Stepping in at short notice to conduct the opening concerts of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Paavo Järvi’s performances have been met with critical acclaim:
“Abbado’s worthy successor” wrote the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “From Mozart to Mahler, Paavo Järvi has set new standards in conducting here in Lucerne, an epicenter of orchestral art. Anyone who competes here with this orchestra in the future will have to be measured by that.”

“Järvi is the ideal choice of the handful of conductors who have led the orchestra in recent years” said the Luzerner Zeitung. “He has the ability to see beauties with an uncelebratory eye: his goal is not to become a hero in a novel either. This means that there is a score in front of him that has taken a lot of work to be mastered. It is clear to him that his orchestra should not die in beauty, there is more thought than dreamed here.”

“The result for Mahler’s Third Symphony?” asked Concertonet. “Soli of great beauty, with superb colors, but above all which have blended admirably into the orchestral mass. And despite all these individualities, Paavo Järvi managed to give cohesion to the whole and to stay the course, maintaining the musical tension from start to finish … The deep and mystical dimension of the work is fully apparent in the last movement, with splendid strings, joined by radiant brass. A superbly mastered crescendo, which suspended time. The audience was in heaven.”

The Tages Anzeiger agreed: “The interaction in and with the orchestra (which also includes quite a few of “his” Tonhalle musicians) worked brilliantly … Long silent seconds after the final chord followed by frenetic cheers of the previously highly disciplined hall.”