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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bavaria Symphony, Jansons Make Debut

The world-famous Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Mariss Jansons is set to enchant concertgoers in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory this Saturday as part of its Eastern European tour.

For Jansons, who was born in Latvia and studied at the Leningrad Conservatory, playing in Russia will be a special occasion.

It "is an emotional moment," said Jansons in a telephone interview, "to perform where I was trained and spent my youth."

The Munich-based orchestra, making its debut in Russia, is considered by many to be the second-best orchestra in Germany after the Berlin Philharmonic.

Founded in 1949, the symphony was first led by Eugen Jochum, one of the leading conductors of his generation, and quickly came to international fame, especially from its interpretations of Anton Bruckner's symphonies. In 1961, Rafael Kubelik inherited Jochum's post, introducing more contemporary music and Slavic composers to the repertoire.

The orchestra has a tradition of working closely with contemporary composers like Igor Stravinsky, Darious Milhaud, Paul Hindemith, Leonard Bernstein and Karlheinz Stockhausen.

Following the British conductor Colin Davis, the legendary Lorin Maazel held the leading post of the ensemble before Jansons took on the post in 2003.

Born in Riga in 1943, Jansons comes from a musical family; his father was a conductor for the Halles orchestra and tragically died on stage. After leaving the Soviet Union, Jansons studied in Salzburg with Herbert von Karajan and went on to conduct virtually all of the world-class orchestras, including the London, Vienna and Berlin philharmonics.

One of the Bavarian Radio Symphony's notable qualities is its "great spontaneity during performances on stage," said Jansons.

Under his lead, the orchestra received the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance for its recording of Dmitry Shostakovich's 13th Symphony. He recently prolonged his contract with the symphony until 2012.

"I want that every one of my concerts should be an event, for me, for the orchestra and for the public," he recently told American radio station WNYC, and this promises to be the case on Saturday with a very German, Romantic program. First, Johannes Brahms' serene Second Symphony will be played, followed by the tragically sensual "Overture" and the "Liebestod" from Richard Wagner's opera "Tristan und Isolde" before finishing with the waltzy "Rosenkavalier Suite" of Bavaria's very own Richard Strauss.

The Bavarian Radio Symphony plays Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Conservatory Great Hall. 13 Bolshaya Nikitskaya Ulitsa. Metro Pushkinskaya, Biblioteka Imeni Lenina. Tel. 629-9401.