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behind the scene

Andris Nelson with his holographic image

BSO music director Andris Nelsons (far left) and his holographic image.Stu Rosner

Who: Boston Symphony Orchestra
Music Director Andris Nelsons

What: A multimedia display featuring a life-size hologram of Nelsons,
welcoming the maestro for his
inaugural BSO season

When: On display and open to the public before evening concerts and from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays through
Jan. 29

Andris Nelsons’s vigor and passion are palpable when he’s on the conductor’s podium, so it only makes sense for the Boston Symphony Orchestra to introduce their new music director in a way that truly captures his larger-than-life personality. That’s why Symphony Hall’s recently installed multimedia display, meant to commemorate Nelsons’s inaugural season, features a life-size hologram of the dynamic maestro who, at 35, is the youngest BSO conductor in over a century.


“[The BSO] was looking for a really interesting way to introduce this fresh, young director,” said Ken McKibben, president of MediaMerge, the Alabama tech company that created the holographic display to illustrate Nelsons’s vivacious character. “Nelsons’s personality is so overflowing. He has this engaging quality that’s incredibly fun — he’s not what you’d expect at all.”

Interspersed with video and photographs shown on a screen behind the projection, a holographic Nelsons shares how music has consumed his life since he was 5 years old, when he saw a performance of Wagner’s “Tannhauser.” Surrounded by floating musical notes, the Latvian conductor discusses his musical values and speaks of the “hypnotic power of music,” a fitting theme for presentation through the three-dimensional, futuristic medium.

“I must say it’s both strange and exciting to stand next to your own talking and moving hologram,” said Nelsons, speaking of seeing the projection in person. “And I was happy to see that I have lost some weight since recording the image last July!”


Along with the hologram, the multimedia display includes concert footage, promotional video, behind-the-scenes clips and interviews, podcasts, press clippings and memorabilia, including the Red Sox jersey Nelsons wore when he threw the first pitch at a Fenway game last June. Fans can also take part in an iPad trivia contest about the BSO’s 15th music director, and can send him a message in the guestbook.

Nelsons added, “I hope our wonderful patrons enjoy taking in this amazing technology, and that the hologram and overall exhibit might convey some interesting and useful information, especially to newcomers to the BSO.”

Eryn Carlson can be reached at