Latvian conductor to be presented with one of music’s highest honours at the Barbican Hall in London on Friday 24 November
One of classical music’s highest honours, the Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal, has been awarded to the Latvian conductor Mariss Jansons. He becomes the 104th recipient since the medal was founded in 1870 in celebration of the centenary of the birth of Beethoven (London’s Philharmonic Society commissioned Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and enjoyed a close association with the composer). The medal has a special resonance, given by musicians as a mark of admiration and esteem to a fellow musician of exceptional artistry and profound musical understanding. Maestro Jansons joins an outstanding international list of current and previous recipients – an extraordinary roll call of some of the world’s most influential musicians, from across three centuries.
The RPS Gold Medal, which bears the image of Beethoven, will be presented to Mariss Jansons by fellow RPS Gold Medallist, pianist Mitsuko Uchida, on-stage following a concert with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, of which Maestro Jansons is Chief Conductor, on Friday 24 November at the Barbican Hall. The concert, fittingly, includes a performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 4, (soloist Yefim Bronfman).
In awarding the medal, the Royal Philharmonic Society said: “Mariss Jansons is one of the greatest musicians of our day. His conducting is a powerful combination of discipline and inspiration and his revelatory performances are innately truthful to the nuances of the score while filled with new discoveries and glimpses into the very heart of the music. He enjoys an exceptionally close relationship with all his musicians, but particularly with those of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, of which he has been chief conductor since 2003. Rehearsals are intensely focused and he expects them always to work at the highest level. He is rewarded by total respect and superlative playing. Nurturing young players has a special significance to Mariss Jansons and he continues to work with and inspire the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, the Academy of the BRSO and a number of Bavarian Youth Orchestras. Mariss Jansons is the quintessential musicians’ musician and we are proud to honour him with the Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal.”
Mariss Jansons joins a distinguished list of current RPS Gold Medallists including Marta Argerich, Janet Baker, Daniel Barenboim, Alfred Brendel, Placido Domingo, Charles Dutoit, Bernard Haitink, György Kurtag, Antonio Pappano, Thomas Quasthoff, Simon Rattle, András Schiff, John Tomlinson and Mitsuko Uchida.
Distinguished conductors previously awarded the RPS Gold Medal include: Thomas Beecham; Bruno Walter; Arturo Toscanini; Felix Weingartner; Adrian Boult; John Barbirolli; Herbert von Karajan; Leonard Bernstein; Georg Solti; Colin Davis; Pierre Boulez; Claudio Abbado; Charles Mackerras and Nikolaus Harnoncourt.