Estonian Music Days

Tallinn / Tartu

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Jüri Reinvere

Jüri Reinvere (born 1971) studied at the Tallinn Music High School, taking piano under Virve Lippus and composition with Lepo Sumera, and thereafter studied at the Warsaw Music Academy in Poland as well as Helsinki’s Sibelius Academy, where he completed his Master’s degree in 2004 (supervisors Veli-Matti Puumala and Tapio Nevanlinna). Since 2005, Jüri Reinvere has lived and worked as a freelancer in Berlin, Germany. He has worked as an organist, music journalist, thereafter moving towards literature, and is a translator, film director, and essayist, amongst others. Reinvere has focused on the unification of different art genres, styles, and electronic and acoustic instruments, and has also written pure electroacoustic music. He has a sensitive treatment of sound, and his work holds a cameral, intimate, and ethereal feel, yet it may also sound the opposite – deliberately aggressive, and intentionally transgressive of the audience’s comfort zone. He is the librettist for the majority of his works (including Requiem; operas Purge (2012), premiered at the Finnish State Opera; and Peer Gynt (2014), performed by the Norwegian State Opera). Reinvere is also interested in very diverse subjects, including Finno-Ugric cultures, our roots and the twists and turns of fate; modern society and its problems; as well as links to the artistic masters of previous eras and their works. For example, the opera Peer Gynt, which is based on the primary text of Norwegian culture, gained connections via the composer to many other European cultures and covered, among others, deep problems prevalent in modern society. Also his latest opera Minona dealt with a fascinating theme, namely the topic of Beethoven’s so-called immortal beloved and the life of Beethoven’s potential progeny, including in Estonia. In recent years, Reinvere has composed a number of major symphonic works that have been premiered in prestigious concert halls: …And Tired of Happiness, They Started to Dance (“… ja väsimus õnnest nad tantsima viis”, 2018, premiere by the Estonian Festival Orchestra and conductor Paavo Järvi), Before Leviathan Awakes (“Enne kui Leviaatan ärkab”, 2019, ENSO, Mihkel Kütson); Vom Sterben der Sterne. Symphonische Notizen für Orchester (2021, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Pablo Heras-Casado), Maria Anna, wach, im Nebenzimmer (2021, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Andris Nelsons, premiere in Bamberg; in December the same year, the composition was performed under the baton of Nelsons by the Berliner Philharmoniker at the Berliner Philharmonie); Das innere Meer (2021, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, Pietari Inkinen).

Reinvere has received considerable acclaim for his exceptional oeuvre: the Annual Music Award of the Estonian Cultural Endowment (2000, 2010, 2012, 2018, 2020); the Culture Award of the Republic of Estonia (2015); the Enn Soosaar Essay Award (2017); the Music Award of the Estonian Music Council (2017); the Lepo Sumera Composition Award (2019); the Estonian Public Broadcasting Musician of the Year  (2021).