Mariss Jansons

Latvian conductor Mariss Jansons has died last night at his home in St. Petersburg. He was 76 years old. Jansons was suffering from heart disease and had cancelled most of his concerts during the last year. In October 2019, after a six-month pause, he briefly returned to the conductor’s podium with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. He conducted one concert at Carnegie Hall in New York but had to cancel the second one.

Born in Riga into the family of conductor Arvids Jansons and singer Iraida Jansone, he moved with his parents to Leningrad in 1956, where his father worked as a conductor at the Leningrad Philharmonic. Mariss Jansons studied violin, piano and conducting at the Leningrad Conservatory.

He became a protegé of Herbert von Karajan and after winning second prize at the Herbert von Karajan International Conducting Competition in 1971, Jansons started a successful career.

In 1979, he was named music director of the Oslo Philharmonic, before taking up the position of principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 1992.

He was also the music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. In October 2002, Jansons was named the sixth chief conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (RCO) of Amsterdam, effective 1 September 2004, succeeding Riccardo Chailly. He ended his tenure after the 2014–2015 season.

At the start of the 2003/2004 season, Jansons began his tenure as chief conductor of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and his contract was to run until 2021.

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