The Estonian-American conductor, Paavo Järvi, was born in Tallinn to conductor Neeme Järvi and Liilia Järvi. His siblings, Kristjan Järvi and Maarika Järvi, are also musicians. he studied percussion and conducting at the Tallinn School of Music. Then, in 1980, he moved with his family to Rumson, New Jersey in the USA where he studied at the Curtis Institute of Music, The University of Houston School of Music (under Leonid Grin), and at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute with Leonard Bernstein.
Paavo Järvi became Music Director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in September 2001 and has recently extended his contract with the orchestra until 2011-2012. During his Music Directorship they have toured together throughout America (including a California and a West Coast tour) and Japan. Their second tour of Europe in April 2008 was a major success and included concerts in Vienna, Paris, Amsterdam, Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Barcelona and Madrid.
Currently in his third season as Music Director of Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Paavo Järvi and the orchestra have just returned from a very successful tour to China and. Previous tours have taken them to major European Festivals, including the BBC Proms, the Rheingau Musik Festival in Germany and the Robeco Summer series in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.
Paavo Järvi has been the Artistic Leader of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen since 2004 and has led the orchestra to highest public and critical acclaim for their concerts and recordings (on Sony-BMG) of L.v. Beethoven Symphonies. Their first CD with Symphonies Nos. 3 and 8 won the prestigious Annual German Record Critics’ Prize for 2007, while the second volume with Symphonies Nos. 4 and 7 has been praised as “brilliantly conceived interpretations of both works, full of idiomatic fire and athletic drive” (Classics Today, January 2008). Paavo Järvi and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen will perform all the L.v. Beethoven symphonies in the Champs Elysees in March 2009, at the 2009 Salzburg Festival and at the Warsaw Easter Festival in 2010. They will also take part in the re-opening concerts for Alice Tully Hall (New York) in 2009.
As Artistic Advisor to the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Paavo Järvi is known for having championed many works by Estonian composers including Arvo Pärt, Erkki-Sven Tüür, Lepo Sumera and Eduard Tubin. His Virgin Classics recording of Sibelius Cantatas with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Estonian National Male Choir and Ellerhein Girls Choir won a Grammy Award for “Best Choral Performance”. His most recent recording - E-S Tüür’s Symphony No.4 “Magma” with Evelyn Glennie - was nominated for a 2008 Gramophone Award.
Paavo Järvi will become the seventh Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris in 2010-2011, joining an eminent list of conductors who have held the post since 1967, including: Daniel Barenboim, Sir Georg Solti, Herbert von Karajan, and Charles Munch.
In addition to his permanent positions, Paavo Järvi is in much demand as a guest conductor. Orchestras he has guest-conducted include the Orchestre National de France (Gustav Mahler's 2nd and 3rd Symphonies, Anton Bruckner's 4th Symphony), Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, Dresden Staatskapelle, La Scala and NHK Symphony. He gave his very successful debut with the Wiener Philharmoniker in November 2006, conducting Franz Schubert's Great C major symphony. He made his subscription series debut with the Cleveland Orchestra in May 2007. Highlights of 2007-2008 included a return to the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam. In 2008-2009, he will return to Cleveland, as well as to the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, the Orchestre de Paris and the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zürich.
Paavo Järvi has recorded for the Telarc label as well as ECM and Virgin Records. His extensive discography for EMI/Virgin Classics includes orchestral music by Grieg, the Grammy award-winning recording of Sibelius’s Cantatas, and Grieg’s Peer Gynt, which won the best orchestral recording in the 2006 BBC Music Magazine Awards. All three discs were recorded with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. Paavo Järvi has released more than 10 CD’s on Telarc with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Their most recent release is a recording of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. With the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, he has recently embarked on a cycle of Bruckner symphonies, the first of which - Symphony No. 7 - has just been released by Sony BMG.