Järvi, Neeme, prominent Estonian conductor, father of Paavo Järvi; b. Tallinn, June 7, 1937. He graduated with degrees in percussion and choral conducting from the Tallinn Music School, then studied conducting with Mravinsky and Rabinovich at the Leningrad Cons. (1955-60). He pursued postgraduate studies in 1968, and in 1971 captured first prize in the Accademia di Santa Cecilia conducting competition in Rome. He was active in Tallinn as music director of the Estonian State Sym. Orch. (1960-80) and of the Estonian Opera Theater (1964-77). He subsequently served as principal guest conductor of the City of Birmingham Sym. Orch. in England (1981-84). In 1982 he became music director of the Göteborg Sym. Orch. in Sweden; also was principal conductor of the Scottish National Orch. in Glasgow (1984-88). In 1990 he became music director of the Detroit Sym. Orch. His guest conducting engagements have taken him to most of the principal music centers of the world. He has won particular notice in concert settings and on recordings for his efforts in championing such rarely performed composers as Berwald, Gade, Svendsen, Stenhammar, and Tubin.
U. Ott, ed., Maestro: Intervjund N. J.ga (Tallinn, 1997).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire