To take musical traditions into the future by means of touching interpretations, making them accessible to listeners of any age – that is the declared goal of the Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons. He wishes to prove to the audience that works by Mahler, Brahms, Shostakovich, Wagner and Bruckner are not merely relics of the past, but part of our world today. In recognition of his efforts to promote and disseminate classical music and music education, Andris Nelsons will receive the 2016 Glashütte Original MusicFestivalAward during the Dresden Music Festival. The prize will be presented to him on May 6, 2016, when Nelsons conducts the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Dresden’s Frauenkirche.
Nelsons was born into a family of musicians in Riga in 1978. He began his career as a trumpet player in the orchestra of the Latvian National Opera before studying conducting. From 2003 to 2007 he was music director of the Latvian State Opera, from 2006 to 2009 chief conductor of the North-West German Philharmonic in Herford, and from 2008 to 2015 music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Since 2014 Nelsons has been music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In September 2015 he was appointed “Kapellmeister” of the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, where he takes up his duties in the 2017/18 season.
“Andris Nelsons is from Latvia, enjoyed his first taste of musical success in Germany and the USA, and now leads two of the world’s most prestigious and tradition-steeped orchestras into the future. He motivates and inspires young people all over the world to take responsibility for an international world community, promoting humanism and peace through education, the arts and culture”, says Jan Vogler, Intendant of the Dresden Music Festival.
The Glashütte Original MusicFestivalAward, which includes a prize money of 25,000 Euros, will be donated by the watch manufactory Glashütte Original and is presented in cooperation with the Dresden Music Festival for the 13th time in 2016. As in past years, the award trophy was manufactured by two apprentices of the manufactory owned “Alfred Helwig” School of Watchmaking in Glashütte. Previous prize winners include renowned artistic personalities such as Gustavo Dudamel, Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic, Hélène Grimaud, Hilary Hahn and fado singer Mariza.