Musical America names BSO's Andris Nelsons 2018 Artist of the Year

NEW YORK — Boston Symphony Orchestra music director Andris Nelsons has been named 2018 Artist of the Year by Musical America, an online and weekly E newsletter characterized on its website as "the meeting place for the international performing arts community."

Also honored in the 57th Annual Musical America Awards are composer Mason Bates, violinist Augustin Hadelich, soprano Sondra Radvanovsky, and music educator Francisco J. Nunez, founder of the Young People's Chorus in New York.

The awards will be presented in special ceremonies at Carnegie Hall.

In honoring Nelsons, Musical America says "[The BSO's] chemistry onstage is unmistakable. The result so far is two consecutive Grammy awards for Best Orchestra Performances. With disarming sincerity, casual generosity, and boundless optimism, Nelsons has released the potential of the Boston Symphony Orchestra."

"I feel incredibly honored and most grateful to have been named 'Artist of the Year 2018' by Musical America Worldwide," Nelsons wrote in an e-mail from China. "This recognition from Musical America is particularly inspiring as fantastic new projects with the Boston Symphony and Gewandhaus orchestras are coming to life, including a wonderfully unique alliance between these two great institutions beginning in February."

Among those projects, Nelsons is recording, with the BSO, a cycle of Shostakovich's 15 symphonies, the opera "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk," and other works by the Russian composer. The first two releases of symphonies both received Grammy Awards for Best Orchestral Performance.

"I am so happy to accept this award on behalf of my musical families and I wish my fellow honorees ... my heartfelt congratulations," Nelsons wrote.

"Thanks to everyone at Musical America for creating and sustaining this important annual recognition that brings such positive focus and energy to our field of classical music."

Nelsons has been music director of the BSO since 2014. His contract with the Boston Symphony has been extended through the 2021-22 season. In addition to his Boston position, in February Nelsons becomes Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig.

Musical America was founded by John C. Freund in 1898 as a weekly newspaper covering drama, music and the arts. Musical America Worldwide today publishes Musical America International Directory of the Performing Arts — 14,000 detailed listings of worldwide arts organizations;; and a weekly E-newsletter.


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