Tuesday July 23, 2013

LENOX -- The first appearance by incoming Boston Symphony Music Director Andris Nelsons has been canceled because the conductor suffered a severe concussion in a household accident, the orchestra announced Monday afternoon.

Nelsons had been scheduled to lead a performance of Verdi's Requiem that included his wife, soprano Kristine Opolais, this Saturday evening.

The Latvian-born maestro had been due to arrive Tuesday for a packed schedule of rehearsals, media interviews, and a Q&A session with orchestra donors.

The accident took place over the weekend at Nelsons' residence in Bayreuth, Germany, where Nelsons had been conducting at the annual festival devoted to the operas of Richard Wagner, according to a statement by BSO Managing Director Mark Volpe. Nelsons was struck in the head by a door that unexpectedly swung open, Volpe explained, and he is being treated at a hospital in the German city.

"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," stated Volpe.

"It is therefore with a heavy heart that he is forced to withdraw from his Tanglewood performance."

A substitute conductor has yet to be announced.

Volpe noted that "though this is disappointing news to all of us at the BSO, as well as to the orchestra's many supporters, we have every expectation that Mr.


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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," Volpe added.

Nelsons also issued a statement expressing "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," he continued. "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."

Nelsons becomes Music Director Designate in September, when he takes over officially for the 2014-15 season.