Järvi conducting dynasty jubilees to be celebrated at an Estonian music festival

The Leigo Lake Music Festival, due to take place on 13 August in southern Estonia, will celebrate the jubilees of the three maestros – the father Neeme Järvi and sons Paavo Järvi and Kristjan Järvi, who will all also conduct at the festival; additionally, as many as 10 soloists from the Järvi family will perform.

The festival’s concert programme will celebrate the 85th birthday of Neeme Järvi, the 60th birthday of his son, Paavo Järvi, and the 50th birthday of another son, Kristjan Järvi.

The entire programme has been put together by the Järvis themselves and features their favourite works of all time, the Leigo festival said in a statement. “The Sunset Concert” features works by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Jean Sibelius, Eino Tamberg and Alexander Glazunov, with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra performing on stage alongside the father and his sons.

Additionally, as many as 10 soloists from the Järvi family will step on stage at the “Sunshine Concert’’ – Martin Järvi (violin), Madis Järvi (viola), Mihkel Järvi (piano), Miina Järvi (violin), Marius Järvi (cello), Teet Järvi (cello), Mari Järvi (piano), Maarika Järvi (flute), Ingely Laiv-Järvi (oboe) and Lisa Kawasaki-Järvi (flute).

Leigo Lake Festival in 2018. Photo by Ruudu Rahumaru.

International career

Neeme Järvi was born in Tallinn and initially studied music there, and later in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) at the Leningrad Conservatory under Yevgeny Mravinsky and Nikolai Rabinovich, among others.

Due to lack of artistic freedom in the Soviet-occupied Estonia, Järvi emigrated to the United States in 1980 with his family and became an American citizen in 1985. Since then, he has conducted many prominent orchestras, including the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and over his long career, assembled a discography of nearly 500 recordings.

Neeme Järvi conducting a choir at Estonian Song Celebration in 2019. Photo by Merili Reinpalu.

Paavo Järvi started his music career in Tallinn, studying percussion and conducting at the Georg Ots Tallinn Music College. In 1980, when he moved to the US with his family, he continued his studies at the Curtis Institute of Music and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute under Leonard Bernstein.

Over the last 30 years, he has served as the chief conductor of the Malmö Symphony Orchestra and the Stockholm Royal Philharmonic Orchestra as well as the musical director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Currently, he serves as the chief conductor of the Tonhalle Orchester-Zürich and the NHK Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo, and as the long-standing artistic director of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen.

Paavo Järvi conducting at Prague Spring Festival. Photo by Zdenek Chrapek.

Kristjan Järvi is a creative and innovative conductor and composer. He is a versatile figure, dividing himself between leading his own orchestra, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, and the traditional conductor’s repertoire and music projects that push boundaries.

He has studied the piano at the Manhattan School of Music, conducting at the University of Michigan, and completed his piano masterclass at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. He founded the Absolute Ensemble in New York back in 1993 and is still the artistic director of this ensemble today. Kristjan Järvi is also the current artistic advisor to the Basel Chamber Orchestra.

Leigo Lake Festival in 2018. Photo by Ruudu Rahumaru.

Love of lakes and classical music

The Leigo Lake Music Festival was founded by Tõnu Tamm at his Leigo Farm, in Estonia’s Valga County. Over the decades, Tamm created 14 artificial lakes in his land. As a lover of both the environment and classical music, he built two concert stages by the biggest lake, Leigo, and in 1998, launched a namesake annual music festival.

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