Latvian conductor Mariss Jansons was born in Riga on 14 January 1943, where his Jewish singer mother, Iraida Jansons, was in hiding from the Nazis. He studied violin with his father, conductor Arvīds Jansons, who became assistant to Yevgeny Mravinsky at the Leningrad Philharmonic.
Mariss Jansons studied piano and conducting at the Leningrad Conservatory, then studied in Vienna with Hans Swarowsky and in Salzburg with Herbert von Karajan.
He was associate conductor of the Leningrad Philharmonic from 1973, and music director of the Oslo Philharmonic from 1979 until 2000. From 1992 he was principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic, and also worked as a guest conductor with the London Symphony Orchestra. From 1997 until 2004 he was music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. From 2002 until 2015 he was chief conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
Since 2003 he has been chief conductor of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.
A selection of M&V articles about Mariss Jansons
Ensemble. A Funeral March - Tchaikovsky's 'The Queen of Spades' at Salzburg impresses Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Sex and Violence in Salzburg - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on Shostakovich's 'Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District'
CD Spotlight. Many Fine Things - Mariss Jansons conducts Prokofiev, heard by Stephen Francis Vasta. '... round and solidly grounded ...'
CD Spotlight. Very Satisfying - Sibelius from Munich, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... the orchestra responds superbly to Jansons.'
CD Spotlight. First Class - Bruckner's Ninth, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... it has all the power it needs. It moves forward and does not get bogged down ...'
Record Box. An Impressive Crispness - The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra plays Stravinsky, heard by Patric Standford
Ensemble. Intense Leadership - Sierra, Ginastera and Rachmaninov conducted by Alasdair Neale, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
CD Spotlight. Flawlessly Performed - Shostakovich's Symphony No 10, chosen by Howard Smith. '... the results are very special.'
DVD Spotlight. Shostakovich's Shocker - 'Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk', reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... fully appropriate disorder ...'
Treading new ground - Renowned American baritone Thomas Hampson shows a new side in Munich. Tess Crebbin investigates