Mariss Jansons is a charismatic conductor.   Dynamic, witty and full of charm.

He also tells a good joke.

When a conductor tells a joke, there is complete hush. 

Three conductors, a Frenchman an Englishman and a German having a chat.  Subject . . . the art of seduction.


"I like to use Champagne.”

"Oh yes?” said the Englishman. “How does that work?”

"Meet before the concert, and take her for some Champagne . . . Dom Perignon is best."

"Invite her to your room for the  interval. Have Dom Perignon on ice."

"You walk her to her place after the concert, and call into a bistro for a candle lit supper, with Dom Perignon."

"When you get back to her place, toast her with arms intertwined".

"Gently undress her .. . . drizzle a little Dom Perignon onto her neck so it runs into her cleavage . . . "

". . . kiss her . . ."

" . . .  pour some so it runs into her navel . . ."

". . . kiss her again . . ."


German excitedly . . . 

“Geht es auch mit bier?”



In 1992, Mariss Jansons was named principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. News of the appointment came through to us players in the LSO when we were back stage waiting to go on and give a concert at the Barbican Hall. 

The shoe polishing machine backstage at the Barbican Concert Hall

The shoe polishing machine backstage at the Barbican Concert Hall

Cyril Ruben, a long serving and revered colleague in the first violins, was never short of a wry comment:

“The LPO get Marriss Jansons . . .  and what do we get? . . .  a shoe polishing machine.”  (Literally)







Some people collect jokes.  Some collect great recordings.

Mariss Jansons' Mahler’s Symphony No 6 on LSO Live is a great recording.

You can stream, download or buy our LSO Live recording by following this link: