Léonie Sonning Prize 2018

Mariss Jansons

Mariss Jansons

Mariss Jansons announced as winner of the Léonie Sonning Music Prize 2018

Conductor Mariss Jansons will receive the Léonie Sonning Music Prize 2018 at a concert to be held on Friday, 9 March 2018, at the Opera House.

Programme and performers:

Mahler: Symphony no. 2 Resurrection

Genia Kühmeier (soprano)
Bernarda Fink (mezzo-soprano).
The Royal Danish Opera Chorus
Malmö Opera Chorus
The Royal Danish Orchestra
Conductor: Mariss Jansons

Mariss Jansons is the 15th conductor to be awarded the Léonie Sonning Music Prize. The distinguished list of previous prize winners includes Leonard Bernstein (1965), Sergiu Celibidache (1970), Rafael Kubelik (1983), Georg Solti (1992), John Eliot Gardiner (2005), Simon Rattle (2013) and Herbert Blomstedt (2015).

The latest prize winner was violinist Leonidas Kavakos, who was awarded the Léonie Sonning Music Prize 2017 on 12 January 2016 at the Concert House.

In addition to the honour of becoming part of the impressive musical list of kings having received the Léonie Sonning Music Prize, Mariss Jansons will receive EUR 100,000.

Mariss Jansons and Denmark

Mariss Jansons gave his first concerts in autumn 1972 in Scandinavia with Copenhagen Phil. And he returned for several concerts in the 1970s and the early 1980s conducting Richard Strauss' Ein Heldenleben and Rachmaninov's Symphony no. 2, among others. Mariss Jansons also conducted the South Jutland Symphony Orchestra at several concerts, including in Symphony no. 6 Pathetique in 1981.

In February 2011, Mariss Jansons visited the Concert House as head of the Dutch Concertgebouw Orchestra. The programme included Brahms' Piano Concerto no. 2 with Leif Ove Andsnes as soloist and Beethoven's Symphony no. 7. The Danish newspaper, Kristeligt Dagblad, wrote that Mariss Jansons presented himself as "a true master with a brilliant perspective, clear direction and determined presence."

Mariss Jansons in brief

Mariss Jansons was born in Riga in 1943 as the son of conductor Arvids Jansons. He graduated from the former Leningrad Conservatory. From 1971 he was assistant to Evgeny Mravinsky at the Leningrad Philharmonic (now the St. Petersburg Philharmonic). Studied in Vienna with Hans Swarowsky and in Salzburg with Herbert von Karajan.

Chief conductor 1979-2000 for the Oslo Philharmonic, which under the direction of Mariss Jansons developed into an international top orchestra with spectacular performances of the symphonies of especially Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich. Chief conductor 1997-2004 of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and 2004-2015 of the Concertgebouw Orchestra. Since 2003, Mariss Jansons has been the chief conductor of the Chor und Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks. In addition to regular concerts in Munich, Mariss Jansons and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks have given a large number of concerts in musical metropolis in Europe, the USA and East Asia. Mariss Jansons is cooperating closely with the Berlin Philharmonic and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras as guest conductor. In 2006, 2012 and 2016, he headed the tradition-bound New Year's Concert at the Musikverein in Vienna.

Mariss Jansons is one of the leading conductors in the world. With enthusiasm and great authority, he has interpreted a broad repertoire for more than 40 years, ranging from Viennese classical style and romantic to Mahler, Richard Strauss, Stravinsky, Shostakovich and entirely new music by Wolfgang Rihm. With emphasis on sophistication, clarity and precision of sound combined with intensity and emotional presence, Mariss Jansons is today the guarantor of a classical orchestra culture at the highest level.

Esben Tange
Chairman of the Léonie Sonning Music Foundation
Copenhagen, 21/4 2017


These photos may be used free of charge in relation with Mariss Jansons being awarded the Léonie Sonning Music Prize.

For additional information


Bente Legarth
tel. +45 3334 4232
e-mail: bl@horten.dk


Torsten Hoffmeyer
tel. +45 3334 4231

Ticket sales

Ticket sales for the Prize Concert will open on August 16th 2017 via the homepage of the Royal Danish Theatre.