Nelsons Withdraws From Tanglewood Performance

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Andris Nelsons leads the BSO. (Stu Rosner)
Andris Nelsons leads the BSO. (Stu Rosner)

Could the BSO podium be jinxed? The appointment of the 34-year-old Andris Nelsons to the Boston Symphony Orchestra musical directorship was supposed to end the era of cancelations of the James Levine era. Unfortunately, Nelsons suffered a severe concussion from a household accident last weekend, according to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and has to withdraw from Saturday night's performance of the Verdi Requiem at Tanglewood. He is expected to make a full recovery, according to the BSO and be in Boston for his October concerts and, of course, assume the BSO directorship for the 2014-'15 season.

Nelsons' wife, soprano Kristine Opolais, is still hoping to be one of the soloists, but that will depend on her husband's progress. "She thinks the family should be represented this weekend and she understands how disappointing it is not to have Andris", said Mark Volpe, BSO managing director, "but she would very much want to come although we'll confirm that tomorrow." He added, ""There were all sorts of social activities with the players, with the community here in the Berkshires, with the board that resides out here as well as the chorus so those will have to wait until next summer."Here is the statement from Mark Volpe, BSO Managing Director:
“Due to a household accident that has resulted in a severe concussion, Andris Nelsons will not be able to conduct the Verdi Requiem at Tanglewood on July 27. Over the weekend, Mr. Nelsons was struck in the head by a door that unexpectedly swung open at his residence in Bayreuth, Germany, where he has been conducting at the festival. Mr. Nelsons is currently receiving medical attention at a hospital in Bayreuth. His doctors report that he is expected to make a full recovery but, as always with concussions, Mr. Nelsons has been strongly advised to take time out of his work schedule and not travel by plane at all at this time. It is therefore with a heavy heart that he is forced to withdraw from his Tanglewood performance.

"Though this is disappointing news to all of us at the BSO, as well to the orchestra’s many supporters, we have every expectation that Mr. Nelsons will recover as quickly as possible and that we will see him in Boston in October for his scheduled concerts at Symphony Hall. Our thoughts are with Mr. Nelsons during this time of healing and recovery.”

And from Nelsons:
“Truly, I feel a great sense of sadness at not being able to come to Tanglewood this week to conduct the Verdi Requiem and to spend time amongst our great musical family, including Tanglewood's wonderfully supportive audience. I will miss you all and am very sorry indeed that this very unfortunate accident prevents me from being there. I am grateful to be receiving the best possible medical attention and am currently resting well. I promise I will recover as soon as possible and very much look forward to coming back in good shape for my performances with the orchestra in October in Boston.”

An announcement about who will conduct Tanglewood’s July 27 performance of the Verdi Requiem will be forthcoming.

This program aired on July 22, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.

Ed Siegel Twitter Critic-At-Large
Ed Siegel is critic-at-large for WBUR.