Neeme Järvi

Chief Conductor 1963–1979, 2010-2020

Honorary Artistic Director for Life from 2017
Artistic Director and Principal Conductor 2010–2020
Principal Conductor 1963–1979

Neeme Järvi’s cooperation with ENSO began in 1956, in 1960 he became a regular conductor and in 1963 the principal conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of Estonian Radio (the present Estonian National Symphony Orchestra). Neeme Järvi’s arrival brought about a considerable improvement and stabilization in the quality of the orchestra’s performance. The repertoire of the orchestra broadened considerably and music was more frequently recorded for Estonian Radio and Melodya Record Company. The second half of the 1970s marks the beginning of annual concerts in the Grand Hall of Leningrad Philharmonia and performances and recordings in Moscow. With Neeme Järvi the orchestra also went on its first foreign tours – in 1972 to Romania and Bulgaria and in 1976 to Kuwait.

Neeme Järvi’s reunion with ENSO after his emigration to the US early in 1980 happened in 1993; two years later he took the orchestra with Tobias’ oratorio Jonah’s Mission to Gothenburg, Stockholm, Malmö and Helsinki. From the season 2010/2011 he is the artistic director of ENSO again.

Neeme Järvi has been of the most active promoters of Estonian music in the world. He and ENSO have been the first to perform such Estonian musical compositions as Arvo Pärt’s Symphonies No 1 (1964) and No 3 (1971, dedicated to Neeme Järvi) and Eduard Tubin’s Symphony No 8 (1967).

Neeme Järvi

The head of a musical dynasty, Neeme Järvi is one of today’s most highly respected maestros.  He conducts the world’s most prominent orchestras and works alongside soloists of the highest calibre.  A prolific recording artist, he has amassed a discography of nearly 500 recordings.

Over his long and highly successful career he has held positions with orchestras across the world.  He is currently Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Emeritus of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Residentie Orkest The Hague and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He also holds the titles of Principal Conductor Emeritus of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Conductor Laureate of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Recent and future seasons include engagements with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and Wiener Symphoniker, as well as the major orchestras in the USA, and regular engagements with the NHK and Singapore symphony orchestras. He also continues his regular relationships with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchetra, Swedesh National Orchestra of Gothenburg  and the Royal Scottish National orchestras (for a number of recording and concert projects).

Highlights of an impressive discography include critically acclaimed complete symphony cycles of Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Richard Strauss, Mahler, Dvořák, Glazunov, Grieg, Sibelius, Nielsen and Brahms.

Järvi has also championed less widely known composers such as Wilhelm Stenhammar, Hugo Alfvén and Niels Gade, Franz Berwald, Johann Svendsen and Johann Halvorsen of Norway  and composers from his native Estonia including Rudolf Tobias, Artur Kapp, Eduard Tubin and Arvo Pärt.  Throughout his career he has recorded with Chandos, Deutsche Grammophon, BIS and EMI amongst others.

Future releases on Chandos include works by Tchaikovsky complete ballets , Symphonies and orchestral Music by Swiss Composer Joachim Raff. Also  Music by Massenet, Chabrier, Saint-Saëns, Suppé, Atterberg, Scharwenka etc.

Neeme Järvi has been honoured with many international awards and accolades.  From his native country these include an honorary doctorate from the Music Academy of Estonia in Tallinn, and the Order of the National Coat of Arms from the President of the Republic of Estonia, Mr. Lennart Meri.  The Mayor of Tallinn presented Maestro Järvi with the city’s first-ever ceremonial sash and coat of arms insignia, and he has been named one of the ‘Estonians of the Century’.  Neeme Järvi holds an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters from Detroit’s Wayne State University and the University of Michigan, as well as honorary doctorates from the University of Aberdeen and the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.  He has also received the Commander of the North Star Order from King Karl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

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