Absolute Ensemble

Since its inception in 1993, fans have slowly witnessed something of a metamorphosis of Kristjan Järvi’s Absolute Ensemble.

Beginning in New York as another new music group, Järvi seemed unable to quench his appetite for music of all genres. The group Järvi lovingly describes as “musical omnivores” lends itself to the kind of performance usually foreign to the classical breed. Members are frequently called upon to improvise as well as arrange and compose. Choosing to integrate rather than segregate music, the group fuses its classical roots with everything from jazz and rock to world music and hip-hop. By defying categorization and creating a totally new sound, Absolute is a refreshing guide to the future of music. The American Record Guide claims Absolute "may be the most alluring and virtuosic…of today's new music groups."

Absolute has released eight albums and in turn received a list of accolades, including the German Record Critics Prize and a Grammy nomination.
Absolute Ensemble has toured the globe with concerts in Vienna, Zürich, London, Hamburg, Cologne, Bremen, Weimar, Stockholm, Umeå, Bolzano, Milan, Torino, Catania, Tallinn, Pärnu, Monterey, Bergen, New York, West Palm Beach, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Detroit, Washington DC, New Orleans, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth and Oulu.


Estonian-born conductor Kristjan Järvi has forged a special connection with audiences across the globe.Renowned as one of the best communicators on the international stage, he has been hailed by the New York Times as “a kinetic force on the podium, like Leonard Berstein reborn.”

In his capacity as Chief Conductor and Music Director of the Tonkünstler Orchestra, Vienna and New York’s celebrated Absolute Ensemble, Mr. Järvi is well-known for his musical insight into repertoire ranging from the classical period to the 21st century. Järvi’s flair for imaginative programming is reflected in his recent appointment as Artistic Advisor to the Kammerorchester Basel.

Kristjan Järvi is highly sought-after as a Guest Conductor, appearing regularly with the London Symphony Orchestra, Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, Berlin Radio Symphony, Orchestre National de France, and Royal Scottish National Orchestra. In 2008/09 he makes his Proms debut with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales as well as debut concerts with the Bayerische Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgart Radio Symphony, Orchestre National de Lyon and NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo.

In addition to a demanding concert schedule at the esteemed Vienna Musikverein, Järvi and the Tonkünstler Orchestra have toured throughout the U.K., Spain, Germany, Austria and the Baltic States. Upcoming tours include Japan in October 2008, the Czech Republic in January 2009, and a return to the Grafenegg Summer Festival as “Orchestra in Residence” in 2009.

Kristjan Järvi is a passionate recording artist, with more than 20 albums to his credit, for which he has received a list of accolades, including a Swedish Grammy for Best Opera Performance, the German Record Critics Prize for Best Album and a Grammy Nomination. The 2008 release of Franz Schmidt’s “Book of the Seven Seals” on the Chandos Label was met with widespread acclaim.Forthcoming releases include a cycle of Haydn’s “Paris” Symphonies, Steve Reich’s “Desert Music” and Bernstein’s epic “Mass.”

Kristjan Järvi founded Absolute Ensemble in 1993. Since its inception it has become one of the foremost chamber ensembles in the world, founded on the principle of “music without borders.” The ensemble is resident annually at Bremen Musikfest and in 2007 was honored with the prestigious Bremen Musikfest Deutschebank Prize for Outstanding Artistic Achievement. Kristjan Järvi’s enthusiasm for new music has resulted in the commission of over 100 works by Arvo Pärt, HK Gruber, Erkki-Sven Tüur and Daniel Schnyder among others. In July 2007, he conducted John Adams’ “Nixon in China” to great critical acclaim at the Cincinnati Opera.

Kristjan Järvi is a committed advocate of music education and is Founding Conductor and Music Director of the Baltic Youth Philharmonic, the Absolute Academy at Bremen University and is co-founder of the Muusikaselts Estonian Orphanage Program. Mr. Järvi has worked with Japan’s Hyogo Youth Orchestra, the Norwegian Youth Orchestra, the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, Sydney Sinfonia and the National Repertory Orchestra, Colorado.

An accomplished pianist, Kristjan Järvi studied piano at the Manhattan School of Music with Nina Svetlanova followed by graduate conducting studies at the University of Michigan with Kenneth Kiesler. He began his career assisting Esa-Pekka Salonen at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, with whom he made his debut at the Hollywood Bowl in 1999 and went on to become Chief Conductor of the Norrlands Opera and Symphony Orchestra, Sweden(2000-2004). Kristjan Järvi makes his home in Vienna and Florida together with his wife and two sons.

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