Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra - Paavo Jarvi, Inaugural Concert
Praised throughout the world as a gifted, innovative conductor and extraordinary musician, Paavo Järvi deftly led the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in his inaugural concert as Music Director. In this 90-minute program, performed and recorded September 14-15, 2001, at historic Music Hall, Maestro Järvi brought his inspired music-making to Tchaikovsky's lush and lyrical Symphony No. 5 -- a perfect showcase for his passion and imagination -- and was rewarded by a wildly cheering audience. ''It was not only a testimony to the uplifting power of music, but a recognition of what will undoubtedly be a brilliant tenure,'' acclaimed The Cincinnati Enquirer.
In creating the program for his inaugural concert, Maestro Järvi wanted to deliver an exhilarating balance of new and old. He chose Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 in part because it is truly loved by audiences and musicians, and it is one of his favorite symphonies. ''It is something that has the range of emotions. It is a serious, complicated, quite intricate work and yet it is so part of our culture... so accessible and well loved by everybody,'' Maestro Järvi said.
After paying tribute to a masterwork, Paavo Järvi showcased a world premiere -- Streetscapeby Charles Coleman. Commissioned by Järvi and the CSO for this concert, Streetscape is a vibrant musical montage of life in New York City. The 20-minute piece combines classical themes with jazz, salsa and a Copland-like mix of percussion. Järvi says, ''(Streetscape) finds the perfect balance between music that communicates on one level intellectually, and ... on another level it communicates to your soul. It's music that has spirit, has soul.''
Järvi's leadership on the podium captured international attention. ''Paavo Järvi (is) putting the Cincinnati Symphony on the map,'' declared Gramophone Magazine on its cover. In 2003-2004, he led the orchestra in 13 of its 22 weekends of subscription concerts, and on tours to Asia and Florida and, in 2009, to Japan. He and the CSO have received critical acclaim for their albums on the Telarc label of works by Berlioz, Stravinsky, Sibelius and Eduard Tubin in his first two seasons; recordings of works by Ravel and Prokofiev were published in successive seasons.
Born in Tallinn, Estonia, Mr. Järvi moved to the United States at age 17. He studied at the Curtis Institute of Music under Otto-Werner Mueller and Max Rudolf, and at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute with Leonard Bernstein. He has held the post of Principal Guest Conductor with both the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and the City of Birmingham (England) Symphony Orchestra, and has had an impressive list of conducting engagements with orchestras around the world. In 2002 Mr. Järvi began a two-year term as Artistic Advisor of the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and received the Kultuurkapital Award from the Estonian Ministry of Culture.
Charles Coleman was born in New York City in 1968 and began his musical career at age 11 as a boy soprano at both the Metropolitan Opera and the New York City Opera. He began composing in 1984 and received his Master's degree in composition from the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with American composers David Noon and Erik Lundborg. Mr. Coleman is a 1994-95 recipient of the ''Meet the Composer'' grant and the Jerome Foundation Composer's Forum Grant. He is Composer-in-Residence of the Absolute Ensemble, of which Maestro Järvi's brother, Kristjan Järvi, is founder and Music Director.
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is a dynamic ensemble of some of the world's finest musicians and has built a reputation as one of the world's foremost orchestras. The fifth oldest symphony in the United States and the oldest orchestra in Ohio, the CSO has played a leading role in the cultural life of the Midwest since its founding in 1895. The CSO has been home to the American premieres of works by Debussy, Ravel and Bartók, and has commissioned works that have since become mainstays of the classical repertoire, including Aaron Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man. Among the orchestra's music directors in its 108-year history were such luminaries as Leopold Stokowski, Fritz Reiner, Max Rudolf and Thomas Schippers. The CSO was the first orchestra to be broadcast on national radio, the third orchestra to record and the first to make a world tour sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. The CSO today has 99 full-time musicians, tours internationally, is the umbrella institution that includes the Cincinnati Pops, and through both, has sold nearly 9 million albums since 1980. For more information, visit the CSO's website.
The PBS telecast of Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra - Paavo Järvi, Inaugural Concert was produced by CET Cincinnati in association with Brandenburg Productions, Inc. Phillip Byrd is the program's executive producer and director. Joanne Grueter is coordinating producer, John McClure is audio producer and Randy Nordstrum is lighting designer. The telecast was generously underwritten by The Louis and Louise Dieterle Nippert Trust.