Paavo Järvi leads the Estonian Festival Orchestra in the final concert of the 2016 Pärnu Music Festival. The concert opens with Modest Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain. Pianist Zhang Zuo joins the orchestra for Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto no. 1, and the festival closes with Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 6. The encore is Valse Triste by Jean Sibelius.
The Pärnu Music Festival and Järvi Academy were founded in 2010 by Paavo Järvi and his father Neeme Järvi. Their goal was to create a festival offering masterclasses to international young conductors, creating an Academy Orchestra comprising the very best of young Estonian musical talent and the Estonian Festival Orchestra – hand-picked by Paavo, including professional Estonian musicians complemented by soloists from the top European orchestras. In addition to playing in the Festival Orchestra, these guest musicians also perform chamber music concerts and offer advice to the younger generation of musicians.
The week long festival takes place in various locations throughout the town including the church of St Elizabeth – founded in 1741 when the Russian empress donated 8000 roubles for its construction. Children’s concerts take place in one of the numerous spa hotels where families gather after long days on the beach and the main festival concerts take place in the elegant 1000 seater concert hall, built in 2002 and widely regarded as having one of Estonia’s best acoustics.