Cincinnati Symphony Renews Paavo J‹rvi's Contract - And Adds Evergreen Clause

Classic Arts News   Cincinnati Symphony Renews Paavo J‹rvi's Contract - And Adds Evergreen Clause
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra has extended music director Paavo J‹rvi's contract through the 2010-2011 season. In a relatively unusual development — and one indicating the strong relationship between maestro and orchestra — the contract then becomes evergreen, automatically renewing each season by mutual agreement.

Under the agreement, J‹rvi will conduct the Cincinnati SO in 14 weeks of performances each season.

"The chemistry between Paavo and the CSO was evident from the beginning and is more potent than ever," said orchestra president Steven Monder in a statement. "The growth in the orchestra's artistic excellence is evident and is being noted and written about across the country and around the world."

"I am completely over the moon," J‹rvi told The Cincinnati Enquirer. "Negotiations were very quick. It's one of those situations where, when something works, you want to make sure there's longevity and continuation. That's what [evergreen] implies."

The automatic contract renewal, announced yesterday, is a first for any music director in the Cincinnati Symphony's 112-year history. (J‹rvi, now 44, became the orchestra's 12th music director in September of 2001.)

"He's a very hot property, and the reviews from the [orchestra's] West Coast tour brought that home clearly," CSO board chairman Rick Reynold told the Enquirer. "The room was buzzing. I don't think I've ever seen the board collectively so happy. They were high-fiving."

Under J‹rvi's leadership, the Cincinnati Symphony has released 11 recordings on the Telarc label and made successful tours to California, the US East Coast (including concerts at Carnegie Hall) and Europe. J‹rvi has also championed such contemporary composers as Erkki-Sven T‹‹r and Charles Coleman.

Only eighteen months into his first contract as the Cincinnati SO's music director, J‹rvi signed a second four-year agreement that extended his tenure through the 2008-2009 season. According to the orchestra's last publicly reported financial statement, for 2005, J‹rvi earned $694,000, according to the Enquirer.

This latest contract extension comes as the orchestra prepares to launch a major capital and endowment campaign. Also in the planning stage is a significant overhaul of Music Hall, the orchestra's home in downtown Cincinnati.

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