Mariss Jansons was a Latvian conductor, known for combining exceptional command and firepower with a flair for letting the music speak for itself.
Born in Latvia on January 14th 1943, Jansons studied at the St Petersburg Conservatoire, before steadily establishing himself as a conductor and eventually becoming Chief Conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
He won the Grammy Award for best orchestral performance in 2006 for Shostakovich: Symphony No. 13 with Sergey Aleksashkin (bass) and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.
Naturally at home in the Russian masterworks, Jansons was also a fine exponent of the big symphonic scores of Mahler and Richard Strauss.
He was music director of both the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (KCO) in Amsterdam and Bavarian Radio Symphony orchestras, having recovered impressively from a heart attack suffered during a performance of Puccini’s La Boheme.
Jansons conducted the Vienna Philharmonic’s famous New Year’s Concert twice – in 2006 and 2012. The concert was televised worldwide in 73 countries.
He conducted his final concert as chief conductor of the RCO on March 20, 2015, in the presence of Queen Maxima.