Gianandrea Noseda is adding another title to a starry resume. The London Symphony Orchestra announced today that as of the 2016-17 season, Noseda will become one of its two principal guest conductors — a full year before he officially takes over as music director of the National Symphony Orchestra.
There’s no cause for concern in Washington that Noseda’s attention will be distracted from his new post here. The London Symphony Orchestra position will involve only a couple of weeks a season; that orchestra’s main focus of attention will remain Sir Simon Rattle, who will take over as its music director in 2017, after he leaves the Berlin Philharmonic.
What the position will entail for Noseda is recording and touring with one of the best orchestras in the world, giving official status to a relationship that came to wide attention when he performed and recorded Britten’s War Requiem with the LSO in London and New York in 2011, to huge acclaim. It is certainly a feather in Noseda’s cap — which was already pretty well adorned with them.
As for divided attentions: Noseda’s calendar was already so filled for 2017 and 2018 when the NSO position was confirmed that he will have only 8 weeks to spend that season with “his” new orchestra in any case. But at a time when many conductors hold two music director positions simultaneously, a few additional guest affiliations are not at all unusual.
The LSO’s two principal guest conductors will now be Noseda and Daniel Harding, who has held the position since 2006. Michael Tilson Thomas, who was the orchestra’s principal conductor for several years and became principal guest conductor in 1995, will assume the title of Conductor Laureate, and André Previn, also a former principal conductor, will shift to become Conductor Emeritus.
In a statement, Sir Simon Rattle said, “I am delighted that Gianandrea will become an even closer member of the LSO family. I have long admired his music-making, with its unusual marriage of lyricism and drama — and he is such a Mensch that I am sure it will be a very happy relationship going forward!”