At the age of 76, the outstanding orchestral conductor Mariss Jansons has passed away, reported Latvian Radio 3 “Klasika” December 1, following foreign media reports that Jansons passed away on November 30 at his home in St. Petersburg.
Jansons had been suffering from heart disease and had limited his appearances during the last year as a result. In October 2019, after a six-month hiatus, maestro Mariss Jansons returned to the conductor’s podium with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Born in Rīga into the musical family of conductor Arvīds Jansons and singer Iraīda Jansone, Mariss moved to what was then Leningrad in 1956 with his parents, where his father worked as a conductor at the Leningrad Philharmonic.
Mariss Jansons studied violin, piano and conducting at the Leningrad Conservatory.
Since 1973, he has conducted several orchestras in Europe and the United States, with stints as assistant conductor at the Leningrad Philharmonic, as well as the Oslo Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
As a Principal Guest Conductor, he has been a regular guest conductor at the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and has also been a guest conductor with the London Symphony Orchestra.
In recent years his conducting of the traditional New Year concert in Vienna was particularly memorable.
Mariss Janson has been awarded the Class II Three Star Order and the Star of the Royal Norwegian Order. He was an Honorary Member of the Royal British Academy of Music (1999) and Honorary Member of the Vienna Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde (2001).
On March 15, the Latvian organist Iveta Apkalna performed with Mariss Jansons and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in a concert broadcast on Latvian Radio 3. You can listen to it below as a tribute to Mariss Jansons and his remarkable contribution to classical music.
Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs was among the first to pay tribute on social media.
Very sad news on passing of the world renown Latvian conductor Mariss Jansons. Deep and profound condolences to his family and all who admired his talent, our gratitude to him for his love and devotion to music, positive energy and inspiration. Requiescat in pace, Maestro!
— Edgars Rinkēvičs (@edgarsrinkevics) December 1, 2019