At the Estonian Music Days symphony concert tonight, Erkki-Sven Tüür’s piece “Solastalgia” was awarded LHV Au-tasu, a prize given in collaboration between LHV Bank and Estonian Composers Union to the composer whose piece premiered at last year’s festival is unanimously considered to possess highest artistic level and international relevance. The monetary award of 5000 € is accompanied by an artwork by glass artist Mare Saare. This year a record amount of compositions were presented for the prize out of which the jury selected ten nominees and finally, as a result of a thorough discussion, the winner.
According to Märt-Matis Lill, the head of the Composers Union and member of the jury, the level of the competition was extraordinarily high and quite a few among the ten nominees would have deserved the prize. Still, the piece by Tüür, as Lill puts it, managed to stand out and come as a surprise. In their report the jury describes “Solastalgia”, a concerto for piccolo and orchestra, as a work of art crossing the borders of genres where the predictable virtuosity of a concerto unexpectedly transforms into a painfully humanistic realization of the consequences of irresponsible human behaviour. As such, “Solastalgia” acts as a kind of warning, demonstrating that disasters are rather a result of indifference than actual evil intentions. Tüür’s piece is a reaction to the problems of today’s world from an artist who is sensitive to his surroundings.
Erkki-Sven Tüür started his musical activity in the second half of the seventies as a leader of a progressive rock band.
In the second half of the eighties he entered Estonian musical life as a professional composer. Tüür’s breakthrough work was 1989’s Insula deserta, which, after its Finnish premiere by the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra conducted by Juha Kangas, was followed by many commissions from Finland and other countries.
Tüür has also been commissioned to compose new works for countless orchestras, ensembles and musicians and his works have been performed at numerous festivals. In 1995, Tüür’s Requiem (in memory of Peeter Lilje) was one of the recommended works at UNESCO’s Rostrum of Composers in Paris. Erkki-Sven Tüür’s works are published by Edition Peters, also by Fennica Gehrman. Albums with his music have been released by ECM, Ondine, Warner, and EMI Virgin. The albums Magma (Virgin Classics) and Seventh Symphony & Piano Concerto (ECM) have been nominated for the Gramophone Award. (Source: Estonian Music Information Centre)
The jury of LHV Au-tasu also recognizes young composer Madli-Marje Sink. The tonal language of her work “AH-64 APACHE / “Buzzer, buzzer…”” provokes the prevailing aesthetics of Estonian music with self-assurance and therefore acts as a flash of fresh approach on the local scene. The jury was also pleased with the high artistic level of performance of the winning works and many others.
The award is issued by LHV Bank in collaboration with Estonian Composers Union, Estonian Music Information Centre, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and Estonian National Broadcasting / Klassikaraadio.
Estonian Music Days (EMD) is a festival of new compositions and the highlight of contemporary music season, engaging internationally renowned figures from the scene.
This year’s festival takes place on April 12-19 in various locations under the subtitle “Sacred”.