On 18 January 2019 Sony Classical releases the long awaited box set of the complete Sibelius Symphony cycle with Paavo Järvi and the Orchestre de Paris. Recorded live in concert over a period of four years, this cycle was a central project during Paavo Järvi’s tenure as Music Director (2010-2016) of the orchestra and the first full Sibelius cycle to be performed or recorded in France.
For his role in promoting Sibelius’ music to a wider public, the Sibelius Academy awarded Paavo Järvi the prestigious Sibelius Medal in 2015 commenting: “Paavo Järvi has promoted the music of Sibelius with great talent in concerts which he has conducted throughout the world and particularly in France. With his passion and drive he is making history by recording the complete Sibelius symphony cycle with the Orchestre de Paris – a project so far never undertaken by any other French orchestra.”
Since his professional conducting debut in 1985 when he conducted Sibelius’ First Symphony, Paavo Järvi has continuously performed and promoted the composer’s works throughout the world. In 2003 he won a Grammy Award for his recording of Sibelius Cantatas and in 2010 he opened his first concert with the Orchestre de Paris with a performance of Sibelius’ epic tone poem Kullervo.
“For an Estonian conductor, performing and recording the Sibelius symphony cycle is a very important project for many reasons; firstly because we “Northerners” still have a mission of making Sibelius more familiar to music lovers and orchestras around the world; secondly, as an Estonian there is a certain sense of “ownership” and “belonging” to this music. Finland and Estonia have always been very close to one another – not just geographically but also culturally – Sibelius means just as much to Estonians as he means to Finns; and most importantly, because I absolutely love these symphonies.“