NEW YORK, Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Classical is pleased to announce a new, exclusive multi-album recording agreement with the dynamic the Estonian-born and American-raised conductor Kristjan Jarvi. The new relationship launches with the September 21 release of Cantique, featuring the music of iconic Estonian composer Arvo Part in celebration of his 75th birthday. Jarvi leads the Rundfunk Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin and the RIAS Kammerchor. Cantique includes Part's 1971 masterpiece, Symphony No. 3, plus the world premiere recordings of the orchestral and choral version of his Stabat mater (1985/2008) and Cantique des degres (1999/2002) for choir and orchestra. The album was produced by Florian Schmidt and recorded at Haus des Rundfunks in Berlin in February 2010.
Cantique represents the culmination of a lifelong friendship between Kristjan Jarvi and Arvo Part, which has been shaped as much by their shared personal history as their shared musical life. The Jarvi and Part families have been friends since the 1960s, when Kristjan's father Neeme Jarvi and Arvo Part worked together at Estonian Radio – Neeme Jarvi as the conductor of the Estonian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra, and Part as a recording engineer. Both families chose to emigrant from Estonia in 1980 because of continuing struggles with Soviet officials, and settled in Vienna within days of each other. Initially, they stayed at the same convent there, which was a stop for refugees. Though the Part family remained in Vienna, later relocating to Berlin, and the Jarvis moved to the United States, the families have remained close throughout the decades.
Their musical lives have remained intertwined over the years, and have crossed generations. Part's Symphony No. 3 is a major symphonic masterpiece of the late 20th century and is dedicated to Neeme Jarvi. In 2008, when Kristjan Jarvi was the music director of the Tonkunstler-Orchester Niederosterreich in Vienna, he commissioned an orchestral and choral version of Part's Stabat mater, originally written for soprano, alto, and tenor, with string trio. Jarvi premiered it with that orchestra at the Grossen Musikvereinssaal during the Wiener Festwochen, with Part in attendance. For both men, it was a moving experience to premiere the work in the city to which they both originally came as refugees.
The orchestra – Rundfunk Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin – is one with which Kristjan Jarvi has collaborated for more than a decade, and hails from Berlin, Part's home for many years outside of Estonia.
About Kristjan Jarvi: Kristjan Jarvi is a unique musical personality pushing classical music borders with fresh ideas, charisma, and technical prowess. In 2009, he released Mahler's little-known arrangement of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Vienna Tonkunstler Orchestra on Preiser Records, as well a highly praised recording of Bernstein's epic Mass on the Chandos label. In March 2010 he released Absolute Zawinul – the late Joe Zawinul's last studio recording – with the genre-bending ensemble he founded in New York in 1993, Absolute Ensemble. Other recent releases include Haydn's Paris Symphonies on Preiser and Schmidt's Das Buch mit Sieben Siegeln on Chandos. Jarvi has more than 25 albums to his credit, and a list of accolades that includes a Swedish Grammy for Best Opera Performance, the German Record Critics Prize for Best Album and a Grammy nomination.
Kristjan Jarvi's name has become synonymous with artistic and cultural diversity, illustrated in his roles as artistic advisor to the Basel Chamber Orchestra and founder and music director of Absolute Ensemble. He has combined his classical roots and affinity for traditional repertoire with an infectious enthusiasm for creating original programs, and his imaginative programming has been embraced by leaders of classical, jazz, and world music spheres alike. Jarvi's authentic commitment to all genres is reflected in his collaborations with Arvo Part, Tan Dun, John Adams, Esa-Pekka Salonen, H.K Gruber, Renee Fleming, Joe Zawinul, Benny Andersson, Goran Bregovic, Paquito d'Rivera, Eitetsu Hayashi, and Marcel Khalife.
Jarvi is highly sought-after as a guest conductor. He appears regularly and exclusively in London with the London Symphony Orchestra, with which he will tour Europe and Asia in the 2009-2010 season. In 2009 he conducted Teatro Reggio Torino in a new production of Rossini's Tancredi. Further guest conducting engagements in this and last season include concerts with Staatskapelle Dresden, Bayerische Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra, Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, NDR Hamburg, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre de Paris, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Rome, National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, DC), Sydney Symphony, and NHK Symphony Japan.
Fiercely committed to new music, Kristjan Jarvi has actively sought the commission of over 100 works. Premieres in the 2009-2010 season include works by Indian composer Nitin Sawhney with the London Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Schnyder with the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, James MacMillan with the London Symphony Orchestra and Tim Garland with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
Jarvi is an enterprising music educator as well. He is founding conductor and music director of the Baltic Youth Philharmonic. With the support of former German Chancellor Schroder, Valery Gergiev and Esa-Pekka Salonen, the Baltic Youth Philharmonic aims to become an education and performance hub for the Baltic region. In 2009 the BYP opened Bremen Musikfest and Usedom Music Festival and toured the Baltic Sea Nations. In 2010 it will return to Usedom and Bremen, perform at St. Petersburg's White Nights Festival and tour Bernstein's Mass throughout Europe.
An accomplished pianist, Kristjan Jarvi studied piano at the Manhattan School of Music and conducting at the University of Michigan. He began his career assisting Esa-Pekka Salonen at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, followed by chief conductor and music director posts at both the Norrlands Opera and Symphony Orchestra, Sweden (2000-2004) and the Tonkunstler Orchestra, Vienna (2004-2009). Kristjan Jarvi (pronounced KRIST-jahn YAHR-vee) makes his home in Vienna and Florida with his wife and three children. He is managed by Tanja Dorn at IMG Artists. For more information, visit www.kristjanjarvi.com.
Cantique Track Listing (Sony Classical 88697723342)
1 Arvo Part: Stabat mater for Choir and String Orchestra (1985/2008) - 27:59
2-4 Arvo Part: Symphony No. 3 (1971)
 I - 06:48
 II - 09:03
 III - 08:10
5 Arvo Part: Cantique des degres for Choir and Orchestra (1999/2002) - 07:47
SOURCE Sony Classical