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Mariss Jansons was born in 1943 in Riga as the son of the conductor Arvīds Jansons. He studied violin, piano, and conducting at the Leningrad Conservatory, completing his training as a student of Hans Swarowsky in Vienna and of Herbert von Karajan in Salzburg. He was a winner the Karajan Competition in Berlin in 1971, and in the same year Evgeny Mravinsky appointed Jansons to be his assistant at the Leningrad Philharmonic. From 1979 to 2000 Jansons served as Music Director of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, and from 1997 to 2004 he was Principal Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Since 2003 he has led the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Beginning in 2004, for 11 years, he additionally led the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, which named him Honorary Conductor in 2015. Jansons guest conducts the finest orchestras in the United States and Europe, including the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics; he has conducted the latter’s New Year’s concerts three times (in 2006, 2012, and 2016). His discography comprises many prize-winning recordings, including a Grammy-winning account of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13. Mariss Jansons is an honorary member of the Society of Friends of Music in Vienna, the Royal Academy of Music in London, and the Berlin Philharmonic, which has also bestowed him with the Bülow Medal. He received the Golden Medal of Honor from the City of Vienna, the Honorary Cross for Science and Art from the State of Austria, and the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit from the Federal Republic of Germany. Jansons, who is also a member of the Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art, a knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion, and a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres, received the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize in 2013, the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Gold Medal in 2017, and the Léonie Sonning Music Prize in 2018.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 20 April 1992 with the London Symphony Orchestra in a program of works by Weber, Strauss, and Mahler.