Press quotes top image



“The start of a new Mahler cycle passed its baptism of fire with flying colours in Zürich …

Järvi frees the music from its predominantly highly emotional, sometimes overly obsessive and intoxicating navel-gazing. His priority is to reveal the architecture of the monstrous symphony, to show edge and texture with clear movements and clockwork precision, to understand the score as a great whole to which the individual parts must conform … The marvellous Tonhalle Orchestra and conductor are perfectly attuned, artistically congenial partners. A stirring start has been made, and we can look forward to the sequel.”

Online Merker, Ingobert Walter, 5 February, 2024

A highly personal and outstanding interpretation … quite visceral, decidedly expressive, a touch virulent, as if spoken from the gut, with all one’s soul … The Adagietto, very measured and concise, without softness, showed Järvi’s meticulous work, capable of delving into great dynamism and intensity, while at the same time being incisive in tempi. The Estonian mesmerised with the Rondo-Finale, hardly pausing for breath, breathless, overwhelming at times.

Platea, Alejandro Martinez, 11 February 2024

“Paavo Järvi and the Zurich Philharmonic gave a committed, intense and musical performance. The maestro gives meaning to this landmark work in the repertoire with a clear reading. He knows his score intimately and knows what he wants to achieve … ”, Thimothée Grandjean, 5 February 2024


When Järvi performs Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 1 with his Estonian Festival Orchestra … you can enjoy the lively, gestural, springy musical style, the rhetorical power of this well-thought-out, yet extremely spontaneous interpretation … Järvi also brought the Estonian strings to golden, red and white embers in Jean Sibelius’ fervently driven “Andanto festivo”.
Die Presse, Walter Weidringer, 26 January 2024

The entire ensemble was dramatic, engaged and played as if with one bow, producing a gripping, deeply-grounded sound … Järvi gave the finale in particular full opportunity to breathe and with it his audience the chance to take in the orchestra’s lovely sound. Energetic yet grounded, dramatic yet generous, there is little more that can be asked for from a night in the Konzerthaus, or from an orchestra in it., Chanda VanderHart, 26 January 2024

From the phenomenally clean, contoured strings alone, you realise in the first few seconds that this is not just a good performance, but one that has been carefully rehearsed. Järvi does not rely solely on precision, but also creates an infinite palette of moods, lively, sweeping, powerfully compact … Because everyone pulls together, Paavo Järvi is able to push the extremes incredibly far apart, mystical murmurs in slow motion are cut hard against passages at ludicrous speed, in between which the music breaks off again and again in a mysterious way.
Abendzeitung, Michael Bastian Weiss, 27 January 2024



BEETHOVEN: The Consecration of the House Overture
TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto
DVORÁK: Symphony No. 9 “From the New World”
with Augustin Hadelich

“… when the performances (of Dvorak’s New World Symphony and Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto) are as sharp and fresh as those on offer from the versatile Estonian Paavo Jarvi and his Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich, it really does feel as if you might be hearing these mighty warhorses for the very first time.”
The Times, Geoff Brown, 31 August 2023

“Dvorak’s symphony sounded more than usually fresh and forceful, with an additional layer of sonic enchantment. The piece is full of colours that often sweep by unnoticed … There they all were, quivering under the magnifying glass of the Zürich/Jarvi sound, while the chords that support the famous cor anglais solo were so hushed and tender that you held your breath. A formidable display of soft power.”
The Spectator, Richard Bratby, 9 September 2023

“Dressing old favourites anew, brushing away cobwebs, was the heartbeat of this concert. Nothing was ordinary or routine … Järvi’s magnificent reading (of Dvorak’s New World Symphony) floored me. This was a golden account of the daring-to-risk variety, the stakes high … Järvi’s discreet rubatos and commas, his trademark control of tempo and time changes, the cultured way he welds and cadences structure – globally and internally – lifted events to a quite extraordinary degree. The stuff of memory.“, Ateş Orga, 1 September 2023

“Järvi, together with his splendid orchestra, ensured that this magnificent Overture’s ceremonial, ornamental, transporting and exhilarating aspects were in place – plenty of detail, distinctive timbres, and singular purpose.”
Colin’s Column, Colin Anderson, 31 August 2023


BRUCKNER: Symphony No. 9

“The contrasts between the fulminating brass and the at times soft, floating strings were commanding in the reading, the chordal clashes of the same strings stirred the spirits, the overwhelming tutti with percussion and brass in the foreground unsettling. There was a logic to the reading and interpretation of the score of this great symphonist that was Anton Bruckner, and the combination of Swiss musicians and their Estonian conductor was unforgettable.”
Adevarul, Costin Popa, 11 September 2023

“The musicians of the Tonhalle Zürich give a very fine performance, with many contrasts and fine nuances, and play as passionately and intensely as ever. Paavo Järvi shows his musicians the way with clarity and dedication. Time stood still at the end of the symphony, where silence reigned before the audience warmly applauded the artists for this very fine performance.”, Thimothée Grandjean, 6 September 2023

“ Paavo Järvi displayed perfection, leading a superb orchestra (Tonhalle) through Symphony no. 9 … It’s hard to say what was more beautiful: the perfect brasses, the percussion very present in this work, the strings with an immersive texture… the Tonhalle remains one of the best orchestras heard in the Enescu Festival, just like in the 2021 edition. And much of the credit, if not all, goes to Paavo Järvi as music director …”
Despre Opera, 7 September 2023


DVOŘÁK: Cello Concerto
DVOŘÁK: Symphony No. 9 “From the new World“
with Anastasia Kobekina, cello

“… In Paavo Järvi’s hands, the New World Symphony came to life in an unprecedented experience. The players followed their chief conductor, known for his affection for Czech music, to all corners of Dvořák’s world … It was one of the most interesting interpretations of this symphony – playful, joyful, dancing, lovely, full of energy and an intoxicating sound.”
Novinky, Právo, 8 September 2023

“Järvi brought the New World Symphony to a perfect gradation, the orchestra to the limit of its possibilities and the audience to the boil … Järvi has matured into an unrivaled conducting personality with a deep understanding of the interpreted work and a relaxed stage presence, and Dvořák’s Novosvětská has no weak spot, it breaks hearts and shakes the knees.”
Harmonie, Martin Jemelka, 8 September 2023

“This concert raised the question as to why the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich is not more widely recognised as one of the most distinguished orchestras. The superb performance was spiced up by its conductor with a tasteful, superior measure of expressiveness, blended with the necessary ingredient of momentary inspiration. Nothing stilted or outmoded. Järvi’s performance of Dvořák’s Ninth ranks among the most unforgettable.”
Klasikplus, Daniel Pinc, 8 September 2023


MAHLER: Symphony No. 3

MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 9, K. 271 ’Jeunehomme’
BRAHMS: Symphony No. 4
with Maria João Pires, piano

“Abbado’s worthy successor … 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.”
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Jan Brachmann, 16 August 2023

“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.”
Tages Anzeiger, Peter König, 13 August 2023

“Järvi 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.”
Luzerner Zeitung, Christian Berzins, 12 August 2023

“The result for Mahler’s Third Symphony? 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.”
Concertonet, Claudio Poloni, 13 August 2023


SIBELIUS: ‘Finlandia’
LUTOSŁAWSKI: Concerto for Orchestra
SIBELIUS: Symphony No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 82

… Lutosławski’s Concerto for Orchestra was a first-rate performance. In terms of the multiplicity of narrative planes, the richness of dynamic shades, the combination of discipline and imagination, the clarity of rhythm and emotional suggestiveness, it was in every way satisfying and thrilling … As with the Finlandia – already performed at full throttle, the predatory and dynamic opening with sharp timpani strokes and feisty string entrances left no doubt that this would be a sensational performance.

.. After the intermission, Sibelius’ Symphony No. 5 … a rousing performance in which there was not a single dull moment … a complete triumph. Järvi conducted with economical, circular gestures, and it was clear that he has an excellent rapport with the orchestra.

Katowice Cultura Natura, 22 May 2023


HAYDN: Symphonies Nos. 93 and 104

“Haydn’s Symphony No. 93 opened the evening, the 104th closed it: complete perfection of form, but with nothing hollow about it … Järvi and the orchestra approached the music in such a subtle way that the sharply defined form was not forced, but merely precisely drawn.”
Frankfurter Rundschau, Judith von Sternburg, 10 May 2023

“The orchestra and Paavo Järvi masterfully understood how to work out the many contrasts in the music and build up a captivating tension. The slow passages were performed with sensitivity and intensity, while the fast and virtuosic passages were executed with playful ease and the greatest precision.”
Online merker, Dirk Schauss, 9 May 2023

“Detailed work but an atmosphere of easy, fluid communication, in a relationship that more than one orchestra and conductor would envy … it is difficult not to feel enveloped in the tide of vitality, of joy of the spirit that these musicians of the DKAM transmit … Järvi’s interpretation did not iron out any edges, in fact he emphasized the search for surprise, the contrast, the richness of accents, making the most of the silences, the vivacity of impulse in the rhythmic drawing and, finally, that general atmosphere of contagious vitality that derives from it all.”
Scherzo, Rafael Ortega Basagoiti, 9 May 2023

“ … these were exultant, richly grained readings, throatily and reedy voiced. Tight articulation, precision dots and slurs, buoyant rhythms, grandly rooted tuttis, breathed solos, civilised conversazione, making the most of accents and hairpin dynamics, alert to the smallest detail and agogic. Järvi’s manner and gallantry lit the music at multiple levels … coaxing every shade and innuendo from his players … “, Ateş Orga, 7 May 2023

“A joyful energy governs the musically well-crafted performance … this mischievous interpretation captivates us from beginning to end.”, Thimothée Grandjean, 6 May 2023