Mariss Jansons: personal tributes

Mariss Jansons: personal tributes


norman lebrecht

December 01, 2019

Franz Welser-Möst: I am deeply saddened by the loss of one of my most respected and beloved colleagues!

Andris Nelsons, his only pupil: The great Mariss Jansons was an incredible colleague, teacher, and mentor. The news of his passing is a shock and saddens me deeply. The music world has lost one of its pillars. I will miss him very much.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin: ‘There are no words. A huge loss for the world.’

Lawrence Renes: So very sad to hear of the passing of Mariss Jansons. I hardly know any conductor who was more loved by his musicians than he was. Always honest, always kind. It was always only about the music, and always with the utmost respect for the musicians. A great loss for us all…

Joshua Weilerstein: I’ll never forget watching him meticulously prepare a performance of Mahler’s 7th symphony a few years ago in Amsterdam. His commitment to music and to his art was absolutely unmatched and will be terribly missed by every musician.

Violinist Lisa Batiashvili: We have lost our beloved Maestro Jansons and we are heartbroken. Alongside all the unforgettable musical gifts he shared during his lifetime, I would like us to remember how intensely and passionately he worked to help create something which would serve others for many, many years to come: he put his heart and soul into the campaign for the construction of a new concert hall in Munich. I believe this new concert hall should carry his name.
Thank you Maestro – we will miss you in Munich and everywhere in the world

Singer David Lomeli: My dearest Mariss Jansons passed away. Devastated. He changed the way I made music. He inspired me to be a better musician but also to never stop living with emotion. He conducted my soul rather that my brain. Before singing Hostias in the Verdi Requiem he said: “David, you have to sing this by taking a breath that encapsulates the emotion that one feels when you see your son running to you, as if this was your first time seeing the sun. Quiet, concentrated, trembling and focused hope has to come through your singing”. After our last engagement, he said: “Take care of that heart, you sing with your heart wide open”.

Violinist Alexandra Hauser: 


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I don’t think anyone will find the right words on today’s sad news, but I want to take a moment to thank this incredible musician, and family friend for his devotion the music, his love and his hard work. I was so happy to have known Mariss for so long, and will always treasure the sweet things my father would tell me about their student years together with Prof. Hans Swarovsky. Despite having been sick for years, music was his most loyal friend and he loved music so much that he didn’t want to leave it. Today, we lost an incredible human being, an incredible loving, encouraging and dedicated musician. My thoughts go to his family, the wonderful BRSO orchestra and the countless musicians sharing thousands of beautiful memories. RIP dear Maestro, you will be greatly missed 😢😢😢😢😢 . . . #sad #rip #maestro #marissjansons #heartbroken #love #classicalmusic #musicians #friend #inspiration #100daysofpractice #conductor #brso

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Pianist Denis Matsuev: Ушёл один из самых гениальных и добрых людей на свете. Марис Янсонс. Ушла эпоха, ушла легенда. Мы должны были с ним через час сегодня выходить на сцену Мюзикферайна и играть с Венским филармоническим оркестром. Новость, конечно, невозможно ни комментировать, ни осознать, абсолютно в это не верится. Через 40 минут у нас концерт. Мы с оркестром приняли решение, что откроем его не концертом Чайковского, а любимым произведением дорогого маэстро – этюдом-картиной Рахманинова ля-ми.

One of the most brilliant and kind people in the world has gone. Maris Jansons. The era has gone, the legend has gone. We had to go on the stage of the musicferain in an hour later today and play with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. The news, of course, is impossible to comment or realize, absolutely can’t believe it. In 40 minutes we have a concert. The Orchestra and I decided that we will not open it with Tchaikovsky’s concert, but with a favorite piece of dear maestro – etude by Rachmaninoff la minor “Sea and seagulls”.


  • Zsolt Bognar says:

    A true loss for the musical and cultural world with the passing of Mariss Jansons. A charismatic and prolific presence, his sorcery was in his visibly shaped sound, rendered as though hearing a work for the first time. I witnessed him only once: Amsterdam Concertgebouw in 2005, in a Brahms First Symphony I’ll never forget. During the loud ovations he tripped and fell down the famous steps, and shocked a gasping then suddenly silent audience. He quickly got up, laughed, waved, and smiled “I’m fine!”

  • An irreplaceable loss…

  • Brian Cooper says:

    I will never forget that Mahler 2 he conducted in Amsterdam in December 2009. It was a privilege to hear it twice. You, Mr Antunes, prepared the choir, which was in superb form.

    Mariss Jansons gave me my love of Mahler and of the Concertgebouw and its wonderful orchestra. For that I will always be grateful.

    Today’s news is what I hoped I would never have to wake up to…

  • Sergio Mims says:

    I just saw him last month at Carnegie Hall which was to be his last concert. One could tell that he was not well but it still was a great concert. The final testament of one of the greatest conductors ever

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    I take one little bit of comfort from this inevitability; Mariss Jansons didn’t have to languish away from music for any length of time before dying. (It was about 6 months after conducting his last concert that Harnoncourt died.) Jansons was spared that, since he had conducted only recently. He virtually died doing what he loved. That in itself is a kind of heroism.

  • Prof. Herbert Michael Burggasser says:

    Thank you for all you gave the whole world during many years! Reqiescat in pace!

  • John says:

    Great loss! Jansons irreplaceable. Sorrow for all the music lovers in this world. We pray for your soul. God bless you, your family & friends.

  • R. Brite says:

    These tributes from those who knew him, along with that of Norman, are very moving. I’ve been sad all day over this, and consoling myself with some of his great recordings – including, right now, the Beethoven 7 that Norman linked to in another post.

  • Matt says:

    Mortality catches up to everyone in the end – even the true greats like Maestro Jansons! I was lucky enough to see him conduct live twice – in 2012 at the famous Vienna Philharmonic New Years Day concert, and in 2017 with the RCO in Amsterdam. Absolutely magnificent – and his recordings are a true sign of his substantial legacy.

    RIP good Sir – you passing brings great pain to all music lovers, but the world is a richer place for all that you have brought to it!

  • fflambeau says:

    He has such a happy and nice face on the photo at the top.

    It is a tribute to his greatness that so many gifted people above and so many concertgoers here adored him.

    May he rest in peace.

  • Luiza says:

    Deeply saddened by the loss of not only one of the greatest musicians of our time but such a wise and kind man. Will cherish for ever memories of magic Sternstunden rehearsals with Mahler and Messiaen in München with the Bayrischer Rundfunk as well as his stellar concerts during the George Enescu Festival in Bucharest. RIP Maestro.

  • Una says:

    A few weeks ago, I just happened to transcribe this interview between Bruce Duffie and Mariss Jansons from some years ago for Classical 97 WNIB in Chicago.

    Do hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed listening to it and getting it down ‘on paper’.

  • Kenneth Zimmerman says:

    He was a great conductor and a passionate devotee to his art. I always had the sense that every time he engaged with the orchestra was a unique and singular experience. Love what you do and you will never work a day in your life. Indeed, he left us too soon.

  • Donald C. Allen says:

    My first encounter with Maestro Jansons as a concertgoer was in Boston. He conducted the Shostakovich 10th Symphony, a piece I know very well. As others have said, it was like hearing it for the first time. It was an absolutely unforgettable experience. I had the privilege of speaking with him after that concert and I tried and probably failed to tell him what a revelation that performance was.

    Jansons is one of the few conductors I would mention in the same breath with Furtwangler and Carlos Kleiber. In my opinion, he was that good. We have lost a great, great musician and by all accounts, a wonderful human being.

  • Lisa says:

    4 months on-can’t entirely understand how I didn’t know Mr Jansons had died. Currently in tears….
    Greatest memory? 36 weeks pregnant and experiencing Mahler2 at the Barbican. Many tears shed. And then there was Sibelius 2 when he just leaned against the conductor rostrum and grinned at the strings in the ‘big tune’ in the last movement.
    Simply the best. RIP.