Sunday, August 27, 2006

Cultural leaders: Paavo Järvi

The Cincinnati Enquirer featured profiles about local cultural leaders this morning and, of course, Paavo was prominently featured:
Cultural leaders: Paavo Järvi
Cincinnati Symphony

Under music director Paavo Järvi, 43, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra fans have experienced the most electrifying concerts they've seen in decades. But his first concert as music director, three days after 9/11, was the most subdued welcoming of a maestro any orchestra has ever had. In the ensuing economic downturn, Järvi has had an uphill battle to attract listeners.

Gradually, he's succeeding. But today, Järvi is also the marketing image of the orchestra, a powerful figure who can inspire donors to write checks as easily as he can inspire 100 musicians.

Järvi's contacts are bringing the best of the world's talent to Cincinnati. Case in point: In February, Russian superstar Valery Gergiev will guest conduct here - one of two orchestra gigs he's accepted this year on this continent.

Through whirlwind tours to Europe, Japan and Carnegie Hall, Järvi has placed the Cincinnati Symphony firmly in the international arena. In April, the orchestra will perform five concerts in California - another opportunity to showcase the symphony's highly praised recordings.

Why he's worth it: "He represents one of the jewels of Cincinnati, the CSO. The orchestra of the caliber we have attracts people, businesses and investments to Cincinnati. Someone like Paavo is a wonderful icon for the orchestra.

"There's also a wonderful synergy between Paavo and the audience. ... He literally takes us and excites us and educates us about pieces that we're not used to." - Diane "Dee Dee" West, of West Chester Township, treasurer, CSO board

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