The Estonian Music Days is an annual festival promoting Estonian composers’ new works. This year, the festival’s theme is “Green Sound?” and will take place on April 7-16. During the festival, audiences will hear more than 30 premieres of brand new compositions.
As an innovation, the LHV Bank is sponsoring a new composition award called Au-tasu. Additionally, some of the concerts will take place in Viimsi for the first time in the festival’s history. Tickets are available at Piletilevi.
The Estonian Music Days (EMD) is a festival of premieres, and since it gathers together internationally renowned Estonian composers and performers, it is certainly the most important modern classical music event of the year. Here is a list of selection of the composers presenting new works this year: Ülo Krigul, Mirjam Tally, Jüri Reinvere, Toivo Tulev, Märt Matis Lill, Maria Kõrvits, Evelin Seppar, Helena Tulve, Margo Kõlar, Mart Siimer, Marianna Liik, Ardo Ran Varres.
For the first time, this year’s festival will give out a modern classical music award. The LHV Bank in collaboration with the Estonian Composers’ Union founded the award Au-tasu to acknowledge the newest local classical compositions. All works that were premiered in 2015 are eligible to apply for the award, and the first receipient of the award will be announced on April 15 at the festival’s symphony concert.
The premiere of the staged serenade They Went and Planted the Seeds of Shadows Because the Light Started to Sprout by the composer Ardo Ran Varres is one of the most anticipated events of the festival. As Varres explains: “They Went… is a work that combines sound and light. I am inspired by ArturAlliksaar’s texts about the night and everything that comes with it. This will be a large-scale staged performance in a black box theatre space with a custom-made stage and platforms, a set of lights, and sound amplification.”
This theatre piece of music and light will be performed on two evenings, 9 and 10 April at the Black Box Studio. The Black Box Studio is located in Viimsi right by the sea and They Went… will be the first performance at that studio. There are several well-known artists and musicians involved in the project: Liis Kolle (stage director), Oliver Kulpsoo (lighting design),Tammo Sumera (sound design), Jaanika Kilgi (soprano), Taniel Kirikal (baritone), and the YXUS Ensemble.
During the Estonian Music Days, new classical works will be performed by the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, the YXUS Ensemble, the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, the ensemble Una Corda, pianist Age Juurikas, cellist Leho Karin, and renowned Estonian vocal jazz group Estonian Voices, among others. Several concerts will take place in collaboration with the state concert agencyEestiKontsert, the Association of Estonian Professional Musicians, and the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. Audiences will have a chance to enjoy performances by the younger generation’s most talented musicians, since the EMD is a springboard for young composers and performers ready to launch their international careers.
The Mini-EMD, a modern classical music festival for youth organised by a group of high school students, will also take place as part of the EMD. The Mini-EMD, a festival unique in Northern Europe, was recognized as the best project at the Estonian National Youth Council’s Youth Project 2015 competition and at the Tallinn Sports and Youth Department’s Great Achievements 2015 competition.
As the oldest music festival in Estonia, founded in 1979, the Estonian Music Days brings together a variety of genres, a great selection of musicians, and various forms of performance and visual arts. In 2015, the EMD was lauded as being among the finest festivals in Europe. For the first time, Fenoba, the network of Nordic modern music festivals, will hold a conference in connection with the Estonia Music Days.
The EMD is organised by the Estonian Composers’ Union and the festival’s artistic directors are composers Helena Tulve and Timo Steiner. The 2016 festival’s theme “Green Sound”focuses on sustainability and the philosophies of recycling and upcycling. It also draws attention to noticing sonic worlds in different environments as well as bringing together musicians from different genres in order to combine contrasting ways of thinking, which result in novel creative works.
The festival is supported by the Estonian Ministry of Culture, the Estonian National Culture Foundation, the Estonian Authors’ Society, Hansaplant, Meriton Hotels, and the Solaris Centre, among others.