Biography Kristjan Järvi (English version)
Kristjan Järvi has been the principal conductor of the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra since the 2012 season. He is a unique musical personality pushing the classical music borders with new ideas, his charisma and extraordinary technical prowess. Hailed by The New York Times as "a kinetic force on the podium, like Leonard Bernstein reborn."
Järvi combines his classical music origins and his love for traditional repertoire with a powerful passion for original concert programmes, that catapults concert halls and audiences around the world into the 21st century. His name is synonymous with artistic and cultural diversity, his appointment as artistic advisor to the Basel Chamber Orchestra as well as founding and being principal conductor of the Absolute Ensemble embodies this. His commitment to music of all genres reflects itself in his collaborations with artist such as John Adams, Benny Andersson, Goran Bregovic, Tan Dun, Renée Fleming, HK Gruber, Eitetsu Hayashi, Marcel Khalifé, Arvo Pärt, Paquito D’Rivera, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Joe Zawinul.
As a relentless advocate of new music he is responsible for over 100 commissioned works.
Born in Estonia, Järvi grew up in the USA. He studied piano at the Manhattan School of Music and conducting at the University of Michigan. He began his career as assistant conductor to Esa-Pekka Salonen at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, from 2000 to 2004 he was the principal conductor and musical director of the Norrlands Opera Symphony Orchestra in Sweden and from 2004 to 2009 he was the principal conductor and music director of the Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich in Vienna.
As a guest conductor, Järvi appears regularly with the London Symphony Orchestra, with which he has toured Europe and Asia. Further guest conducting appearances have been with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France, the Orchestre de Paris, the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington D.C., the Sydney Symphony, the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo and the Teatro Regio in Turin. Within the German Broadcasting Cooperation (ARD) Järvi has repeatedly set incredibly high standards and has become an ideal conductor for radio orchestras. He has worked with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Järvi has more than 30 albums to his credit and has received various awards, including the Swedish Grammy for Best Opera Performance, the German Record Critics Prize for Best Album and is a Grammy nominee.
Järvi is a dynamic and enthusiastic music educator. He is founder and principal conductor of the Baltic Youth Philharmonic, which aims to become a key institution in the educational and concert life for the Baltic region. In addition to this, he is founder and principal conductor of the Absolute Academy which meets annually during the Bremen Musikfest, as well as a co-founder of the Estonian Orphanage Music Outreach foundation.
Järvi lives with his wife and three children in Palm Beach (Florida) and Leipzig.