The Estonian conductor and Grammy Award winner Paavo Järvi is widely recognised as the musicians’ musician. On his farewell tour with the Orchestre de Paris, of which he was Music Director for six years, the Wiener Zeitung wrote: “One rarely experiences such an immediate connection between orchestra and conductor, such an extraordinarily attentive presence on both sides so that with economical means an understanding of the most subtle shades is possible.”
Paavo Järvi’s close association with orchestras is evident through his long standing relationship with The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen of which he has been Artistic Director since 2004. This year marks his fourth season as Chief Conductor of the NHK Symphony Orchestra and in Autumn 2019 he starts his first season as Chief Conductor and Music Director of the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich. He is also Conductor Laureate of Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Music Director Laureate of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Adviser to the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to his permanent positions, Järvi is in much demand as a guest conductor, returning to perform with the Orchestre de Paris and regularly appearing with the Berliner Philharmoniker, London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, Staatskapelle Berlin, Münchner Philharmoniker, Staatskapelle Dresden and Leipzig Gewandhaus. Highlights of his recent and upcoming guest engagements include the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Wiener Philharmoniker, New York Philharmonic and Teatro alla Scala in Milan.
Each season concludes with a week of performances and master-classes at the Pärnu Music Festival in Estonia, which Paavo Järvi founded in 2011. The success of both the festival and its resident ensemble – the Estonian Festival Orchestra — has led to a string of high profile invitations to perform across Europe, most recently at the BBC Proms and Hamburg Elbphilharmonie. This year the orchestra also makes its debut in Japan.
With an extensive discography, Paavo Järvi’s current projects include the third recording in the Brahms Symphony series with The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and the complete Sibelius Symphony cycle, which he recorded with the Orchestre de Paris, It was for this performance and recording project that Järvi was honoured with the Sibelius Medal, in recognition of his work in bringing greater attention to the Finnish composer’s music to French audiences. He was also awarded the Order of the White Star by the President of Estonia in 2013 for his outstanding contribution to Estonian culture.
Born in Tallinn, Estonia, Paavo Järvi studied Percussion and Conducting at the Tallinn School of Music. In 1980, he moved to the USA where he continued his studies at the Curtis Institute of Music and at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute with Leonard Bernstein.