In Tuesday’s (8/18) Detroit Free Press, Mark Stryker writes, “Neeme Järvi , the Estonian-born music director emeritus of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, is returning to his hometown of Tallinn to become the chief conductor of the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, the ensemble that launched his career nearly 50 years ago. Järvi first led the orchestra in 1960 and was its music director from 1963-1979. News reports say that Järvi has signed a contract that begins in 2010. … Järvi left Estonia, a Soviet satellite, in 1980, emigrating with his wife and three children to the United States, where he built a career as a leading international conductor and one of the most recorded maestros in history. Järvi , 72, completed his landmark 15-year tenure with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 2005. He is widely credited with revitalizing the DSO … Since 2005, Järvi has been music director of the New Jersey Symphony.” He became New Jersey’s conductor laureate with the end of his tenure in May. “It is impossible to overstate the reverence the Estonian people feel for Järvi or the symbolism of his return. He is recognized in every corner of Estonian society, and his place in the country’s psyche transcends music, reflecting both its cultural identity and political ambitions.”

Photo credit: Tiil Veermäe

Posted August 18, 2009