By Michael Markowitz
Playbillarts.com, 16 Sep 2005
When it comes to musical families, the Järvis beat the Partridges, hands down. This summer, the entire musical Järvi clan — conductor/father Neeme, conductor/sons Paavo and Kristjan and flutist/daughter Maarika — performed together in a gala benefit for St. Petersburg’s White Nights Festival. Paavo also stopped by his father’s Summer Academy, a 10-day series of master classes held in the family’s native Estonia, to work with young conductors. Paavo also would have conducted the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in several June concerts honoring his father, who ended a 15-year tenure as the DSO’s music director, but he injured his hand in Tokyo and remained in Japan for treatment. The conductor who substituted for Paavo was, of course, Neeme Järvi. Unfortunately, none of the younger Järvis were available to fill in when Neeme, a notorious workoholic, canceled all of his August appearances after a doctor ordered him to slow down.
With the start of the 2005-06 season this month, the Järvis are headed in separate directions once more. A well-rested Neeme served as a member of the jury at the Third International Sibelius Conducting Competition in Helsinki and is preparing to take over as music director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Paavo is getting set to begin a new season as music director of the Cincinnati Symphony while Kristjan will again lead the New York-based Absolute Ensemble. Maarika is scheduled to perform Nielsen’s Flute Concerto this fall with regional orchestras in Serbia and Canada.