R.I.P 〓 Mariss Jansons, Latvian Conductor

2019/12/01

Latvian conductor Mariss Jansons died on November 30 at the age of 76 in his home in St. Petersburg. Jansons has a heart disease, and in 1996 he was struck by a heart attack while conducting the opera “Boheme” at the Norwegian State Opera in Oslo. This year, we stopped all summer activities. Even after the season began in September, he had canceled concerts by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

Jansons was born in 1943 in Riga, the capital of Latvia. His father was Arvīds Jansons, who later served as the conductor of the Leningrad Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra with Evgeni Mravinsky. His mother, Elijah Jansons, was a Jewish singer who hiding in Riga after killing her father and brother in the ghetto.

Jansons studied piano, violin, and conducting at the Leningrad Conservatory and then studied at the Vienna State Conservatory, where he received guidance from Hans Swarowsky. In 1971, he won second place in the Karajan International Conductor Competition and made his debut by conducting the Leningrad Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra. Since 1973, he has served as a deputy conductor as an assistant to Mravinsky.

The first big post was the principal conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and served from 1979 to 2000. From 1997 to 2004, he was also the principal conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Since then, the field of activities has expanded greatly. In 2003, he became a Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and in 2004 became the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. After retiring from the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in 2015, he continued to be the principal conductor of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.

The repertoire is wide from opera to orchestra, and he was good at German and Austrian music and Russian composers such as Beethoven, Richard Strauss, Dvorak, Mahler, Shostakovich. For Shostakovich, he completed a complete symphony collection by eight orchestras. In 2006, 2012 and 2016, he was the conductor of the New Year’s concert of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

Photo:Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra / Peter Meisei

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