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Neeme Järvi celebrates 80th birthday with ERSO concerts

Neeme Järvi's jubilee concert will be broadcast live on ETV on Wednesday night.
Neeme Järvi's jubilee concert will be broadcast live on ETV on Wednesday night. Source: (ERSO/Facebook)

Conductor Neeme Järvi, who turns 80 on Wednesday, is celebrating his birthday with a series of three festive concerts in Tallinn and St. Petersburg. Wednesday night's concert at Estonia Concert Hall, which begins at 7 p.m., will be broadcast live by ETV and Klassikaraadio.

The first of the three concerts was held at Estonia Concert Hall in Tallinn on Tuesday night. Following Wednesday's concert, Järvi and the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra (ERSO) will travel to St. Petersburg to give a third and final concert at Mariinsky Theatre, according to an ERSO press release.

Guests from all over the world are expected in Tallinn, including representatives from orchestras he has conducted, such as the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Opera, Detroit Symphony Orchetra, Residentie Orkest the Hague, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande as well as ERSO itself and the Estonian National Opera.

According to Minister of Culture Indrek Saar, Järvi has been a cultural ambassador for Estonia, introducing the country, its culture and its music around the world with great dedication. "He has performed our composers' works with world-class orchestras and is currently one of the most-recorded conductors in the world," Saar highlighted. "His passion and precision are a great example for many young musicians who are just starting their professional path."

Tuesday's concert, which featured guest conducting by his younger son Kristjan Järvi, centered around Jean Sibelius' Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43. Wednesday's concert, which will feature Eduard Tubin's Symphony No. 5, will be conducted in part by his younger son Paavo Järvi. The two Tallinn concerts also feature solo performances by Järvi's daughter, flautist Maarika Järvi, and long-term creative partner Kalle Randalu as well as the Estonian National Male Choir (RAM).

"We are witnessing a historic occasion," said ERSO general manager Kristjan Hallik. "We're very fortunate to have a world-renowned conductor such as Neeme Järvi standing before ERSO. Fo a long time, his inspiring and spontaneous musicality has enchanted audiences and musicians all over the world. This is the first time we are able to celebrate one of the maestro's major birthdays on the right date in Estonia — June 7."

ETV and Klassikaraadio will both broadcast Wednesday night's concert live beginning at 7 p.m.

On June 1, the exhibition "An overview of Neeme Järvi's creative archive" was opened in the level 6 Exhibition Hall at the National Library of Estonia. This exhibition offers an overview of the conductor's engagements and concert performances around the world, and includes concert programs, posters, newspaper cuttings, photographs, books, records, congratulatory telegrams, diplomas, thank-you cards a well as fan albums compiled by admirers.

The exhibition will be open at the National Library through June 17.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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