26.04.–05.05.2024 / Tartu
Alo Põldmäe

Alo Põldmäe (b.1945) is a composer, music historian and pedagogue. He graduated from the Tartu music school in the oboe class of Jaan Hargel, and from the Tallinn State Conservatory in the composition class of Heino Eller. He has worked in the Estonian Radio and Tallinnfilm as a music coordinator; as an oboe player in the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra; as first secretary and vice chairman of the Estonian Composers’ Union; and as head of the music department of the Theatre and Music Museum. He has taught composition in the music schools of Tallinn, Nõmme, Saku and in Tartu Heino Eller Music School. As the chairman of the board of the Estonian National Piano Museum he has arranged piano exhibitions and festivals.

Põldmäe has composed 2 ballets, 4 chamber operas (the most recent one, Emajõe ööbikud (Nightingales of River Emajõgi) premiered in 2019 in Tartu New Theatre), a puppet musical, an oboe, piano and percussion concerto, 5 piano and 3 violin sonatas, numerous works for various chamber ensembles, music for children and films. Estonian nature and urban landscapes have inspired him to create new works, the latest one of them being Eesti maastikud (Estonian landscapes) for piano, and a piano cycle with 10 movements titled Tartu pildid (Images of Tartu). As a music historian, he mainly studies the history of Estonian pianos, the life and oeuvre of Estonian double bassist Ludvig Juht, the music of Baltic Germans and Estonian expatriates, and the history of song festivals. His hobbies are nature photography and hiking, and also Ancient Greece. His photo exhibition “Musical Trees” has been on display in nearly 50 places across Estonia and abroad. Alo Põldmäe has received the Annual Music Award of the Estonian Cultural Endowment (2006, 2017), the Heino Eller Award (2007), the honorary title of Kultuurikandja (promoter of culture) by the City of Tartu, and the Fifth Class Order of the White Star (2022).