Estonian Music Days

Tallinn / Tartu
Toomas Vavilov

Toomas Vavilov is the one of the most appreciated and well-known clarinetist of Estonia. His repertoire extends from classics to contemporary music.

Toomas Vavilov received his musical education from the Tallinn Music High School (1982-1988) and Estonian Academy of Music, graduating from the latter as a clarinetist in 1992 with Professor Hannes Altrov. From 1996 to 1998 he studied conducting at the Estonian Academy of Music with Jüri Alperten. He has taken conducting lessons from Jonas Aleksa and Roman Matsov, whom Vavilov is considering his role model and one of the most important teachers. He also has participated in clarinet master classes of Karl Leister (Berlin) and Ivan Mozgovenko (Moscow).

In 1990, Toomas Vavilov won the first prize at the Estonian Woodwind Players Contest. From 1993 to 1997 he worked as a clarinet teacher in Georg Ots Tallinn Music School and since 2001 as the orchestra class teacher and conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. Up to 2006, Toomas Vavilov was a member (clarinetist) of Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and from 2004 to 2006 the second conductor of it. In years 2006-2008 Vavilov was the music director and the head conductor of the orchestra at the Vanemuine Theatre in Tartu.

Vavilov’s orchestral debut as a clarinetist took place in 1988 with Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, under conducting of Peeter Lilje. Later he has performed as a soloist with Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Pärnu City Orchestra, Vanemuine Symphony Orchestra, Tartu String Orchestra, Hortus Musicus, Latvian State Chamber Orchestra and Latvian National Symphony Orchestra. One of his most distinguished performances has been the performance of Eino Tamberg’s Clarinet concert with Norddeutsche Rundfunk Orchestra in 1999 in Germany. Vavilov has worked with conductors like Eri Klas, Paul Mägi, Peeter Saan, Aivar Mäe and Christopher Adey (Scotland). His most frequent piano accompanists have been Peep Lassmann, Lauri Väinmaa, Nata-Ly Sakkos and Kairi Vavilov. He has performed also with violinists Arvo Leibur and Jüri Gerretz, cellists Henry-David Varema and Teet Järvi, organist Tiia Tenno and other Estonian musicians.

As a soloist, Vavilov has given concerts in Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, Australia and elsewhere. His repertoire consists of works varying from early music to contemporary music, but most important part of it he considers to be Estonian music. Many Estonian composers have written works specially for him – Urmas Sisask, Eino Tamberg, Ester Mägi, René Eespere, Lepo Sumera and Raimo Kangro. Vavilov has made recordings both as clarinetist and conductor for the Estonian Radio and for several CDs by Antes, including personal collections of Raimo Kangro, Ester Mägi and Eino Tamberg.

Toomas Vavilov has performed with many chamber ensembles. He is a member of new music ensemble the NYYD Ensemble with which he has performed in new music festivals Baltic Arts (London 1996), Time of Music (Viitasaari, Finland, 2001), Warsaw Autumn (Poland, 2001), Gaida (Vilnius, 2001), MaerzMusik (Berlin, 2003) and Klangspuren (Tirol, 2003).

In addition to clarinet playing, Toomas Vavilov is actively engaged in conducting. Since his debut was in 1998 with Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, he repeatedly has conducted other Estonian orchestras as well, including Pärnu City Orchestra, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Kuressaare Chamber Orchestra, Vanemuine Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Estonian Academy of Music, and choirs – Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and Latvian Radio Choir.

Toomas Vavilov has conducted a concert called Buratino, Friends and the Orchestra which introduced Symphony Orchestra and its instruments to children. Also a concert-choreographic show Schönberg and Circus, Diplomatic Notes from Germany. Vavilov has been the music director and conductor of various productions such as Snow Queen (a fairytale of Hans Christian Andersen with Olav Ehala’s music) and idea author of Ruja (rock opera of Estonian band called Ruja). In his favorite genre – opera, he has conducted The Magic Flute by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Madame Butterfly and Tosca by Giacomo Puccini.

In 1991 Toomas Vavilov was the main organizer of the festival Clarinet 300 and in 2008 he restored the tradition of Estonian Woodwind Players Contest. He consistently has supervised young woodwind players’ summer courses in Elva and Põltsamaa and been a member of jury in various competitions.

In 2001 Toomas Vavilov was awarded the Annual Prize of the Endowment of Music and in 1990 and 2005 year’s scholarship from Cultural Endowment of Estonia.

© EMIC 2009