Jablonski, Marek (Michael)

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V. Muške: ‘Arvīds Jansons’, Latviešu mūzika, v (Riga, 1966), 149–66

J. Vainkop: ‘Rasskaz ob orkestre’ [Story about the orchestra], SovM (1963), no.11, pp.84–7

M. Jansons, ed.: Arvid Jansons (St Petersburg, 1994)


Jansons, Mariss

(b Riga, 14 Jan 1943). Latvian conductor. The son of Arvīds Jansons, he began violin studies in Riga, and in 1957 entered the Leningrad Conservatory, where he also studied conducting with N.S. Rabinovich and made his conducting début before graduating with honours. From 1969 to 1972 he studied with Swarowsky in Vienna and then with Karajan in Salzburg, winning the International von Karajan Foundation Competition in Berlin in 1971. Two years later he was appointed associate conductor of the Leningrad PO, becoming associate principal conductor in 1985. In 1979 he was appointed music director of the Oslo PO, where he quickly raised the level of performance and introduced the orchestra to the international concert circuit, playing at the Salzburg Festival and the Proms, in Carnegie Hall, Suntory Hall (Tokyo) and elsewhere. Notable recordings with the orchestra include an anthology of Russian and eastern European works for the orchestra’s 75th anniversary, the complete Tchaikovsky symphonies and many orchestral works by Dvořák, Grieg, Sibelius and Honegger. Other orchestras with which he has recorded include the St Petersburg PO (the complete works of Rachmaninoff), the Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Berlin PO. His recordings, several of which have won awards, also include works by Berlioz, Mahler (a refined and luminous reading of the Second Symphony), Ravel and Wagner. He has been a guest conductor with most leading orchestras in North America and Europe, including the Chicago SO, Cleveland Orchestra, Vienna PO (with whom he made his 1994 Salzburg début), Latvian National SO and LPO (as principal guest conductor from 1992), and was appointed music director of the Pittsburgh SO in 1997.

Jansons’s repertory centres on 19th- and early 20th-century composers. His interpretations show analytical depth and colour, bringing out the essence as well as subtler nuances in the music. He has featured in a number of radio and television programmes, and has received the Star of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit for his work with the Oslo PO. In 1995 he was appointed professor of conducting at the St Petersburg Conservatory.


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