The Revival of the First Estonian Electronic Organ





National Library of Estonia, Main Conference Hall
(Tõnismägi 2)



Kirke Karja (varioola)
Kristjan Randalu (varioola)
Mart Siimer (varioola)
Marianna Liik (electronics)
Margo Kõlar (electronics)
Tammo Sumera (sound engineering, electronics)


Mart Siimer (b. 1967). “Variolation” for varioola (2016, premiere)
Margo Kõlar (b. 1961). “Varioola Variations” for varioola and electronics (2016, premiere)
Malle Maltis (b. 1977). “Flickering Bog Lights” for varioola (2016, premiere)
Marianna Liik (b. 1992). “ReCycling” for two players on Varioola and live electronics (2016, premiere)

Curated by Margo Kõlar
Anatol Sügis, the constructor of the varioola, may also be present at the concert

In 1955, as a result of a bet, Heino Pedusaar and Anatol Sügis sktarted to construct the first Estonian electronic organ. The unique instrument, with the most innovative technical possibilities at the time and highly valued by performers, was named varioola. For many years, the unique sounds of the varioola were used in popular music, theatre pieces, films, and radio plays. After some times, however, the varioola ended up in the Estonian Theatre and Music Museum and started to be forgotten about.

Luckily, in 2015, composer Margo Kõlar rediscovered the varioola and made the electronic music studio at the Estonian Music and Theatre its new home. Anatol Sügis himself, by now the grand old man of the National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics at Tallinn University of Technology, was able to assist with the repairs needed for the instrument’s revival.

The concert at the EMD will reveal how this historic instrument has challenged and inspired various composers and performers more than 50 years later. New compositions for the varioola and live-electronics by Malle Maltis, Marianna Liik, Mart Siimer, and Margo Kõlar will be performed by Kirke Karja, Kristjan Randalu, and the composers themselves.


In collaboration with Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre and Estonian Theatre and Music Museum