Kristjan Järvi (Estonian pronunciation: [ˈkristjɑn ˈjærʋi], alternate (U.S.) spelling: Kristian Järvi) (born 13 June 1972, Tallinn) is an Estonian-born American conductor and pianist. Järvi is the younger son of Neeme Järvi, and the brother of conductor Paavo Järvi and flutist Maarika Järvi.
When Järvi was age 7, his family emigrated to the United States and settled in Rumson, New Jersey. He grew up in New York City. Järvi studied piano with Nina Svetlanova at the Manhattan School of Music. He later went on to study conducting at the University of Michigan under Kenneth Kiesler.
From 1998 to 2000, Järvi was Assistant Conductor to Esa-Pekka Salonen at the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He and the composer Gene Pritsker co-founded the Absolute Ensemble, based in New York City, in 1993, with Järvi as its music director. In 2007, Järvi and the Absolute Ensemble were awarded the Deutsche Bank Prize for Outstanding Artistic Achievement.
Järvi was Chief Conductor and Music Director of the Norrlands Opera Symphony Orchestra of Umeå in Sweden from 2000 to 2004. From 2004 to 2009, Järvi was Chief Conductor and Music Director of the Tonkünstler Orchestra, Vienna. Järvi is also the current Artistic Advisor to the Kammerorchester Basel and the conductor and founder of the Baltic Youth Philharmonic. In April 2011, Järvi was appointed the next chief conductor of the MDR Symphony Orchestra (MDR Sinfonieorchester) from the 2012-13 season on, with an initial contract of 3 years. Järvi renewed his contract in 2015.
In addition to a Grammy nomination, Järvi has previously been awarded the German Record Critics Prize and a Swedish Grammy for the recording of Hilding Rosenberg's opera "Isle of Bliss". He has recorded Leonard Bernstein's Mass with the Tonkünstler Orchestra and Absolute Ensemble. While Järvi's repertoire includes pieces from the Classic and Romantic periods, he is also a specialist for 20th-century composers and contemporary music, having commissioned works by Arvo Pärt, Heinz Karl Gruber, Erkki-Sven Tüür, Ezequiel Viñao, Peeter Vähi and Joe Zawinul, among others. In 2014 Järvi and French record label Naïve Classique launched the 'Kristjan Järvi Sound Project', an ongoing series featuring recordings from all of Järvi's ensembles.
Järvi's philanthropic activities include founding the Estonian Orphanage Music Outreach foundation and the Absolute Academy in Bremen.