Latvian conductor gets British recognition

On November 23 leading Latvian conductor Mariss Jansons was awarded a prestigious gold medal by the Royal Philharmonic Society, reported LTV.

Jansons' accolade is seen as the most prestigious for classical music in Britain. He was the 104th person to receive the gold medal following such greats as Johannes Brahms and Igor Stravinsky.

"I have many awards. But it's very pleasant all the same. I was especially touched by the fact that the medal has Beethoven's name on it. He's my favorite composer, and that's why the medal is all the more precious to me," the senior conductor said.

It came to be, however, that shortly after receiving the award Jansons, 74, was criticized for perceivedly sexist remarks as he said he could not get used to the sight of a woman conducting an orchestra.

Jansons told the Telegraph that while he was not against there being women conductors per se, but that "it’s a question of what one is used to".

He added:"I grew up in a different world, and for me seeing a woman on the podium… well, let’s just say it’s not my cup of tea."

He has since backtracked what he said and now says he fully supports women conductors. 

Jansons currently leads the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, an esteemed European symphony.

He conducted the Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Concert for a third time in 2016. The concert was broadcast in over 90 countries around the world, seen by 50 million television viewers.

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