Estonian conductor Paavo Järvi has been voted by the public as “Artist of the Year”, a title given at the Gramophone Classical Music Awards.
The award, presented by the Gramophone classical music magazine since 1977, was announced at the Gramophone annual awards ceremony on 17 September in London.
“One of the most sought-after conductors of today, and one of the most recorded, Paavo Järvi continues the family tradition. An interpreter of imagination who brings something fresh to everything he tackles, he is a musician well worth listening to,” said the magazine’s editor-in-chief, James Jolly.
“When I am in the recording studio, all thought is of the ‘here’ and ‘now’ – the music and the musicians,” Järvi said. “It’s easy to forget that the audience is as important a part of the whole experience because they will be the ones who decide whether your recording should stand the test of time – or not! So from now on I shall go into the studio reminding myself of the music, the musicians and audiences around the world who voted for me to receive this award. It’s a humbling thought to be chosen as Gramophone’s Artist of the Year and I am hugely proud to be standing here today to receive it.”
Just a week earlier, Järvi was presented the Sibelius Medal by Finland’s Ambassador during the opening concert of the Orchestre de Paris’s season at the Philharmonie – his final season with them as Music Director – and the previous week it was announced that the orchestra’s recording of French composer Henri Dutilleux was voted best recording of contemporary orchestral music by Germany’s ECHO Klassik Prize. As part of his final season, the orchestra is undertaking a substantial European tour with Sol Gabetta as soloist and is celebrating Arvo Pärt’s 80th birthday with an immersive weekend of Estonian music, which also includes the world premiere of Erkki Sven Tüür’s “Sow the Wind”.
To complete the autumnal highlights, Järvi commences his tenure as the chief conductor of the NHK Symphony Orchestra with a performance of Mahler Symphony No. 2 on 3 October and reunites with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, of which he has been the artistic director since 2004, to perform the complete Brahms Symphony cycle at Vienna’s Konzerthaus on 5-6 December, as part of a tour which also includes performances in Berlin, Hamburg, Amsterdam and Paris.
Järvi is currently the music director of the Orchestre de Paris, artistic director of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, and the incoming chief conductor of the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Japan. He is also the artistic director of the Pärnu Festival and the Järvi Academy, which takes place each July in the idyllic setting of Estonia’s south coast.
Launched in 1977, the Gramophone Awards are one of the most significant honours bestowed on recordings in the classical record industry, often viewed as equivalent to or surpassing the American Grammy award and widely regarded as the most influential classical music awards in the world.
Järvi is the seventh conductor to be awarded Artist of the Year succeeding Pierre Boulez, Riccardo Chailly, Antonio Pappano, Marin Alsop, Michael Tilson Thomas and Gustavo Dudamel.
Read also Estonian World’s full interview with Paavo Järvi, conducted in January 2015.
Cover: Paavo Järvi receiving his award at the Gramophone Classical Music Awards in London.