Estonia is characterized by an important musical tradition. In the Baltic area choral music is really appreciated. In the the early years of 20th century, the Philolog Kallas collected and catalogued almost 20 thousand different melodies in the so called Estonian Folklore Archive. Today Estonian Boys Choir makes performances all over the world.
Among the national instruments there is the kantel (kannel), plucked string instrument, whose strings are played such as a lyre ones.
In 1869 the first Festival of Traditionl Song took place in Tartu. It was a great success which saw the participation of over eight hundred choralists who performed in front of thousands of people. From that very moment, important singing events have been taking place every five years.
Classical music established after the opening, in the the early years of 20th century, of two important academies: the first directed by Artur Kapp in Tallinn and the second one directed by Heino Eller in Tartu.
Some of the most important Estonian composers are Lepo Sumera and Raimo Kangro, even though the most famous Estonian musician is the contemporary Arvo Part. He was born in 1935 and is the most prominent composer of holy minimalism, whose works are distinguished by a minimalist compositional aesthetic and armony. His style, know with name of tintinnaboli, is characterized by a slow and meditative tempo, with a massive use of singing. He emigrated in Germany during the Soviet Period. Among his works - that are clearly inspired by religious texts – there are Summa (1977) and St. John Passion (Passio Domini Nostri Jesu Christi secundum Joannem - 1982).
Another composer who is very appreciated in Estonia and in all the Baltic area is Veljo Tormis whose works are inspired by litanies and traditional tales. He studied at the Moscow Conservatory. His famous works are Curse Upon Iron (1972) and Forgotten Peoples (1989).
Nowadays the main national musical institutions, the Chamber Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra are located in Tallinn.
Their programming can be read at: www.concert.ee.
Urban Symphony, a group formed by a singer, two cellists and a violinist, was created in 2007. This group has been meeting with great international success. In 2009 it represented Estonia in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Rändajad (Nomadic people)
Pop and rock music is really appreciated by young people and is characterized by a remarkable variety. One of the most interesting groups is represented by Jaarboiler, whose works represent an original jumble of jazz, rock and folk music.
CONCERT HALLS IN TALLINN
Estonian Concert Hall- Estonia pst.4 - www.concert.ee
Estonian National Opera- Estonia pst,4 - www.opera.ee
House of Brotherhood of Blackheads - Pikk,26 www.mustpeademaja.ee
Niguliste Museum-Concert Hall - Niguliste,3 www.ekm.ee
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