Monday, January 31, 2005

Jarvi brings both clarity, precision to the symphony

The Cincinnati Post's Mary Ellyn Hutton was one of the many who found much to like about Saturday night's concert in Jarvi brings both clarity, precision to the symphony (January 31, 2005).

..."Mozart's tuneful [Concerto for Flute and Harp] was given a splendid performance by CSO principal players Randolph Bowman, flute, and Gillian Benet Sella, harp.

"The two worked together elegantly, exchanging solo and accompanying roles with ease and grace....

"The Beethoven symphony was an amazing demonstration of the clarity and precision of the CSO under Järvi -- almost like chamber music....

"How does he do it? Constant focus and 'show me' communication, i.e. gestures keyed to effects, with enough anticipation to let the musicians know what's coming. The Larghetto was light-footed and lyrical (no romantic excess). The Scherzo was bumptious and good-humored. Järvi fairly danced in the finale, which featured some lightning quick dynamic changes.

"It was two for three with standing ovations for the concert, the crowd rising for Mozart and Beethoven and granting respectful applause to the Pärt."

"...strings, strings, strings..."

Cincinnati Enquirer contributor John K. Toedtman found much to like in Paavo and the CSO's Saturday night concert at Music Hall, Flute-harp duet shines for CSO (January 31, 2005):

"Coming off of a wildly successful trip to Carnegie Hall in New York, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Paavo Jarvi sounded positively energized back at its nearly full home hall Saturday evening.

"...Mozart wrote his Concerto in C Major for Flute, Harp, and Orchestra, K 299 in Paris for a pair of amateurs, but it is a little gem. Flute and harp would seem to be an 'odd couple,' but the marriage of these two instruments works amazingly well thanks to Mozart's genius.

"CSO flutist Randolph Bowman displayed superb dynamic range and tonal control and CSO harpist Gillian Benet Sella absolutely bewitches her harp into doing magical things.

"The brilliant dialogue in the first movement between flute and harp integrated well with the sounds of the smaller, chamber-sized orchestra on stage.

"The second movement has a beautiful variegated part for the harp and so angelic was Sella's playing one might think she had wings on.

"The third movement of the Concerto is very Viennese, elegant and frothy. With such fine soloists as part of the CSO it is no wonder our orchestra has garnered high praise in Europe and in New York

"...After intermission, the Beethoven Symphony No. 2 in D Major brought a warm glow to Music Hall. Beethoven composed this symphony while spending six months in the small town of Heiligenstadt, trying to come to terms with his terrifying deafness.

"...It is probably the most optimistic and good-natured of the nine symphonies and demonstrated aptly the CSO's warm 'Philadelphia' string sound that Maestro Jarvi has developed during his tenure here.

"...It seems that Maestro Jarvi has the magic formula for the new Cincinnati sound and it is strings, strings, strings.

Footloose and Fancy Free?

Fighting the winter doldrums? Maybe a visit to the native homeland of the Jarvi clan is just what the doctor ordered! Frommer's reports that depsite the weak value of the dollar in Europe, you can still live the high life if you just Go East, Way East to Rediscover Budget Europe.

"According to the State Department's per diem rates [listed below], [Estonia] is one of the six cheapest countries in Europe[$130-$196]...."

Package trips to Estonia and the Baltics are detailed in The Baltic States Are Hot Off-Season, We're Tallinn Ya. "The final trip, to Tallinn, Estonia -- the Baltic's most Scandinavian capital, on the Gulf of Finland -- takes you along the coast to the Metropol, a new, 3-star hotel with views of the Old Town or the sea. The organized tour includes Tallinn's old town, considered the best example of Gothic architecture in the Baltic and Nordic countries, with parts of its original rampart walls still intact; Town Hall Square, the only original Gothic town hall in northern Europe; the Toompea (Upper Town) Castle fortifications; the 13th-century Dome Church; the 18th century Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Alexander Nevskij; the medeival Guild houses; and the 13th-century Oleviste Church, built in honor of Norway's King Olaf II."

And, of course, this trip would also make the ideal time to hear the Grammy award-winning Estonian National Symphony!

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Dutch radio interview with PJ

Ha! Our detective work pays off in strange and unusual places. Here we are happy to present part of a newly found interview with Paavo from April 2004 on the occasion of two concerts he did with the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, featuring the World Premiere of Aulis Sallinen's Symphony No. 8 ("Autumnal Fragments").

The audio interview is available here in both Real Player and Windows Media Formats. Enjoy!

TV special to showcase Music Hall

John Kiesewetter (welcome back from Siberia, John!) of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that my old pal from WCET, Joanne Grueter, is producing an upcoming TV special to showcase Music Hall (1/30/05).

Joanne, who also co-produced the nationally broadcast WCET special program documenting Paavo's first official concert in September 2001 as Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Music Director, is on the lookout for people with programs and memorabilia from Music Hall's past. (I know that I remember seeing Bette (the Divine Miss M) Midler there in the mid-70s, with her musical director Barry Manilow when she made a particularly pointed jab at the huge and gorgeous crystal chandelier looking just like one of "Diana Ross' earrings!" On another, earlier occasion, I managed to smuggle in my dad's super 8 movie camera where, sitting on the aisle in row 2 of the orchestra, I surreptitiously filmed Roger Daltrey and The Who on their Tommy tour with a few "arty" angles thrown in and black and white film, to boot!)

As Kiesewetter writes: "The film will be about more than just music. Many Greater Cincinnati residents, Grueter said, don't know about the variety of events held at the grand red brick Elm Street complex - national expositions and garden shows; boxing; University of Cincinnati basketball games; ice-skating; and the 1880 Democratic National Convention. Inventor Thomas Edison was honored there in 1929.

" 'The history is so rich. It will be difficult to cut this down to an hour,' said Grueter, Channel 48 senior producer. After its debut, the station plans to sell DVD and VHS copies with at least 30 minutes of supplemental material, she said."

Anyone wishing to contribute material for possible inclusion in Joanne's new project may contact her by calling (513) 345-6558 or e-mailing her at

Saturday, January 29, 2005

De Jong spins contemporary classical

" 'What do broadcaster Diederik De Jong and famed maestro Neeme Järvi have in common?' asks Mary Ellyn Hutton of the Cincinnati Post in her article, De Jong spins contemporary classical (1/28/05).

"Both are Knights of the Order of the North Star of Sweden. De Jong was knighted in 1981 for airing more programs of Swedish music than any program host in the world. Järvi, father of Cincinnati Symphony music director Paavo Järvi, received the distinction in 1990 for his leadership of the Gothenburg Symphony, the National Orchestra of Sweden.
"One of De Jong's pet peeves is 'sugar-coating' contemporary music, which he has loved since he was a child and fell in love with the music of Bartok and Martinu. (The only pre-20th century composer whose CDs he still owns is Anton Bruckner.)

" 'The Cincinnati Symphony may play a piece by Eduard Tubin, but they also put on the same program something by Schubert or Beethoven. That makes me so mad. Don't you think people are curious?'

"Although he is pleased that CSO music director Paavo Järvi is performing 20th (and 21st) century music, he would like to see an even larger commitment.

"De Jong has a wish list for Järvi:

"Eino Tamberg's Concerto Grosso; Gosta Nystroem's Sinfonia del Mare; Jan Carlstedt's Symphony No. 1; Allan Pettersson's Symphony No. 7; Einojuhani Rautavaara's Symphonies Nos. 6 and 7; Vagn Holmboe's Symphony No. 8 or "Sinfonia in Memoriam," and ,strong>Ernst Hermann Meyer
's Violin Concerto.

"De Jong is reluctant to name a favorite work or composer, though Martinu comes the closest, he said.

" 'You don't know the music of Bohuslav Martinu? How lucky you are! There is so much beautiful music you have yet to hear.'

Read the entire article here

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Fight winter doldrums with musical feasting

Mary Ellyn Hutton is safely back in town where she files this piece about this weekend's concerts in today's Cincinnati Post: Fight winter doldrums with musical feasting.

She notes: "Opening the concert will be the Symphony No. 2 by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. And if you're expecting sounds like Pärt's ethereal Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, an introduction is in order.

"Like so many of today's composers (including Aulis Sallinen, whose Symphony No. 8 received its CSO premiere last week), Pärt spent his early career experimenting with 12-tone, aleatoric (chance), collage and other mid-century modernist techniques. He turned away from them during the 1970s in a dramatic shift similar to American minimalists Philip Glass, Steve Reich and John Adams. Pärt called his style tintinnabulism, a serene, consonant style, sometimes called Eastern mystical minimalism.

"Estonia was a part of the Soviet Union until 1991 and in his early scores, Pärt used atonalism to protest Communist oppression. His 1966 Symphony No. 2 is a dramatic example. In it, he uses squeaker toys, cellophane, extreme dissonance and violent effects in a kind of confrontation between good and evil.

"The 'good' is a sweet little children's tune by Tchaikovsky, which ultimately prevails.

Paavo Järvi and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra@Music Hall. 8 p.m. Saturday (January 29) and 3 p.m. Sunday (January 30).

"So I got the CD with the cutest guy on the cover."

Blogger weaktwos writes nicely of Paavo and the CSO's Ravel recording. And what a good time to do it, too, what with Valentine's Day approaching and all!

Read more in The Whimsical Musings Of a Verbal Thug.

Buy this CD from!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Catch PJ's Last Cincinnati Concert Until March This Weekend at Music Hall!

Welcome home Paavo and his mighty Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Saturday night at 8 pm (January 29) or Sunday afternoon at 3 pm (January 30). This will be PJ's last concert of the current "homestand" until March.

This weekend's performances are a real family affair with the featured artists being Randolph Bowman (flute) and Gillian Benet Sella (harp), valued members of the orchestra.

The program includes Arvo Part's unconventional and charming Symphony No. 2 -- yes, that's the one with squeak toys! --; Mozart's Concerto for Flute and Harp in C Major, K. 299 (297c); and Beethoven's Symphony No. 2 in D Major.

Read the Program Notes and get more information about tickets here.

This program will air via streaming audio on WGUC-FM Sunday, March 13, 2005 at 7:30 pm ET.

What Might Have Been

Here's another Carnegie Hall performance review, this time by Fred Kirshnit of the New York Sun (1/26/05). Mr. Kirshnit has reviewed many of Paavo's previous performances for the online music magazine, ConcertoNet. Here he reflects upon the CSO's latest New York concert in What Might Have Been. I guess this is what they refer to as a RAVE review!

"Although the concept of the Big Five orchestras in the United States has long outlived its usefulness, many critics and their readers still assume that the hierarchy of ensembles remains virtually unchallenged. In recent years, however, three of these organizations - in New York, Philadelphia, and Cleveland - have made highly questionable choices of new music directors and one, the Chicago Symphony, now finds itself in need of a new maestro. Only in Boston did the stars align properly and the board was able to catch the brass ring in the person of James Levine.

"As if the idea of the hegemony of the old quintet needed any more evidence to prove itself to be an anachronism, consider that, with the resurgence of excellence in both Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, two of these old-guard ensembles, in Philadelphia and Cleveland, are now arguably not even the best orchestras in their own home states. And the New York Philharmonic may not be the best on its own plaza.

"About three years ago, when so many ensembles were looking for new blood and at least professed to be interested in the younger generation, some of us highly recommended an extremely proficient guest conductor named Paavo Jarvi. He was soon snapped up by the excellent Cincinnati Symphony to continue the tradition of Thomas Schippers, Michael Gielen, and Jesus Lopez-Cobos. Now that he has been in harness for a couple of years, he has proven his supporters right and the big five boards wrong. Luckily for New Yorkers, he brings his troops once a year to Carnegie Hall.

"Monday evening's Scandinavian program began with the New York premiere of the Symphony No. 8 of Aulis Sallinen, whom readers might be forgiven for confusing with fellow Finnish composer Esa-Pekka Salonen, better known in this country than his countryman because of his fine work as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. There is a tendency among reviewers to discuss the relative merits of new pieces and ignore an examination of how they were performed, so let's buck that trend this one time and concentrate on the fine interpretation by Mr. Jarvi and his forces.

"From the outset it was clear that this ensemble is at the top of its form. Breathily hollow, organ-like enunciations from the winds added a layer of mystery to the new work. The strings were lush and remarkably disciplined, the percussion - and there was a lot of work for them to do - precise and dramatic. Mr. Sallinen has embraced tonality and provided many opportunities for full-bodied romantic orchestral sound, delivered lovingly by the lower strings and supported beautifully this night by effectively resonating deep brass.

"I have heard Lars Vogt perform live many times and have never thought of him as a Grieg Piano Concerto kind of guy. After this superb performance, I still cling to this opinion in the sense that he did not deliver the big, Hollywood version of the old warhorse, providing a thoughtful and arrestingly quiet version in its stead. This kinder, gentler conception meshed perfectly with Mr. Jarvi's subtly colorful accompaniment. The piece is famous for its opening descending piano chords; in this suggestive reading, the really impressive section was the beginning of the normally neglected second movement Adagio. Seldom have I heard such gorgeous pianissimo playing by an entire entourage.

"Mr. Vogt was consistently lyrical in his traversal, as well as amazingly accurate. This type of rethinking will not cause me to run home and throw out my Michelangeli recording anytime soon, but I found its understated grace highly satisfying. And apparently so did the Carnegie audience, who refused to let Mr. Vogt leave the stage without an encore, a freshly insouciant rendition of a finale from a Haydn sonata.

"The program closed with the lovely Fifth Symphony of Sibelius. Here the Estonian Mr. Jarvi is as good as any conductor alive (including his father) and exhibits a special connection with the naturalistic side of this music. Both the beginning and ending of this great work are notorious for orchestral misconduct, but this evening the horns were simply ravishing at the start. The hair-raising conclusion - it's the one with the six dramatic pauses - was just thrilling.

"In between was more of that quiet eloquence. There is a long solo passage for bassoon in the Allegro moderato section, and not only was the principal player excellent, but the underlying string swirling was softly magnificent. The orchestra was simply superb and, at present, a definite step above many more highly touted neighboring ensembles.

"One more thing about Paavo Jarvi. He is especially impressive for what he does not do. No preening, no posing, no podium dancing, no posturing. This man simply goes about his business, extracting the finest possible playing from his eager charges. I'm guessing that they will try to keep him in Cincinnati for a very long time.

Järvi: The next generation

Aha! Our second NY-area review of the CSO and Paavo at Carnegie Hall comes from the Newark (NJ) Star-Ledger (1/26/05)!

In an interesting contrast to the New York Times review, Bradley Bambarger writes in a rather strangely mixed one, Järvi: The next generation: "The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra performed an all-Nordic program Tuesday at Carnegie Hall, with the concert serving as a coincidental addendum to the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra's just-completed Northern Lights Festival.

"Moreover, the event provided a close-up look at NJSO music director Neeme Järvi's eldest son, Cincinnati music director Paavo Järvi. It was an often frustrating view. One of the international scene's up-and-coming maestros, Järvi fils has been one of the few conductors in the United States to maintain a regular recording career. March brings his seventh Telarc disc with Cincinnati in three years. In addition to performing guest spots with top American and European orchestras, he is also the artistic director of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie in Bremen, Germany.

"On the podium, the trim, elegant Järvi cuts a figure somewhere between his father and the modernist Pierre Boulez, juxtaposing eloquent baton technique and impressive control with a sober mien. To generalize the difference between generations, Järvi emphasizes precision and detail over his father's concerns for spontaneity and suppleness.

"Järvi has honed the already admirable Cincinnati orchestra into a high-class, if not yet high-octane, instrument.
The conductor's interpretations of 20th-century staples from Ravel and Stravinsky to Prokofiev and Nielsen have been considered but mostly straightforward. He does not have a reputation as an extremist, yet his way with some of this program's Nordic totems was off-putting in the extreme.

"The opener was Finnish composer Aulis Sallinen's Symphony No. 8 ("Autumnal Fragments"), in its New York premiere....As indicated by 'fragments' in its subtitle, his latest is episodic and prolix, hardly warranting the designation of 'symphony.' Yet Järvi and his players put forth the best case, especially in the climax, in which dark, dissonant strings were underpinned by resonating timpani.

"The concert's centerpiece was Grieg's tune-rich Piano Concerto, with Lars Vogt as soloist. Since winning the 1990 Leeds Competition, the German musician has mixed vitality with poetry, from Brahms to Hindemith. His Grieg was beyond that -- it was thrilling. He pounced on the instrument like a panther, digging deep into the keys to yield an incisive yet almost overwhelmingly muscular sonority. (By the end, one worried about the future of this piano.) While Vogt was resolutely unsentimental in this Romantic warhorse, his vast dynamic range included pianissimi that glowed.

"Järvi no doubt sought to match Vogt's virility with a lean, lapidary accompaniment, but his approach seemed diffident, only making Grieg's score sound smaller than it is. Still, Vogt's performance delighted the Carnegie cognoscenti, which demanded an encore. He complied with a sparkling bit of solo Haydn.

"The orchestral finale was Sibelius' Fifth Symphony, one of those pieces of art for which the word 'sublime' was invented. Sadly, Järvi's perverse interpretation underlined the fact that the precise sounding of notes doesn't necessarily result in music. He drove this moving score at a wired tempo, constricting the most magical phrases into mute inexpressiveness. Even at the hard-driven pace, the orchestra responded with remarkably disciplined and intense playing, including an outstanding solo horn.

"Like father like son, Järvi complied readily to the full house's call for an encore with Sibelius' Valse Triste. Yet his way with this wintry waltz, moving exactly if exaggeratedly from funereal to feverish, was very much his own."

Familial, Geographical and Musical Connections

Anthony Tommasini, the music critic for The New York Times, gives Paavo and the Cincinnati Symphony pretty close to a "Bravo!" in his review, Familial, Geographical and Musical Connections (registration required) (1/26/05).

According to Mr. Tommasini: "... if the concert was indicative of what's going on in Cincinnati, Paavo Jarvi, now in his fourth season as the orchestra's music director, is the right person for the job. The orchestra played with robust energy, complete assurance and a rich sound that favored dark and mellow colorings.

"Two of the works - Grieg's Piano Concerto and Sibelius's Fifth Symphony - were recently presented in New Jersey on a Northern Lights program conducted by the Jarvis' young Estonian compatriot Anu Tali. (A coincidence? If so, this is getting a little strange.) But Paavo Jarvi provided a fresh and effective context for those familiar works by beginning his program with the New York premiere of Symphony No. 8, written in 2001 by Aulis Sallinen, a leading Finnish composer.

"...Mr. Jarvi and his players gave an involving and impressive account of this intriguing work. Mr. Jarvi's clear-headed and vigorous approach to Sibelius's Fifth Symphony also had rewards. It seemed a corrective [for] those who get too caught up in the work's strangeness and mystery.

"...Mr. Jarvi's Sallinen and Sibelius will stay with me. The Cincinnati Symphony seems in fine shape."

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Cincinnati Symphony, Jarvi Take New York by Storm

It wasn't the East Coast blizzard that bowled Mary Ellyn Hutton over -- it was the power and emotion of the playing of Paavo and the Cincinnati Symphony at Carnegie Hall: Cincinnati Symphony, Jarvi take New York by storm, Cincinnati Post (1/25/05).

She tells us that: "The concert attracted considerable media attention, with representatives of the New York Times, Newsday, the New York Sun and TimeOut New York in attendance, plus the New Yorker, Travel and Leisure, Musical America and Symphony and Strad magazines" -- so we know we can look forward to some well-deserved attention in the national press!

Carnegie Thrills CSO Despite Chills

Janelle Gelfand files this review of the Cincinnati Symphony at Carnegie Hall from somewhere in the snowy terrain of midtown Manhattan: Carnegie Thrills CSO Despite Chills, Cincinnati Enquirer (1/25/05).

She writes: "Incredibly, the 2,804-seat Carnegie Hall was nearly filled with an enthusiastic crowd of intrepid New Yorkers, who braved frigid temperatures and slushy sidewalks, many of whom stood and cheered at the conclusion of Sibelius' great Symphony No. 5 in E-flat Major. When music director Paavo Jarvi provided a glowing encore, Sibelius' Valse triste, the hall was as quiet as I've ever heard it.

"Nationally, there's a great deal of interest in Jarvi and his work in Cincinnati; no fewer than 15 music writers attended this concert."

Monday, January 24, 2005

Carnegie Hall, Here He Comes!

Well, if all goes well and the planes are taking off today, Paavo and the Cincinnati Symphony will be playing Carnegie Hall tonight!

The program will be a repeat of last weekend's Cincinnati concerts: Aulis Sallinen's Symphony No. 8 ("Autumnal Fragments"); Grieg's Piano Concerto with German pianist Lars Vogt; and Sibelius' Symphony No. 5.

Read Mary Ellyn Hutton's Symphony readies for return to Carnegie Hall, Cincinnati Post (1/20/05) and the reviews: Carnegie preview glows like winter fire by Janelle Gelfand, Cincinnati Enquirer (1/21/05) and Mary Ellyn Hutton's Weather hampers CSO Carnegie Hall preview, Cincinnati Post (1/21/05).

This program will air on WGUC, 90.9 FM, Sunday, March 06, 2005 at 7:30 pm. You may listen to this broadcast via the internet at WGUC's website.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Paavo and Truls Mørk Re-team on New CD

Paavo once again joins his friend, celebrated Norwegian cellist Truls Mørk, on a new release for Virgin Classics, recorded last spring in Paris with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.

According to the Virgin website: "In his second concerto disc with Paavo Järvi, Truls Mørk tackles one of the pinnacles of the romantic cello repertoire: Schumann’s eloquent Cello Concerto, recorded here for the first time on Virgin Classics. It is aptly coupled with two dark-hued works on Jewish themes. Bruch’s Kol Nidrei takes its title from the prayer that sues for God’s compassion and absolution, the sorrowful, plaintive cello mirroring the free improvisation of the cantor, while Bloch’s ‘Hebraic Rhapsody’ Schelomo (Solomon), inspired by the text of Ecclesiastes, expresses, in Bloch’s words, ‘the Jewish soul laid bare in the full depth of its national and human characteristics’."

Virgin Classics 5456642
Released in Europe 1/2005. Not yet available in the United States, but may be purchased through at the link above. You may also listen to audio clips on this page.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Paavo's "Little" Band Honored with The Absolute Sound's 2004 Golden Ear Award!

Andrew Quint of seems to be quite a Paavo fan. In his year-end roundup of his three favorite CDs for 2004, he names Paavo's second recording with his German chamber orchestra, Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen: Stravinsky: L’histoire du soldat; Ragtime; Petit Choral; Concerto in E flat (“Dumbarton Oaks”); and Concerto in D, Suites Nos. 1 and 2 as the first on his list.

He writes: "Lucky Paavo Järvi. He directs top-notch orchestras on both sides of the Atlantic and has had his efforts recorded by two labels specializing in high-resolution multichannel sound—six Telarc releases with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and one PentaTone SACD to date. This disc was favorably received by Mark Lehman in Issue 149 and I’m equally enthusiastic. Järvi describes the Bremen orchestra as 'made up of soloists.' The players certainly shine, individually and collectively, in a program of neo-classical-mode Stravinsky that’s anchored by a sharply drawn, yet never clinical account of L’histoire du soldat and rhythmically deft, subtly inflected readings of Dumbarton Oaks and Concerto in D. The eight short movements that make up Suites Nos. 1 and 2—piano pieces originally, later orchestrated by the composer—are a delight, substantial despite their brevity. The recording is stunningly lifelike, both spatially and in rendering instrumental timbres. The cimbalom, Stravinsky’s unusual and inspired choice to join the ensemble for Ragtime, is vividly reproduced; drum sound in L’histoire is exceptionally realistic. Each instrument is perfectly scaled and dimensional. Let’s hope that PentaTone gives us more Järvi with chamber forces to complement the full-orchestra repertoire he’s addressing with Cincinnati."

Hybrid multichannel SACD. PentaTone 5186 046
May be purchased via this link from

Sunday, January 09, 2005

A Peek into [Neeme] Jarvi's Future

The always reliable Mark Stryker of the Detroit Free Press, has a lovely piece in the paper today about Paavo's father, Neeme Jarvi, and the transition he's beginning to make as he winds down his long tenure as Music Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and undertakes a new adventure as Music Director designate of the New Jersey Symphony.

Here's an excerpt from his article: "And [Neeme] Jarvi has begun the Herculean task of preparing the four operas of Richard Wagner's The Ring of the Nibelung for the Royal Swedish Opera -- one opera a year beginning in September and culminating with a complete Ring Cycle in 2008.

" 'Right now, he has the entire Ringon his table, which he is studying every day,' says Paavo Jarvi, the fast-rising conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony. 'If doing a Wagner Ring is taking it easy, I'm not sure what that means. And he has so much new and interesting repertoire he wants to do, I don't know how he'll get to it all.

" 'He's not listening to the Beethoven symphonies at home. That's been done. His whole excitement still comes from discovering new things.' "

Read more in A PEEK INTO JARVI'S FUTURE: Downsizing his career, DSO's outgoing conductor still has time for a new post in New Jersey, more undiscovered masterpieces, Wagner and grandchildren