Mariss Jansons celebrates his 75th Birthday on Sunday

“Mariss Jansons is one of the pre-eminent conductors of our times and a true friend of the Salzburg Festival. His earnestness, his profound sensibility, his ethical uprightness and his artistic class give his music a truthfulness which is as rare as it is precious. Mariss Jansons’ life is one great declaration of his love for music, and he is one of the artist personalities which make the Festival an epicentre of the extraordinary,” says Artistic Director Markus Hinterhäuser.


Mariss Jansons, photo SF/Marco Borggreve

The Salzburg Festival congratulates Mariss Jansons on his 75th birthday, which he celebrates on Sunday, 14 January. The Latvian conductor has long enjoyed a special relationship with Austria – thus, in the midst of the Cold War he received permission from the Soviet authorities to study with Hans Swarowsky at Vienna’s Music Academy as part of an exchange programme in 1969 and to assist Herbert von Karajan in Salzburg in 1970. The Karajan student made his Salzburg Festival debut in 1990. Ever since, he has given 38 performances with seven different orchestras at the Salzburg Festival:

In 1990 he brought his Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, winning the hearts of audience and reviewers alike with performances of Tchaikovsky, Berlioz and Grieg. Two years later Mariss Jansons first conducted the orchestra of his hometown St. Petersburg at the Festival; in 1994 he first led the Vienna Philharmonic in Salzburg. Since his Festival debut, the conductor has brought one of his orchestras to Salzburg for concerts almost every summer. In 1999 the guest appearance of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra met with particular interest; in 2006 Mariss Jansons first brought his Concertgebouw Orchestra and in 2007 his Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.

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Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, photo Thomas Aurin

However, the Salzburg audience had to forego the pleasure of hearing Mariss Jansons conduct opera through all these years. Only Markus Hinterhäuser managed to win Mariss Jansons over to conduct an opera in 2017, the first year under his artistic directorship. Leading Dmitri Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, one of the conductor’s favourite operas, Jansons took audience and reviewers by storm. He returns to the opera programme in 2018, leading Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades in a production directed by Hans Neuenfels.

“Actually, the truth is that Mariss Jansons gave the Festival the best birthday gift imaginable by returning to conduct another opera in 2018. Of course, we are also counting on him for an artistic contribution to the 2020 anniversary programme. After all, Mariss Jansons is one of the artist personalities who have shaped the unique reputation of the Festival – and he continues to do so,” says Festival President Helga Rabl-Stadler.

Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky The Queen of Spades

Opera in Three Acts Op. 68 (1890)
Libretto by Modest Ilyich Tchaikovsky and the composer, based on the eponymous novella (1833) by Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin


Mariss Jansons, photo SF/Peter Meisel

Premiere: 5 August 2018, Further performances: 10, 13, 18, 22, 25 August 2018, Großes Festspielhaus

Opera in Three Acts Op. 68 (1890)
Libretto by Modest Ilyich Tchaikovsky and the composer, based on the eponymous novella (1833) by Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin

Mariss Jansons, Conductor

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Hans Neuenfels, photo Monika Ritterhaus

Hans Neuenfels, Director
Christian Schmidt, Sets
Reinhard von der Thannen, Costumes
Stefan Bolliger, Lighting
Yvonne Gebauer,


Brandon Jovanovich (Hermann), photo SF/Peter Dressel

Brandon Jovanovich, Hermann
Vladislav Sulimsky, Count Tomsky / Plutus
Igor Golovatenko,
Prince Yeletsky
Evgenia Muraveva, Liza
Oksana Volkova, Polina / Daphnis
Hanna Schwarz, Countess
Stanislav Trofimov, Surin
Gleb Peryazev,
Margarita Nekrasova,
Julia Suleymanova,


Evgenia Muraeva (Liza), photo TACT/InternationalArtistsManagement

Salzburger Festspiele und Theater Kinderchor
Wolfgang Götz, Children’s Chorus Master

Concert Association of the Vienna State Opera Chorus
Ernst Raffelsberger, Chorus Master
Vienna Philharmonic

(After Press Materials)



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