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Riccardo Muti conducts the first work of the Musikverein’s memorial concert for Mariss Jansons. | ©Todd Rosenberg Photography 2020

Internationally revered conductor Mariss Jansons, who died Nov. 30 at age 76, was honored with a memorial concert Jan. 14 at Vienna’s Musikverein. The afternoon concert, which preceded the second tour performance of Verdi’s Messa da Requiem by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra during its Musikverein residency, featured the Vienna Philharmonic, conducted by Riccardo Muti and Valery Gergiev, and the Wiener Singverein.

The memorial concert, which was filled to capacity, fell on what would have been Maestro Jansons’ 77th birthday. He had appeared with the CSO, both in Orchestra Hall and at the Ravinia Festival, on several occasions, beginning in 1991. His last Chicago appearance came in 2016, when he led the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, of which he had been music director since 2003, in a Symphony Center Presents concert in April 2016.

The Musikverein program began with Maestro Muti conducting the Vienna Philharmonic in the first movement of Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony, followed by remarks from Dr. Thomas Angyan, intendant of Der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien. The next work was Schubert’s Pax vobiscum, D. 551, performed by the Wiener Singverein (Johannes Prinz, director), capped by remarks by Prof. Daniel Froschauer of the Vienna Philharmonic. The concert concluded with Maestro Gergiev leading the Vienna Philharmonic in the second movement of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 1 (Winter Dreams).

Many CSO musicians and their tour guests attended the memorial concert, nearing 70 in total, including Concertmaster Robert Chen and horn James Smelser, president of the CSO Members’ Committee, as well as senior leadership of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association.

After the program, the audience stood and observed a moment of silence before quietly filing out of the Grosser Musikverein Saal.

In addition, Maestro Muti and the CSO dedicated their performance Jan. 14 of the Verdi Requiem to the memory of Maestro Jansons. After the Requiem concluded, Maestro Muti offered some brief remarks and asked that the evening’s last round of applause be devoted to Maestro Jansons.

TOP: Mariss Jansons. | Photo: Terry Linke