Kristjan Järvi (Estonian pronunciation: [ˈkristjɑn ˈjærʋi]) (born 13 June 1972, Tallinn) is an Estonian-American conductor. Järvi is the younger son of Neeme Järvi, and the brother of conductor Paavo Järvi and flutist Maarika Järvi.
When Järvi was age 7, his family emigrated to the United States and settled in Rumson, New Jersey. He grew up in New York City. Järvi studied piano with Nina Svetlanova at the Manhattan School of Music. He later went on to study conducting at the University of Michigan under Kenneth Kiesler.
From 1998 to 2000, Järvi was Assistant Conductor to Esa-Pekka Salonen at the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He and the composer Gene Pritsker co-founded the Absolute Ensemble, based in New York City, in 1993, with Järvi as its music director. In 2007, Järvi and the Absolute Ensemble were awarded the Deutsche Bank Prize for Outstanding Artistic Achievement.
Järvi was Chief Conductor and Music Director of the Norrlands Opera Symphony Orchestra of Umeå in Sweden from 2000 to 2004. From 2004 to 2009, Järvi was Chief Conductor and Music Director of the Tonkünstler Orchestra, Vienna. Järvi is also the current Artistic Advisor to the Kammerorchester Basel and the conductor and founder of the Baltic Youth Philharmonic. In April 2011, Järvi was appointed the next chief conductor of the MDR Symphony Orchestra (MDR Sinfonieorchester) from the 2012-13 season on, with an initial contract of 3 years.
In addition to a Grammy nomination, Järvi has previously been awarded the German Record Critics Prize and a Swedish Grammy for the recording of Hilding Rosenberg's opera "Isle of Bliss". He has recorded Leonard Bernstein's Mass with the Tonkünstler Orchestra and Absolute Ensemble. While Järvi's repertoire includes pieces from the Classic and Romantic periods, he is also a specialist for 20th-century composers and contemporary music, having commissioned works by Arvo Pärt, Heinz Karl Gruber, Erkki-Sven Tüür, Ezequiel Viñao, Peeter Vähi and Joe Zawinul, among others. Järvi's philanthropic activities include founding the Estonian Orphanage Music Outreach foundation and the Absolute Academy in Bremen.
Järvi has a son, Lukas, from his first marriage to the violinist Leila Josefowicz. He and his second wife, the flautist Hayley Melitta, have three children, Finn Byron (born February 20, 2007), Avalon (born January 31, 2009), and Eden. The family makes their home in Leipzig and Florida.
- Brian Wise (2004-04-18). "A Maestro And His Plans For Reshaping An Orchestra". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-11-04.
- Brian Wise (2006-03-19). "A Premiere for the State And for the New Conductor". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-02.
- Anthony Tommasini (2000-10-27). "Putting Music Back Together Again". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-22.
- Ben Mattison (2005-12-20). "Kristjan Järvi Extends Contract With Austria's Tonkünstler Orchestra". Playbill Arts. Retrieved 2008-04-22.
- "MDR stellt neuen Chefdirigenten vor" (Press release). MDR. 18 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-06.
- "Kristjan Järvi soll das MDR-Sinfonieorchester modernisieren". Leipziger Volkszeitung. 2011-04-18. Retrieved 2011-11-06.
- Geoff Brown (2009-02-21). "Kristjan Järvi: Bernstein Mass". The Times. Retrieved 2009-09-23.
- Mary Ellyn Hutton (October 1, 2009). "Latin Just Another Focus for Kristjan Järvi". Cincinnati Post. Retrieved 2009-10-15.
- Janelle Gelfand (2011-11-04). "Kristjan Järvi brings his passion to CSO". Cincinnati Post. Retrieved 2009-09-23.
- IMG Artists Full Biography
- Kristjan Järvi official site
- Tonkünstler-Orchestra official site
- Absolute Ensemble official site