Paavo Järvi rolls his own orchestra

Paavo Järvi rolls his own orchestra


norman lebrecht

July 22, 2016

He has given up being music director of two of the best in western Europe, in Frankfurt and Paris.

Now Paavo Järvi is turning his Estonian Festival Orchestra into a permanent fixture.

paavo jarvi estonian

From the hyperbolic press release:


The Estonian Festival Orchestra was founded by Paavo Järvi in 2011 and made its debut at the newly inaugurated Pärnu Music Festival as the resident summer orchestra on the Baltic coast. From these small beginnings both the festival and orchestra have grown in reputation and are now beginning to make a name for themselves on the international scene.

The long dreamed-of ambition by Järvi to create a hand-picked orchestra, bringing together the best of Estonian talent and leading musicians from around the world, has resulted in performances at the Pärnu Music Festival… “An important component in creating the orchestra was to “match-make” the players in a professional way but within the festival atmosphere”says Järvi. “If you are a young player in Estonia, it doesn’t matter how good you are, its hard to make contact with a top player in the west. Now we can give these young musicians the advantage to both play with top colleagues from around Europe and get to know them as new friends. This spirit is what drives the orchestra and makes me particularly proud as it’s father figure.”

Until now the Estonian Festival Orchestra has performed only in Pärnu but in August 2017 it will make its first tour performing in neighbouring countries around the Baltic coast and at Scandinavia’s most prominent festivals. In January 2018 the orchestra will then spread its wings further afield with concerts already planned in the major European capitals, including Brussels, Berlin, Vienna, Zurich and Luxembourg. This tour, which also celebrates the 100th anniversary of Estonian Independence, will include a new orchestral work by Estonian composer, Erkki-Sven Tüür, which will receive its international premiere in Brussels on 18 January 2018.


  • David Nice says:

    Nothing hyperbolic in what you reproduce of the press release. But I’ll give you my main thought, and you can call it hyperbolic if you like: I haven’t heard such electrifying music making since the Abbado years at the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. I’ll repeat this any number of times in various shapes and forms but my experiences in Parnu in 2015 and 2016 make me sure of it. It’s a family, a love-in, whatever, but it works.

    ‘Hyperbolic’, btw, was the claim that the Garsington Eugene Onegin was the best of the century. You’d have had to have travelled a lot to verify that one.

  • Steven Holloway says:

    There is not the slightest hint of hyperbole here. But I get the really, really important message symbolized by that slight: NL doesn’t like the conductor and/or the Orchestra and/or the Festival. Cancel your tickets, everyone!! Discard those Paavo Jarvi CDs!! As David Nice points out, calling the Garsington Onegin the best of the century was hyperbole and then some.

  • Emil Archambault says:

    Where’s the hyperbole? I would have thought that NL knew a thing or two about hyperboles.

  • Iain Scott says:

    The point is,of course ,to get you to read the article about Garsington. And I did read the article and then went on to view the production,which was enjoyable.I then went on to compare Joan Hammond and Lucia Popp singing the Letter aria and had a jolly nice time.
    So my point is sometimes, something good comes out of NL’s hyperbole .