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BSO and Andris Nelsons Welcome Audiences Back to Symphony Hall On September 30

BSO and Andris Nelsons Welcome Audiences Back to Symphony Hall On September 30

The Boston Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Andris Nelsons are thrilled to welcome audiences back for the 2021-22 season opener on September 30, performing the first BSO concert for live audiences at Symphony Hall since March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated the closure of the Hall.

The orchestra's commitment to returning to performances with audiences is matched by an equally strong commitment to the health and safety of everyone associated with the 2021-22 BSO season, including patrons, staff, and musicians. Please click here for the BSO's most recent announcement (8/31/21) about pandemic protocols at Symphony Hall this fall; details about protocols are also available at

Program Details-

2021-22 BSO Season-Opening Concert on September 30, at 8 p.m.

For the opening night concert, BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons shares the podium with John Williams. Superstar violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter is the soloist as Maestro Williams leads the Boston premiere of his Violin Concerto No. 2, a new, four-movement work the two introduced with the BSO during the 2021 Tanglewood season. Maestro Nelsons conducts Beethoven's Consecration of the House Overture and a BSO signature work, Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra. This program will be repeated on Saturday, October 2, at 8 p.m.

The programming of the Beethoven overture is significant for several reasons: it was the first work ever performed by the BSO in 1881; it imparts a sense of renewal and revitalization as orchestra and audience come together in a shared space; and it was the music used to underscore the opening credits of the BSO NOW streaming programs offered during the orchestra's hiatus from performances for live audiences. The Bartók work, commissioned by Serge Koussevitzky and premiered by the BSO in 1944, gives every section of the orchestra a chance to show its virtuosity and has rightfully earned its position as a touchstone of 20th-century music.

For the orchestra's 141st season, Andris Nelsons, in his eighth season as BSO Music Director, will lead 13 of the season's 24 programs at Symphony Hall. To read a statement from Music Director Andris Nelsons, click here

Update to the original 2021-22 BSO season announcement in June: all performances of the season will include an intermission, with the exception of the Casual Friday 4-concert series, which will not include intermissions.

The 2021-22 BSO season will continue to offer BSO NOW online concert streams (, which were introduced to enthusiastic reception in November 2020 in response to the live performance hiatus due to the pandemic. This year's concert streams will launch in October with approximately one new program per month, a mix of livestreams and on-demand viewing featuring both newly released and archival programming. Online viewers will see the BSO led by Andris Nelsons and guest conductors and the Boston Pops led by Keith Lockhart, as well as Thomas Wilkins leading both a BSO concert and BSO Youth and Family program. Details about the orchestra's streaming schedule for the 2021-22 BSO season will be announced at a later date.

Among the Boston Symphony Orchestra programs to be led by Andris Nelsons are concert performances of Berg's Wozzeck with Bo Skovhus and Christine Goerke; premieres and performances of works by important composers of our time, including Julia Adolphe, Unsuk Chin, HK Gruber, Sofia Gubaidulina, Arvo Pärt, Kaija Saariaho, and Jörg Widmann; a Richard Strauss cycle of six major works; a new Beethoven piano concerto cycle with Mitsuko Uchida; and orchestral works by Berlioz, Brahms, Ives, Mahler, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Still, and Stravinsky. Mr. Nelsons will collaborate with such esteemed artists as Lisa Batiashvili, Lise Davidsen, Hilary Hahn, Håkan Hardenberger, Lucas and Arthur Jussen, Leonidas Kavakos, Anu Komsi, Marlis Petersen, and Baiba Skride.

The expansion of the BSO/Deutsche Grammophon award-winning Shostakovich recording project-now extending beyond the symphonies-continues in the 2021-22 season with performances and recording of the Violin Concerto No. 1 with Baiba Skride, a frequent collaborator with Andris Nelsons and the BSO, as soloist.

Also this season, BSO titled conductors Thomas Wilkins (works by Ellington, Coleridge-Taylor, Victor Wooten), Anna Rakitina (Ellen Reid, Sibelius, Tchaikovsky), and Thomas Adès (Adès, Berg, Ravel) lead subscription programs. Conductors Elim Chan (Brahms, Brian Raphael Nabors) and Phillippe Jordan (Borodin, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff) make their BSO debuts. Returning guest conductors include Herbert Blomstedt (Bruckner, Mozart), Alan Gilbert (Beethoven, Rands), Jakub Hruša (Janácek Glagolitic Mass), Ton Koopman (Beethoven, Mozart), Sir Antonio Pappano (Britten War Requiem), and Dima Slobokeniouk (Dvorák and Tchaikovsky). Other notable guest artists appearing with the BSO in 2021-22 include Joshua Bell, Yefim Bronfman, Kirill Gerstein, Martin Helmchen, Igor Levit, and Victor Wooten.

The Tanglewood Festival Chorus, under the direction of James Burton, returns to concertizing with two 20th-century masterpieces: Janácek's Glagolitic Mass and Britten's War Requiem.

The BSO Youth and Family Concerts Series will present six Youth and two Family Concert programs in the 2021-22 season, including a sensory-friendly concert. Both will be led by Thomas Wilkins. The Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras also will present two Family Concert programs, including a performance of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf with conductor Adrian Slywotzky and a program of Music and Magic led by conductor Marta Zurad and featuring magician Matt Roberts. The BSO's free Community Chamber Music programs will return in the 2021-22 season. Further information about these programs will be announced at a later date.

In addition to its 2021-22 Symphony Hall season, September 30-April 30, the BSO looks forward to returning to its annual concert series at New York's Carnegie Hall and touring. Andris Nelsons will lead a major European tour (and recording project), in partnership with the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester (GHO), with further details to be announced later in the fall.

Formal BSO titles for conductors referenced in this release: Andris Nelsons is the Ray and Maria Stata BSO Music Director; Keith Lockhart is the Julian and Eunice Cohen Boston Pops Conductor; Thomas Adès is the Deborah and Philip Edmundson Artistic Partner; Thomas Wilkins is the BSO's Artistic Advisor, Education and Community Engagement, and Germeshausen Youth and Family Concerts Conductor; and John Williams is the George and Roberta Berry Boston Pops Conductor Laureate.

Click here to view a portion of the BSO's November 2017 performance of the finale of Strauss' Alpine Symphony.

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