Toivo Tulev presented with the first Lepo Sumera Award

On the 14th of July at the Pärnu Concert Hall the first Lepo Sumera Award for Composition was be presented to the composer Toivo Tulev as part of the Pärnu Music Festival. The award was introduced by the Estonian Authors’ Society and the Estonian Composers’ Union. The laureate was unanimously elected by a jury.

The award includes 4000 EUR, future collaboration with Pärnu Music Festival, a commission from the Estonian leading contemporary classical music festival Estonian Music Days and an artwork by the internationally renowned glass artist Mare Saare, which was inspired by Toivo Tulev’s music.

The Lepo Sumera Award for Composition values a distinct arch of development in the author’s style, the range of musical thinking and artistic depth within the composer’s work. The jury consists of the conductor Paavo Järvi, composer Erkki-Sven Tüür, musicologist Kerri Kotta and electronic musician and son of Lepo Sumera, Tammo Sumera.

“Toivo Tulev is an uncompromising visionary in his music and the creator of a distinct personal world of music. Particularly in the last few years his sense of musical thinking has developed a wide symphonic grasp and a will to expand musical ideas up to their final outcomes, which has resulted in the birth of a number of pieces that reinterpret their classical genres in an original way. Teaching also holds an important place in Toivo Tulev’s work – he is a professor and the head of the composition department at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre,” the jury explained unanimously as to why Toivo Tulev became the first recipient of the award.

“A wide range of thinking, not only in art, should always be noted since the world is nowadays dominated by a bureaucratic way of thinking. People with big ideas and dreamers are far and few in between, or perhaps just not well known. All humans naturally mirror the beliefs and rules of the society they were brought up in. Very few can break out of it and discover their own path. Finding their own voice is the most difficult thing for a composer,” said the chairman of the jury, Paavo Järvi, who has also recorded all of Lepo Sumera’s symphonies.

“Lepo Sumera was always fascinating to be around. I repeatedly witnessed how a single sentence or impulse could create an idea which he would immediately start to develop. The years of working with him and recording his music taught me a lot. I felt that back then, he was already an important part of Estonian contemporary music history,” Järvi recalls.

The candidates for the Lepo Sumera award of composition were nominated by members of the jury. The laureate was chosen during discussions by the jury.


More info
Madli-Liis Parts
Estonian Composers’ Union, Estonian Music Days, or phone +372 5620 1108