Mariss Jansons to leave Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

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The Latvian conductor departs 'on excellent terms' after a decade as chief conductor

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Mariss Jansons has announced that he is to resign as chief conductor of Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

The Latvian conductor today informed musicians and staff of the 126-year-old Amsterdam orchestra that he will step down after the 2014-15 season.

Jansons is said to be leaving the orchestra, which he has led for nearly ten years, on ‘excellent terms and with deep mutual respect’.

In a statement released earlier today, the orchestra said: ‘Mariss Jansons has always been able to inspire the orchestra and lead it in great performances. Due to his knowledge, commitment and involvement, he is much loved by both the musicians and our audiences.’

Jansons made his conducting debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in 1988 and has been its chief conductor since September 2004. He is the sixth person to hold the title: previous conductors in the role include Riccardo Chailly (whom Jansons succeeded) and Bernard Haitink.

The orchestra is best known for its interpretations of Mahler and Bruckner, although under Janson’s leadership it has also focused on composers of the twentieth century including Shostakovich and Messiaen, to whom large-scale projects have been devoted.

The date of Janson’s final concert is yet to be decided. Neither he nor the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra has ruled out the possibility of him conducting concerts following his departure.

Jansons will continue to act as chief conductor of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, with whom he has a contract until 2018. 

Christina Kenny