26.04.–05.05.2024 / Tartu
Mai Simson

Mai Simson (choirmaster / assistant to chief conductor) graduated from Tartu University in 2013 with a degree in mathematics, and at the same time from the Tartu Heino Eller Music School with a degree in choral conducting under the supervision of Karin Herne. In 2017, she obtained her master’s degree cum laude in conducting from the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre under Professor Tõnu Kaljuste. In 2022, she defended her doctoral thesis in the same department. Mai has been awarded the Gustav Ernesaks Scholarship (2017) and the Tõnu Kaljuste Scholarship (2019). In 2014, she became a finalist in the XI Estonian National Competition for Young Choir Conductors.

In the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Mai Simson serves as a librarian and assistant to chief conductor since 2021, and as choirmaster since August 2023. She also works as a conductor of the Estonian Television Mixed Choir. In the past, she has conducted the Engineers’ Male Choir, the chamber choir Miina, the Estonian Youth Mixed Choir, the EAMT choir, the chamber choir Voces Tallinn and others, and has been a lecturer in conducting at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. As a choirmaster or conductor, she has taken part in various projects with the Estonian National Men’s Choir, the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, the chamber choir Voces Tallinn, and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra.

As a choirmaster, she has prepared various large-scale works, including Johann Sebastian Bach’s Mass in B minor, Lutheran Mass in G major and Magnificat, Georg Friedrich Händel’s Jephtha, Theodora and Messiah, Sergei Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil, Tigran Mansurian’s Requiem, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Mass in C major, the Ninth Symphony and Missa solemnis, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore, Arthur Honegger’s King David, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina’s Missa Papae Marcelli, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s Magnificat, Camille Saint-Saëns’s Christmas Oratorio, Ottorino Respighi’s Lauda per la Natività del Signore, Rudolf Tobias’s Jonah, Arvo Pärt’s Te Deum, etc. In addition, Mai was the editor of the original partition and clavier part of the oratorio Jonah by Tobias.