December 3, 2013
There are orchestras which waste no time looking around for replacement of an ailing conductor, but Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra stands by its man unconditionally.
Mariss Ivars Georgs Jansons, who will turn 71 on Jan 14, stopped midway through the orchestra's final concert on tour in Sydney on Sunday, turning the baton over to assistant conductor Rory Macdonald. Immediately rumors started flying about Jansons' state of health and his future with the Concertgebouw.
But early Monday morning, Concertgebouw annnounced: "Though the form of Mariss Jansons’ contract in Amsterdam is of a different nature than in Munich ('evergreen' vs. 'renewal'), please rest assured that we are already and confidently planning the 2017-2018 with him."
Planning a season may be different from actually leading it, but the orchestra's intention to stand by the conductor is clear.
Jansons became the orchestra’s sixth chief conductor a decade ago. His illustrious predecessors were Willem Kes (1888-1895), Willem Mengelberg (1895–1945), Eduard van Beinum (1945–1959), Bernard Haitink (1963–1988), and Riccardo Chailly (1988–2004). Mengelberg laid the foundation for the orchestra’s acclaimed Mahler tradition.