Paavo Järvi

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Paavo Järvi
Järvi in 2013
Järvi in 2013
Background information
Born (1962-12-30) 30 December 1962 (age 60)
Tallinn, Estonia
GenresClassical, contemporary

Paavo Järvi (Estonian pronunciation: [ˈpɑːʋo ˈjærʋi]; born 30 December 1962) is an Estonian-American conductor. He has been chief conductor of Zurich's Tonhalle since 2020.

Early life[edit]

Järvi was born in Tallinn, Estonia, to Liilia Järvi and the Estonian conductor Neeme Järvi. His siblings, Kristjan Järvi and Maarika Järvi, are also musicians. After leaving Estonia, the family settled in the US. Järvi studied privately with Leonid Grin in Philadelphia, at the Curtis Institute of Music with Max Rudolf and Otto-Werner Mueller, and at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute with Leonard Bernstein.

Anton Bruckner: Symphony no. 3, third movement, excerpt from a 2006 recording with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony


From 1994 to 1997, Järvi was principal conductor of the Malmö Symphony Orchestra. From 1995 to 1998, he shared the title of principal conductor of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra with Sir Andrew Davis. Järvi was music director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra from 2001 to 2011.[1] The orchestra made a number of recordings for the Telarc label during Järvi's tenure. In May 2011, he was named the orchestra's Music Director Laureate. Since 2004, he has been the Artistic Director of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Bremen and an Artistic Advisor to the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. In 2006, Järvi became the Principal Conductor of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra,[2] and served in the post until 2014. In 2010, he became Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris,[3] concluding his tenure in 2016, the same year in which he was named Artist of the Year by both Gramophone and Diapason magazines.[4]

Järvi is the founder and artistic director of both the Pärnu Music Festival and the Estonian Festival Orchestra. Järvi first guest-conducted the Tonhalle Orchestra in 2009, and returned in December 2016.[5] In May 2017, the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich announced the appointment of Järvi as its next chief conductor, effective with the 2019–2020 season, with an initial contract of five years. In December 2022, the orchestra announced an extension of Järvi's contract as its chief conductor through the 2028-2029 season.[6]

Outside of Europe, in June 2012, the NHK Symphony Orchestra announced the appointment of Järvi as its chief conductor, beginning in the 2015–2016 season, with an initial contract of three years,[7] which was extended a further three years to 2021. In November 2019, the NHK Symphony announced an extension of his contract through August 2022,[8] at which time he stood down as its chief conductor.[9]

Järvi has recorded for such labels as RCA, Deutsche Grammophon, PENTATONE, Telarc, ECM, BIS and Virgin Records. His Virgin Classics recording of Sibelius Cantatas with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Estonian National Male Choir and Ellerhein Girls Choir won a Grammy Award for "Best Choral Performance".

Personal life[edit]

Järvi has two daughters, Lea and Ingrid, from his past marriage to the violinist Tatiana Berman.[10] Järvi was featured in the documentary Maestro, directed by David Donnelly. He became an American citizen in 1985.[1]



  1. ^ a b Gelfand, Janelle (25 January 2000). "Search ends with CSO landing its choice". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Orozco-Estrada wird neuer Chefdirigent" (Press release). Hessischer Rundfunk. 4 March 2013. Archived from the original on 12 April 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  3. ^ Matthew Westphal (31 May 2007). "Paavo Järvi to Succeed Christoph Eschenbach at Helm of Orchestre de Paris". Playbill Arts. Retrieved 31 May 2007.
  4. ^ Loomis, George (28 August 2014). "France's New Music Temple". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  5. ^ "Neuer Chefdirigent und Künstlerischer Leiter des Tonhalle-Orchesters Zürich ab 2019/20" (PDF) (Press release). Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich. 30 May 2017. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 June 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  6. ^ "Die Reise geht weiter bis 2029" (Press release). Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich. 7 December 2022. Retrieved 12 December 2022.
  7. ^ "Paavo Järvi Appointed as Chief Conductor From the 2015/16 season" (Press release). NHK Symphony Orchestra. 6 July 2012. Archived from the original on 6 May 2013. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
  8. ^ "Paavo Järvi Chief Conductor of the NHK Symphony Orchestra tenure extended to August 2022" (PDF) (Press release). NHK Symphony Orchestra. 22 November 2019. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  9. ^ "Fabio Luisi appointed as Chief Conductor of the NHK Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo from 2022/23 season" (Press release). NHK Symphony Orchestra. 9 April 2021. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  10. ^ Arenstein, Anne (11 October 2011). "Combining Artistic Energies: The Constella Festival". City Beat. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
  11. ^ "Paavo Järvi". 5 February 2023. Retrieved 6 February 2023.

External links[edit]

Cultural offices
Preceded by Principal Conductor, Malmö Symphony Orchestra
Succeeded by
Christoph König
Preceded by Principal Conductor, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
Succeeded by
Preceded by Artistic Director, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Bremen
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Vladimir Ashkenazy (music director)
Chief Conductor, NHK Symphony Orchestra
Succeeded by