Gianandrea Noseda is to take up the helm of Washington’s National Symphony Orchestra (NSO). The Italian conductor, 51, will take over from Christoph Eschenbach, 75, whose contract with the orchestra runs out in 2017.
The search for a new music director only started in recent months and the speed of the appointment has surprised some. But Noseda, who first worked with the NSO in 2011, reportedly enjoyed a successful return to the orchestra in November 2015. Matthew Guild, NSO trombonist and member of the search committee, told The Washington Post that other orchestra members kept ‘pinning us down and saying, “Get this guy”.’
Noseda will be the NSO’s seventh music director, following in the footsteps of Leonard Slatkin, Iván Fischer and Mstislav Rostropovich. Experienced both as an orchestral and opera conductor, he also directs Turin’s Teatro Regio and holds guest posts with the Israel Philharmonic and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras.
For ten years, he was the principal guest conductor of the Mariinsky Theatre – Russian music is a particular love of his – and from 2002-2011 he was music director of the BBC Philharmonic. And in recent years he has fruitfully explored some of the byways of Italian music: Casella’s Elegia eroica was one of the pieces Noseda performed with the NSO last year.
‘I found a fantastic attitude … I felt very naturally committed with them, in a normal sort of way,’ Noseda told The Washington Post. ‘What really impressed me is the development we got together … You see in the eyes of the players, the wish. “We can do it, we have just to be asked to do it, we want to deliver.” ’