Thu. Dec 12th, 2019

Mariss Jansons, one of the last greats of the orchestra conducting, dies


The Latvian teacher died of a heart condition at 76

After finishing the direction of the 2016 New Year's Concert (he had already been in charge in 2006 and 2012), our dear José Luis Pérez de Arteaga wrote that Mariss Hansons, the director of the eyes so blue that they were almost transparent, had returned him to do. “Every orchestra improves with a great conductor. This rule applies even to a formation in the Vienna Philharmonic category when you have a teacher like Jansons on your podium. And it is that the Latvian musician has done it again, as happened in 2006 and 2012 – his previous performances at the New Year's Concert – conferring a very high level to the most widespread musical manifestation in the world. Jansons, of course, was magnificent, excellent even in certain passages of the program, but Viennese teachers also raised their usual level of excellence to set a memorable session together. ”

He was born in Riga in 1943 and was the director's son Arvīds Jansons. His mother, who was bean, he shone it in secret after his father and his brother (respectively, the maternal grandfather and uncle of Mariss Jansons) were killed in the Ghetto from Riga. In 1946, his father won the second prize in a national competition and was chosen by Yevgueni Mravinski to be his assistant in the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra. When his family moved with his father in 1956, the young Jansons entered the Leningrad Conservatory, where he studied piano and choral conducting.

An almost deadly "Bohème"

In 1969 he continued his preparation in Vienna with Hans Swarowski and in Salzburg with Herbert von Karajan, who invited him to be his assistant in the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, but the Soviet authorities prevented me from accepting. His talent was already glimpsed and in 1973 he was appointed associate director of the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra.

In 1979 he held the position of musical manager of the Oslo Philharmonic, with which he directed, recorded and traveled extensively. Jansons resigned from the Philharmonic in 2000 after several disputes with the city over the bad acoustics of the Oslo concert hall. In 1992 he was appointed principal guest director of the London Philharmonic and of the London Symphony.

A serious event marked him in 1996: he almost died in Oslo because of a heart attack while directing the final pages of "La bohème". Following the event, the Pittsburgh surgeons who intervened placed a defibrillator in his chest.

In 2003 he started as principal director of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestraeleven as successor of Lorin Maazeland at the end of 2004 he simultaneously became the successor of Riccardo Chailly as principal director of the Royal Orchestra of the Concertgebouw from Amsterdam, a position he abandoned at the end of the 2014/2015 season. In recent times he had canceled several concerts due to health problems-

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