Just in: Mariss Jansons quits midway through Sydney concert

Just in: Mariss Jansons quits midway through Sydney concert


norman lebrecht

December 01, 2013

Touring has taken its toll again on the fragile chief of the Concertgebouw Orchestra. Having dropped out of the China leg of the orchestra’s tour, he was unable to complete the final concert in Sydney, handing over the baton for the rest of  Tchaikovsky 5th to bright young Scot, Rory MacDonald.

rory macdonald


Jansons, 71 next month, has long-standing cardiac issues. This may be his last long tour. We wish him the best of health.

Rumour has it that he is reluctant to renew his contract with the Concertgebouw, saving his energies for the Bavarian Radio in Munich.

Read UPDATE: here.



  • kamioner says:

    This is very disturbing news, as he is scheduled to conduct the Bayerische Rundfunk at Carnegie Hall in New York this coming May for 3 performances.

  • Laurence Glavin says:

    Seventy-one is a prime number so technically he should be in the prime of life.

  • Papageno says:

    He might have to step down from the Concertgebouw fairly soon, if his health is becoming more of a problem and he wants to focus on the Bayerische Rundfunk. Of course, speculation would then begin as to who would take over the podium in Amsterdam. That’s a pretty coveted job, right up there with Berlin and the LSO.

  • Lauren says:

    I hope he can find a way to continue to do what he loves in spite of his health concerns.

  • Dear Friends, though the form of Mariss Jansons’ contract in Amsterdam is of a different nature than in Munich (‘evergreen’ vs ‘renewal’) , please rest assured that we are already and confidently planning the 2017-18 season with Mariss Jansons.

    • Papageno says:

      The orchestra really sounds wonderful with him. I wish the RCO would come back to Los Angeles soon with Maestro Jansons so we could hear you guys again. 🙂

  • Don Ciccio says:

    Let’s not forget that Mariss’ father, Arvids, dies of a heart attack. I am sure Mariss is having regular chatrs with his doctor. Let’s wish him a healthy life and more years of great music making.

    • Given this comment: namely that Mariss’s father died of a heart attack, that he is prepared to leave the rostrum when he is feeling unwell should help him prolong his life.

      Stress aside, conducting is great cardio-vascular exercise. Providing he is looking after himself otherwise, he should have more years ahead of him.

      He is a very gifted conductor, and whereas previously, three-score=years-and-ten may have been seen as the sum of a man’s life, conductors have been known for their longevity.

      I hope so for both the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Mariss Jansons.

      Provided he is given time to convalesce, he should recover. Don’t underestimate the effects of fatigue.

      I am proud to have parents who are both in their seventies each of whom had a parent who survived into their nineties, and one one of whom had a grandparent who was also a nonogenarian.

      Neither of them have the stamina they had twenty years ago, but there is no reason to believe that they are about to expire. Neither is there any reason to believe that simply because this tour has exposed that Mariss Jansons no longer has the stamina of a man in his fifties we are about to read his obituary.