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Kristjan Jarvi (Conductor)

Estonian-born and American-raised, conductor Kristjan Jarvi is a unique musical personality pushing classical music borders with fresh ideas, charisma and technical prowess.  Hailed by the New York Times as “a kinetic force on the podium, like Leonard Bernstein reborn,” Jarvi has combined his classical roots and affinity for traditional repertoire with an infectious enthusiasm for creating original programs; propelling classical concert halls around the globe into the
21st Century.

Kristjan Jarvi’s name has become synonymous with artistic and cultural diversity, embodied in his roles as Artistic Advisor to the Basel Chamber Orchestra and Founder and Music Director of New York’s Absolute Ensemble.  His imaginative programming has been embraced by leaders of classical, jazz and world music spheres alike. Jarvi’s authentic commitment to all genres is reflected in his collaborations with Arvo Pдrt, Tan Dun, John Adams, Esa-Pekka Salonen, H.K Gruber, Renee Fleming, Joe Zawinul, Benny Andersson, Goran Bregovic, Paquito d’Rivera, Eitetsu Hayashi and Marcel Khalife.  

Kristjan Jarvi has actively sought the commission of over 100 new works.  Premieres in the 2009-10 Season include works by: Indian composer Nitin Sawhney with the London Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Schnyder with the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, James MacMillan with the London Symphony Orchestra and Tim Garland with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.  Jarvi will also record Arvo Pдrt’s newly commissioned Stabat Mater with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra.  

Kristjan Jarvi is a dynamic and enterprising music educator.  He is Founding Conductor and Music Director of the Baltic Youth Philharmonic. With the support of former German Chancellor Schrцder, Valery Gergiev and Esa-Pekka Salonen, the Baltic Youth Philharmonic aims to become an education and performance hub for the Baltic region.  This season the BYP opened Bremen Musikfest and Usedom Music Festival and toured the Baltic Sea Nations.  In 2010 it will return to Usedom and Bremen, perform at St. Petersburg’s White Nights Festival and tour Bernstein’s Mass throughout Europe.

Additionally, Jarvi is Founder and Music Director of the Absolute Academy (resident annually at Musikfest Bremen) and co-founder of the Muusikaselts Estonian Orphanage Program.  Mr. Jarvi has worked with Japan’s Hyogo Youth Orchestra, the Norwegian Youth Orchestra, the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, Sydney Sinfonia and the National Repertory Orchestra, Colorado.    

Kristjan Jarvi is highly sought-after as a Guest Conductor.  He appears regularly and exclusively in London with the London Symphony Orchestra, with whom he will tour Europe and Asia in the 2009-10 season.  In 2009 Jarvi will conduct Teatro Reggio Torino in a new production of Rossini’s Tancredi. Further guest conducting engagements in this and last season include concerts with: Staatskapelle Dresden; Bayerische Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra, Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig; NDR Hamburg; Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra; City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; Orchestre National de France; Orchestre de Paris; Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Rome; National Symphony Orchestra, Washington; Sydney Symphony; and NHK Symphony Japan.

Kristjan Jarvi is a passionate recording artist with more than 25 albums to his credit.  He has received a list of accolades, including a Swedish Grammy for Best Opera Performance, the German Record Critics Prize for Best Album and a Grammy Nomination. The 2009 Chandos release of Bernstein’s epic Mass was met with widespread acclaim and was Gramophone Magazine’s “Editor’s Choice.” Other recent releases include Haydn’s Paris Symphonies and Schmidt’s Das Buch mit Sieben Siegeln.  In 2009 Kristjan Jarvi will release Mahler’s little-known arrangement of Beethoven 9 with the Vienna Tonkьnstler Orchestra; and Absolute Zawinul - the late Joe Zawinul’s last studio recording.  

An accomplished pianist, Kristjan Jarvi studied piano at the Manhattan School of Music and conducting at the University of Michigan. He began his career assisting Esa-Pekka Salonen at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, followed by Chief Conductor and Music Director posts at both the Norrlands Opera and Symphony Orchestra, Sweden (2000-2004) and the Tonkьnstler Orchestra, Vienna (2004-2009).  In 2007 Musikfest Bremen honored Kristjan Jarvi and Absolute Ensemble with the Deutsche Bank Prize in recognition of Outstanding Artistic Achievement.

Kristjan Jarvi makes his home in Vienna and Florida together with his wife and three children.

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