Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons was born in Riga on 18 November 1978 into a family of musicians. He studied piano as a boy, and sang in his mother's early music ensemble. He took up the trumpet when he was twelve, and worked as a trumpeter for Latvian National Opera.
He studied conducting in St Petersburg with Alexander Titov and also took part in masterclasses run by Neeme Järvi and Jorma Panula.
He was principal conductor of Latvian National Opera from 2003-7, and chief conductor of Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie (Herford, Germany) from 2006-9. In 2009 he first appeared at New York Metropolitan Opera, conducting Turandot, and at Bayreuth in 2010 conducting Lohengrin. In 2011 he made his debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall.
From 2007 until 2015 he was principal conductor and music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
Spotlight. Gorgeously Resplendent Playing - Gerald Fenech finds Andris Nelsons' recordings of Bruckner's symphonies simply outstanding. '... all the mystery and grandeur of these works are exposed in translucent music making.'
Spotlight. Shostakovich at his Sardonic Best - Geoff Pearce listens to symphonies by Dmitri Shostakovich connected to the year 1917. '... a very interesting and fine set.'
CD Spotlight. Treasureable Qualities - Gerald Fenech listens to Andris Nelsons conducting two orchestras in music by Richard Strauss. '... superlative performances from both orchestras, who are on top form throughout.'
CD Spotlight. A Spirit of Newfound Confidence - Gerald Fenech listens to the last instalment of Andris Nelsons' Bruckner cycle for Deutsche Gramophon. 'Nelsons goes straight to the heart of this quite divinely inspired music with confidence and conviction ...'
Ensemble. A Zest for Rebirth - John Dante Prevedini reports on the opening of the Boston Symphony Orchestra's new season, including a performance of John Williams' Violin Concerto No 2
Ensemble. German Majesty - Patrick Maxwell listens to Bach and Bruckner from Michael Schönheit, Andris Nelsons and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
Ensemble. Intrigue, Amusement and Confusion - Keith Bramich is impressed by Covent Garden's new production of Wagner's 'Lohengrin'
Ensemble. Harmonious in Every Sense - Alice McVeigh explains why 'Der Rosenkavalier' at Covent Garden couldn't have been bettered in any department
Ensemble. Bursting with Vitality - Mendelssohn and Beethoven from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra thrilled Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Powerful Drama - Puccini's 'Suor Angelica', heard by Robert Anderson. '... Nelsons and the WDR Symphony Orchestra of Cologne have done their best for Puccini ...'
CD Spotlight. Fiery Impetuosity - Tchaikovsky orchestral music, heard by Robert Anderson. '... a powerful and committed performance ...'
Ensemble. Sharply Etched - Mozart and Shostakovich from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Mahler versus Mahler - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Antonio Pappano and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Ensemble. Something Magical - Andris Nelsons conducts the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler
Record box. Enviable craftsmanship - 21st century Latvian symphonic music, reviewed by Patric Standford