Washington Post names Anu Tali as one of the female conductors to watch

The Washington Post has named Estonian Anu Tali as one of the “female conductors to watch”.

The DC-based newspaper compiled a list of eleven female conductors around the world, saying these women “are following in the footsteps of Marin Alsop, JoAnn Faletta, Simone Young, Jane Glover and others, to establish significant international conducting careers”.

“The Estonian conductor, 45, is music director of the Sarasota Orchestra,” the newspaper said of Tali. “In 1997, she and her twin sister, Kadri, founded the group that eventually became known as the Nordic Symphony Orchestra, with whom she made a couple of notable recordings.”

The list was compiled by the Washington Post’s chief classical music critic, Anne Midgette.

International career

Tali started her musical training as a pianist, and graduated from the Tallinn Music High School in 1991. She continued her studies in the Estonian Music Academy as a conductor. From 1998 to 2000, she studied at the St Petersburg State Conservatory. In 1995, she began conducting studies at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki.

In 1997, Tali and her twin sister Kadri founded the Estonian-Finnish Symphony Orchestra, with Anu Tali as the orchestra’s conductor and Kadri Tali as its manager. The orchestra later took on the name of the Nordic Symphony Orchestra.

Tali has appeared with the Japan and Tokyo Philharmonic orchestras, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Mozarteumorchester Salzburg at the Salzburger Festspiele, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, among others. She made her conducting debut in the US in 2005 with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, but it was the Sarasota Orchestra, the oldest continuing orchestra in the state of Florida, that named Tali as its next music director in 2013 and elevated her international career further still.

Her awards and honours include the Cultural Award of Estonia 2003 and the Presidential Award of Estonia in 2004.

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Cover: Anu Tali (photo by Kaupo Kikkas).

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About the author: Sten Hankewitz

Sten Hankewitz is a lifelong journalist and Deputy Editor of Estonian World. Having lived in Estonia, Spain and the UK, he now resides in the United States. He loves to write and besides contributing to Estonian World and some occasional blogging, he writes for other media outlets in Estonia, Israel and elsewhere. He has strong convictions and he shows them unashamedly. You can follow him on Twitter, friend him on Facebook or check out his personal blog. You can write to Sten at sten@estonianworld.com.