Mariss Jansons is a gifted musician who has had an exemplary career. His lively, humble and committed conducting has artfully combined tradition and modernity.
Mariss Jansons was born to famous conductor Arvid Jansons and a singer. He began learning violin and viola very early and then at the age of thirteen, began studying piano and conducting at the Leningrad Conservatory. After graduating, in 1969, he went to Vienna to study with Hans Swarowsky. He was soon noticed by Karajan and made his assistant for two festivals in Salzburg. He then became Assistant Conductor at the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra in 1973. From 1979 to 2002, he acted as Musical Director of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra to which he gave a level worthy of the great European phalanges. In 1992 he began occasionally conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra and from 1997 to 2004 he took over from Lorin Maazel as head of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He then replaced Lorin Maazel once more in 2003, this time as Conductor of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. The following year he took over from Riccardo Chailly as Director of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam.
Throughout his career, Mariss Jansons favoured Russian music, especially that of composers such as Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Stravinsky and Smetana. His wonderfully rigorous and flamboyant conducting also did great justice to the works of Bartók, Dvořák, Richard Strauss, Mahler and Grieg.
Six Landmark Dates in the Life of Mariss Jansons
1971 : Wa awarded Second Place in the Karajan Competition
2006 : Conducted the New Year's Eve Concert in Vienna
2006 : Received a Grammy award for his recording of Shostakovitch's 13th Symphony
2008 : Received the Austrian Decoration for Science and Art
2012 : Conducted the New Year's Eve Concert
2013 : Received the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize