Andris Nelsons has been taken to hospital with concussion after a freak accident. He was struck in the
head by a door that unexpectedly swung open in
Bayreuth, where he's preparing to conduct Lohengrin. He is expected to make a full recovery.
Whether he'll be well enough for his first Lohengrin on 2 August is not clear. But he's had to cancel a Boston Symphony concert on 27 July after being advised by doctors not to travel by plane.
The Boston Symphony Orchestra have just announced that Andris Nelsons is to become their next Music Director, beginning as Music Director Designate in the 2013-14 season. He takes on the full role in the following season on a five-year contract that commits him to up to 12 weeks of performances each year. The full press release is below.
The CBSO have confirmed Andris will stay with them until "at least 2014/15 on a rolling contract"; they will make an announcement about future seasons later this year.
While it's possible for one conductor to handle two orchestras, this makes it less likely that Nelsons will be available for the Berlin Philharmonic opening in 2018.
I wish I could be more positive about this revival, but in all honesty it was looking shabby even on the first night. Angela Denoke's otherwise convincing Salome sounded tired and off-pitch, not a patch on her 2010 run. Egils Silins (Jokanaan) lacked power and presence, and the Herod and Herodias of Stig Andersen and Rosalind Plowright were under-characterised. In a Rupert the horse-style coup, the terrifying (and silent) Executioner (Duncan Meadows, above) pretty much stole the show.
Even Andris Nelsons, a generally reliable conductor of Strauss, fell short of his usual standards. The playing didn't lack energy, but it was short on detail and too often the orchestra seemed under-rehearsed. At least that's one area that might improve over the run.
CBSO / Andris Nelsons / Jonas Kaufmann - Symphony Hall Birmingham, 7 March 2012
What’s in the middle of Birmingham but surrounded by sea?
The CBSO’s very, very special guest was placed at the centre of Wednesday evening’s programme, and rightfully so. Before him came Britten’s Sea Interludes; after, Debussy’s La Mer.
But let’s not pretend this was a mere guest soloist spot. With ten songs on the programme (eleven if you count the encore) we received a more bountiful helping of Herr Kaufmann than many an orchestrally-grouted recital programme provides.
Tristan und Isolde - CBSO / Nelsons - Symphony Hall Birmingham, 3 March 2012
Forget staged, semi-staged or even notionally visual. The singers were lined up behind their music stands. The conductor was confined to a chair. This was a static Tristan und Isolde, even by concert version standards. But four enthralling hours proved that sometimes the music really is all that matters.
I won't bother with an full overview of the CBSO's 2011-12 season as the Birmingham Post has done an excellent job already. As always there's plenty there to justify a trip, and it's worth pointing out a few concerts are likely to sell out soon after booking opens on 6 June.