Through the year with Järvi

With 50 answers distributed across five magazines, the new Chief Conductor and Music Director Paavo Järvi will take you, dear reader, through his first year in Zurich. Would you like to accompany him? Your questions to the maestro are more than welcome.

Paavo Järvi (Foto: Julia Bayer)

21. What makes a good conductor?
It is a combination of many qualities. Certainly it is about the ability to lead, to read body language. A good conductor is one who can work with people and of course one who is passionate about music. This is a really difficult question. If I knew the secret, then I would gladly reveal it. And then there would be many very good conductors.

22. And what makes a bad conductor?
A bad conductor has often become a conductor for the wrong reasons.

23. Is there a piece of advice you give to all people who lead?
Listen. Be the last to speak.

24. What children's song did you sing to your daughters when they were younger?
It's an Estonian song. There's this little sparrow that the wind blows to sleep. It's beautiful, but it's hard to translate. My grandmother sang it to me, and my father, too.

25. What do you think of when you think of seasons?
Oh, many things. In Estonia, where I come from, there are four seasons, like in Switzerland. Each season has its magic, right?

26. What magic does winter have?
Winter is magic. It makes me think of being a child in the snow. The first days of each new year I went skiing with my parents and my siblings on the hill in the south of Estonia. But let's face it, if I now board down the Swiss mountains and break my arm, then we'll have it with conducting. But I love the snow.

27. But if you don't want to ski at all, what do you love about it?
That's right, I'll do it anyway. But I also like cold, dark winter nights in the snow, everything is more concentrated. You think clearly, sharply.

published: 06.01.2020