Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano and orchestra Concerto no. 4 in G major, Op.58
Symphony no. 5 in B flat major, Op.100
Mariss Jansons is considered one of the most outstanding podium personalities of our time. Born in 1943 in Riga as the son of the conductor Arvīds Jansons, he completed his musical education at the Leningrad Conservatory. Afterwards he studied in Vienna under Hans Swarowsky and in Salzburg under Herbert von Karajan.
In 1971 Evgeny Mravinsky made him his assistant with the Leningrad Philharmonic, today’s St. Petersburg Philharmonic. He remained closely connected with this orchestra as a regular conductor until 1999.
From 1979 to 2000 Mariss Jansons set standards as Chief Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic, which he formed into a top international orchestra. In addition he was Principal Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra (1992-1997) and Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (1997-2004).
Since 2003, he has been the Chief Conductor of the Symphonieorchester and Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks (BRSO) with which he succeeded to create an atmosphere of the highest artistic standards and a close emotional ties. From 2004 to 2015 he also assumed the post of Chief Conductor of the Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest in Amsterdam. Among other orchestras he also works regularly with the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics. In 2016 he conducted the world famous New Year’s Concert in Vienna for the third time.
Mariss Jansons’ list of the entire accolades is long and mirrors his achievements for culture and art. Among these he was awarded the Norwegian “Royal Order of Merit”, the Austrian “Cross of Honor for Scholarship and Art”, the “Three Stars” Medal of the Republic of Latvia and he received the Bavarian “Order of Maximilian”. In 2013 he was awarded the German “Federal Cross of Merit, 1st Class”, was made a “Knight of the Lion of the Netherlands” and appointed “Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres”, the highest cultural award of the French Republic.
For his life achievement Mariss Jansons was honored in March 2015 with the “Latvian Great Music Award” which is the country’s most important artistic recognition.
The Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks was founded by Eugen Jochum in 1949 and developed into an internationally renowned orchestra. Its fame continuously expanded and fortified by its chief conductors Rafael Kubelik, Sir Colin Davis and Lorin Maazel. Since 2003 it is Mariss Jansons setting new standards as the orchestra’s Chief Conductor.
Besides the orchestra’s repertoire of classic and romantic oeuvres a strong focus lays on contemporary works, in conjuction with the “musica viva” series, founded 1945 by Karl Amadeus Hartmann. Right from the start it was one of the main assignments fostering contemporary works of composers like Igor Stravisky, Darius Milhas as well as, more recently Karlheinz Stockhausen, Mauricia Kagel, Luciano Berio and Peter Eötvös. Many of them stood on the podium themselves.
Many renown guest conductors shaped the artistic profile of the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks from its beginning on. Maestri like Erich and Carlos Kleiber, Otto Klemperer, Leonard Berstein, Georg Solti, Maria Giulini, Kurt Sanderling and – in recent times – Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Muti, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Herbert Blomstedt, Daniel Harding, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Sir Simon Rattle and Andris Nelsons.
Besides the many performances in Munich and other German cities extensive concert tours take the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks regularly to every European country, Asia as well as North and South America. It makes regular appearances in New York’s Carnegie Hall and in the renowned concert halls in Japan’s musical capitals. Since 2004, the Symphonieorchester under the direction of its current Chief Conductor, Mariss Jansons, is additionally the orchestra in residence at the Easter Festival in Lucerne.
The Orchestra gives special attention to the encouragement of up-and-coming young musicians. In conjunction with the ARD International Music Competition, the Symphonieorchester accompanies young musicians both in the final rounds as well as in the symphonic closing concert featuring the prize winners. Since October of 2001 the Academy of the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks has been doing valuable educational work by preparing young musicians for their later careers and thus building a solid bridge between education and professional activity. Beyond this, the Symphonieorchester maintains an encouragement program for young people with many activities designed toward the worthy goal of bringing the younger generation closer together with classical music.
In a number of different surveys of music critics, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks has numbered among the top ten orchestras in the world, most recently in the 2008 orchestra ranking by the British music magazine “Gramophone”, (6th place) and in the Japanese music magazine “Mostly Classic” in 2010 (4th place).