b. May 17, 1967, Tallinn
Member of the Estonian Composers' Union since 1992
Mari Vihmand is one of the first composers in the 1990s to concentrate on a synthesis of sound and melodic thinking. Her music unites romantic imagination and rational form-shaping. Most of Vihmand’s work is chamber music. Her works combine melodic development and the play of sound and timbre, rhythmics is sensitive and asymmetric, and the harmony is in the service of the colour. Many of Vihmand’s works are inspired by poetry and literature. The lush palette of her music from the last few years achieves a neoexpressionist depth of emotion.
Vihmand graduated from the Estonian Academy of Music as a student of Prof. Eino Tamberg (1990) and obtained master’s degree with Lepo Sumera (1997). 1995–1997 she studied at the Lyon Conservatoire in France under Gilbert Amy and Philippe Manoury. After her marriage to German composer Rainer Bürck, she has lived in the small German town of Bad Urach near Stuttgart.
From 1987 to 1995 Vihmand worked as teacher of music theory at the Tallinn Music High School.
Mari Vihmand’s music has been performed at the Estonian Music Days Festival and the international new music festival NYYD, with performers including the NYYD Ensemble, Abegg Trio (Germany), the Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra, the ensemble Les Temps Modernes (France), the Tapiola Chamber Orchestra and many more. Vihmand's works have also been commissioned by the Musik i Västernorrland (Down the Stream I), 2000), German ensemble Villa Musica (For Seven, 1998), the Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra (Windows on the Forgotten Landscape), 1997). Sketch 02 was the obligatory piece in the 6th Estonian pianists' competition, 2002. On 2008, Mari Vihmand's opera The Formula of Love was staged in Estonian National Opera.
Vihmand’s chamber opera The Story of Glass, based on the fairy tale allegories of Hans Christian Andersen and Villy Sorensen, premiered in 1995 at the NYYD Festival. It won the Cultural Award of the Republic of Estonia in the same year. A work for orchestra, Floreo, received first prize in 1996 at the International UNESCO Composers' Rostrum in Paris in the under-30 composers' category.
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