Paavo Järvi caused a sensation early on because he approached the standard repertoire with an unconventional eye and was particularly impressive as an interpreter of Beethoven and Brahms – with exuberant energy and breathtaking freshness. He made his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker in February 2000, but the Estonian-born conductor was familiar with the orchestra’s sound much earlier: “I grew up listening to recordings of the Berliner Philharmoniker. We listened to them almost every day.”
Paavo Järvi comes from a family of musicians (both his father Neeme and brother Kristjan are conductors, his sister Maarika is a flautist) and studied percussion and conducting at the Tallinn School of Music. In 1980, he went to the USA and completed his training at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute under Leonard Bernstein. Paavo Järvi is music director of the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich and the NHK Symphony Orchestra as well as artistic director of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and the Estonian Festival Orchestra, which he founded. He is also conductor laureate of the hr-Sinfonieorchester, music director laureate of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and artistic advisor to the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra of the Pärnu Music Festival. Honoured by the French government with the title Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and by the President of Estonia with the Order of the White Star, Järvi is also a welcome guest with other renowned orchestras such as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic, the Staatskapelle Dresden and the Orchestre de Paris, where he was Music Director from 2010 to 2016. His artistic work is documented in many award-winning CD recordings.