BSO has the chops and the financial resources to do it. More power to them.

          • Robert Groen says:

            I adore complete Sibelius cycles. I’ve heard several live over the years. On disc I have Ashkenazy, Saraste, Bernstein (mistake!), Davis, Abravanel and Vanska. So, if Noseda wants to treat me to a concert Elektra (or even a staged one) I’m his man.

          • geoff says:

            Anthony Collins with the LSO had a Sibelius symphonies set starting in 1956, a re-issue recently on Vinyl was limited to 2,000 editions. He really brought Sibelius to the people. I still have one of his lps.

      • Max Grimm says:

        In this case, “initiatives” refers mainly to digital media projects, such as live and on-demand streaming of NSO performances and in-house recording projects for CD and DVD distribution.

        • Max Grimm says:

          Also, the initial initiative will not be initiated with “vocal stuff” but with a Beethoven Cycle.

          • Olassus says:

            That’s good to read, Max. What I object to is symphony orchestra budgets being squandered on concert opera and opera-adjacent programming just because some over-valued conductor wants to flesh out his résumé without the rigors and time commitment required of any normal opera-house project.

      • Robert Holmén says:

        I’m doubtful anyone has a definition of “symphonic realm” that holds up to examination and actual practice.

        The Dallas Symphony under JvZ has done well and sold tickets with concert presentations of the complete “Die Walküre” in addition to numerous masses and requiems that can’t possibly count as symphonic and maintains a permanent chorus for the production of these vocal intruders.

      • Rob says:

        No Maxwell Davies Eight songs for a mad king, then.

  • MacroV says:

    I haven’t heard the NSO with Noseda yet and though I live in DC I don’t find much of interest happening this season (though I do in Baltimore, even before recent Needleman/Carney intrigue).

    I’ve often found the NSO to be a capable but rather uninteresting orchestra, which I attribute largely to its artistic leadership and, perhaps more critically, an unengaged audience. If Noseda can turn that around, great.

    • Don Ciccio says:

      I also live in DC and there a number of programs that I am looking forward hearing Noseda in. For example: Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Casella’s 2nd Symphony and the all-Schubert program. Last one not for Renee Fleming, but because Noseda is great in music of that era so I am curious what he does with Schubert.

      Then there’s the return of Ton Koopman and the possibility of hearing some rarely played (at least in DC) repertoire such as Revueltas’ La Noche de los Mayas, Bruckner’s 2nd Symphony and Liszt Faust Symphony, last one once again under Noseda. Plus the NSO debut of Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, first time that I will hear her live.

      In fact I find this season of the NSO more interesting than that of the Baltimore Symphony, though it is often the other way around.

    • Jon H says:

      If you go in thinking something will be uninteresting and the audience won’t be engaged – then you’ll probably leave surprised/impressed. If you go in having been told everything’s great and perfect – the expectations can be too high and there’s making room for disappointment.

  • Larry Hart says:

    I am very happy to hear that Noseda and the NSO are working well together and they want him to stay until 2025. What a change and what a relief from the very boring and uninteresting period under Eschenbach when the NSO sounded like an amateur ensemble on many nights. Hopefully Noseda will turn the NSO around for the better and raise their national and international profile, something that Eschenbach never really succeeded in achieving. Good luck to the NSO!

  • Sue says:

    Gian Andreas Noseda; talented and, oh, so cute!!! His conducting style reminds me a little of Solti.