Evald Aav

March 07, 1900 Tallinn – March 21, 1939 Tallinn

Composer and conductor. Author of the first Estonian opera.

Evald Aav studied piano privately under Helmi Viitol-Mohrfeldt and music theory with Anton Kasemets. He graduated in composition (under Artur Kapp) from Tallinn Higher Music School in 1926. 1916–1926 he sang at the Estonian Opera choir, 1924–1927 he conducted the Tallinn Military School choir and orchestra, 1929–1936 the Worldwide Estonian Youth Association Tallinn division choir, 1934– 1939 male choir Estonian Singers and 1937–1939 the Tallinn Youth Music Society mixed choir. Aav helped to organize many issues concerning musical life: 1932–1939 he worked at the Estonian Authors Protection Association, 1932–1936 as an editor at the publication of Estonian Cultural Endowment of Estonia for Music and 1930–1939 as an editor at the music magazine Muusikaleht, 1930–1939 he was a member of the Estonian Singers Union. He was a general conductor at the XI Song Festival and a leader of Singing Days. In 1943, Evald Aav Scholarship was founded by his sister Frida Rukki at the Tallinn Conservatory and it was first received by Heimar Ilves.

In 1928, Aav wrote the first Estonian opera The Vikings that deals with human destiny during the destruciton of Sigtuna in 1187. The majority of his compositions consists of approximately 50 choral works for male, female and mixed choir, many of them have been performed at the Song Festivals and Singing Days (e.g. "Singer", "Morning", "We Are Children of the North" etc) and have received prizes at composition competitions.

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