Pärnu Music Festival
pärnu music festival neeme järvi paavo järvi © tõiv jõul

“The week­long music festival run by Paavo Järvi in the idyllic seaside town of Pärnu is a symbol of its country’s highest cultural ties with the best of the rest of Europe.” (David Nice, The Arts Desk)

The Pärnu Festival and Järvi Academy were founded by Paavo Järvi in 2011 together with his father, Neeme Järvi, and it’s family atmosphere envelopes the visiting musicians, students and audience alike creating a unique summer refuge on the Estonian coast.

Having grown up in Tallinn, Pärnu has always held a special place in Paavo’s heart as it was where the family traditionally gathered for summer holidays. During occupation it was also the summer home of artists including Dmitri Shostakovich and David Oistrakh who visited for the nearest thing to western tolerance and understanding in the Soviet Union. Pärnu was a place for artists to relax and enjoy each other’s company and it was here in 1973 that a young Paavo met Shostakovich for the first time.

It was also here that David Oistrakh invited musicians and students to join him for ad hoc performances in the little green Dacha which he rented each summer before his death in 1974. It was in this spirit that Paavo Järvi decided to return to Pärnu, surrounded by his family, and create a festival offering masterclasses to international young conductors, creating an Academy Orchestra comprising the very best of young Estonian musical talent and the Estonian Festival Orchestra – hand-picked by Paavo, including professional Estonian musicians complemented by soloists from the top European orchestras. In addition to playing in the Festival Orchestra, these guest musicians also perform chamber music concerts and offer advice to the younger generation of musicians.

The 2022 Festival celebrated the reunion of the Järvi family after a three year hiatus. Neeme Järvi returned to Estonia to celebrate his 85th birthday year and conducted the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra in the opening concert; Paavo Järvi directed the Estonian Festival Orchestra in four concerts; and the Baltic Sea Philharmonic visited Pärnu for the first time, performing under the direction of Kristjan Järvi. Amongst the guest soloists were Stephan Dohr (horn), Joshua Bell (violin) and Wayne Marshall (piano), who joined the Estonian Festival Orchestra for the closing concert.

The dates for the 2023 Festival are 12 – 21 July. The programme is yet to be announced.

This summer celebrates the reunion of the Järvi family after a three year hiatus. Neeme Järvi returns to Estonia to celebrate his 85th birthday year and conducts the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra in the opening concert; Paavo Järvi directs the Estonian Festival Orchestra …

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The Pärnu Music Festival enters its second decade with a celebration of Estonian composers. Complete list of concerts …

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This year’s Pärnu Festival will be going ahead as planned from 16 – 23 July with a re-imagined programme, a focus on both young and established Estonian talent, a celebration of Estonian composer Lepo Sumera and the world premiere of a new work by Veljo Tormis …

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Now in its ninth year the 2019 festival runs from 15 – 21 July and celebrates the 60th birthday of Estonian composer, Erkki-Sven Tüür …

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In its eighth year, the 2018 Pärnu Music Festival will take place from 5 – 11 August and celebrates the 100th anniversary of Estonian Independence by featuring an Estonian work in every programme …

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Now in its seventh year the 2017 Pärnu Music Festival runs from 10 – 17 August and is special as it celebrates the 80th birthday of Neeme Järvi, reuniting friends and family for an important milestone. Whilst the traditional highlights of the Pärnu Music Festival are the conducting masterclasses and performances by the Estonian Festival Orchestra …

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The Pärnu Music Festival and Järvi Academy were founded by conductor Paavo Järvi in 2010 together with his father, Neeme, and it’s family atmosphere envelopes the visiting musicians, students and audience to create a unique summer refuge on the Estonian coast …

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“Utopian music-making led by the Järvi family in Estonia’s magical summer town”

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