14 days, 12 concerts, 11 cities: The Gewandhausorchester and its newly appointed chief conductor Andris Nelsons have returned to Leipzig from their inauguration tour through Europe. It was an exhausting but awe-inspiring tour that led to famous concert halls in Vienna, Cologne and Paris, among others. It was the first tour of Andris Nelsons in his new role at the Gewandhaus and a great opportunity to develop a deep bond with the orchestra. On tightly scheduled tours like this one, the musicians spend almost every waking minute together and get to know each other quite well. “After two weeks we understand each other without words,” Gewandhauskapellmeister Andris Nelsons said. “I’m very proud of such a successful first tour. And that’s just the first one. I’m looking forward to many, many more.”
The inauguration tour held another premiere for the Gewandhausorchester: It was the first time the orchestra performed in the world-famous Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg. The musicians were excited to play in the concert hall that looms over Hamburg’s dockyards and is said to have one of the world’s most advanced acoustics – it was designed using algorithms to ensure a stunning sound experience. The orchestra was excited to hear the special acoustics for themselves. For one member of the Gewandhausorchester the concert in Germany’s North was even more special. Karsten Heins, solo contrabassist, was born and raised in Hamburg and proud to be back in his hometown with the famous orchestra. “My parents have followed my entire development. And to come back here with the Gewandhausorchester and to play for them, is a special moment for me,” Heins said.
The tour also held a special treat for a few lucky fans of the Gewandhausorchester. As Official Logistics Partner of the Gewandhausorchester, DHL ran a promotion for readers of the BBC and the classical music magazine Gramophone with a chance to win tickets for the inauguration tour. Eight happy winners were picked – and new fans of the world-famous orchestra were born.
Classical music fan Jhay received tickets for the orchestra’s performance in the Philharmonie de Paris. She was thrilled. “The Gewandhausorchester is absolutely fantastic. The house was full and everybody clapped for at least 10 minutes at the end. I will remember the concert,” she said. Hendrik-Jan, the lucky winner for the concert at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, was also impressed by the Gewandhausorchester and its new chief conductor. “As we had seats behind the orchestra we had good sight on Andris Nelsons and it was very nice to see him conducting this great orchestra, with a beautiful sound. Nelsons performance was delightful and dramatic! Afterwards it seemed as if we had listened to an opera without words.”
International tours are exciting times both for the audience and the musicians. The orchestra leaves their well-known orchestra hall Gewandhaus in Leipzig behind to play the world’s stages. Sometimes, they travel to new cities ever day and perform on the same night. To ensure a smooth experience for all, the entire tour is planned down to the minute – an efficient masterpiece. “On a tour such as this one through Europe, where we play in a different place every day, the main challenge is to adhere to the concert plan,” explains Tobias Göthert, who is responsible for the logistics of the Gewandhausorchester. DHL is proud to have contributed to the success of the tour by ensuring the safe and punctual transport of the valuable equipment from one venue to the next.
The Gewandhausorchester is now back in Leipzig and will embark on the next international tour in October, powered by DHL.