Toivo Tulev (b. 1958) is a composer with an original and suggestive style. His path to the world of music has not been smooth or straight-forward but perhaps that has given reason to look deeper into and behind things and phenomena. Of Tulev’s recent vocal work, the most noteworthy are his large-form vocal-instrumental pieces “Lamentations” (2011), “Magnificat” (2913), “So Shall He Descend” (for the Brno Philharmonic, 2018) and “I Heard the Voices of Children” (for the centenary of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, 2019).
He has written for different types and sizes of ensembles (the piano concert “Nada” for the piano and string quartet (2015) and a row of works for the orchestra: a Violin Concerto (2002), the Flute Concerto “Deux” (2004), the Cello Concerto “Before” (2006), the Percussion Concerto “Flow” (2009), “Three Symphonies” (2018), and so on. He has described his approach to instrumentation: “I write so that the piece is not just an abstraction, but forms a certain soundscape. I try to see the score as an acoustic whole similar to an acoustic room – with its echos and repetitions.” Tulev’s music is often static and pulsating, inwardly contemplative and emotional, selfless and intense.
Tulev is thankful to his teachers Anti Marguste, Eino Tamberg, Sven-David Sandström, as well as to all of his numerous students who have also taught him a lot.
Three auteur records have been published of Tulev’s music: “Be Lost in the Call” (Eesti Raadio, 2004), “Songs” (Harmonia Mundi, 2008) and “Magnificat” (Naxos 2018).