The contemporary music festival, the Estonian Music Days, organised in collaboration between the composers’ unions of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, will be held online from 22 April to 2 May.
The festival will feature concerts, discussion forums and other events, held via an online linkup.
This year, the festival will also highlight music from Latvia and Lithuania, Estonia’s southern neighbours.
Organisers hope the online availability might give the festival a wider reach than in-person events have done in previous years. “We want to expand to reach both local and international audiences through online concerts,” Mari-Liis Rebane, the festival’s managing director, said in a statement.
Traditionally, the event is tied to a certain theme – and the 2021’s central theme is “DNA”. The theme marks a “desire to know who we are and where we come from – not just genetically, but also in terms of our musical and cultural DNA”, the organisers said. The concept also links the shared background as well as differences between Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians.
The composers premiering their work at this year’s festival are Antoine Beuger, Platon Buravicky, Madli Marje Gildemann, Elis Hallik, Lauri Jõeleht, Tatjana Kozlova-Johannes, Ülo Krigul, Alisson Kruusmaa, Kristjan Kõrver, Maria Kõrvits, Märt-Matis Lill, Taivo Lints, Rita Mačiliūnaitė, Riho Esko Maimets, Malle Maltis, Elo Masing. Anna-Margret Noorhani, Aaro Pertmann, Rasmus Puur, Evelin Seppar, Liina Sumera, Mirjam Tally, Mariliis Valkonen, Ardo Ran Varres, Age Veeroos and Aleksandr Žedeljov.
The works will be performed by Kadri-Ann Sumera and Talvi Hunt, the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Trio HETK, the Tallinn New Ensemble for New Music, the Estonian Electronic Music Society Ensemble, the EMTA Sinfonietta Ensemble U, YXUS and Iris Oja.
From outside Estonia, the performances will be conducted by Synaesthesis (Lithuania), Twenty Fingers Duo (Lithuania), Sinfonietta Riga String Quartet (Latvia) and Quadra (Latvia).
The Estonian Composers’ Union has been organising the Estonian Music Days, showcasing the country’s contemporary music, since 1979.
Cover: Contemporary music ensemble Synaesthesis (Lithuania), one of the performers at the festival. Photo by Tomas Terekas.