Pärt Uusberg

b. December 16, 1986 Rapla
Member of the Estonian Composers' Union since 2012

Composer and choral conductor Pärt Uusberg has graduated from Georg Ots Tallinn Music School in choral conducting under Heli Jürgenson, where he also studied composition with Alo Põldmäe and Galina Grigorjeva. In 2012, Uusberg obtained BA in composition in the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre as a student of Tõnu Kõrvits. In 2014, he completed his master’s studies in composition under Prof. Toivo Tulev and Tõnu Kõrvits and in 2018, graduated with a master’s degree in choral conducting under Prof. Tõnu Kaljuste.

In 2008, Pärt Uusberg founded a chamber choir Head Ööd, Vend in order to take part of the play "Head ööd, vend" ("Good night, brother") directed by his brother Uku Uusberg. Since then, choir has been active in Estonia and abroad as well as gained recognition at several competitions in Estonia including Grand Prix at the International Choir Festival "Tallinn 2013". As a choral conductor, Uusberg has been conducted also Estonian Students’ Mixed Choir and choirs of Riinimanda Choir Studio. In 2018 he was awarded Tõnu Kaljuste Scholarship, in 2019 Uusberg won the VII Competition for Youth Choir Conductors. Estonian Choral Association gave him the award Conductor of the Year 2021 and to chamber choir Head Ööd, Vend the award Choir of the Year 2021.

The main part of Pärt Uusberg’s oeuvre is formed by choral music, but he has written also works for ensemble, piano, orchestra and film music. His choral songs have been written mainly on liturgical texts or poetry by Estonian authors like Juhan Liiv, Ernst Enno, Viivi Luik, Karl Ristikivi, Indrek Hirv. Their well-sounding and meditative atmosphere captures with its simplicity, tenderness and emotional climaxes.

Most of Pärt Uusberg’s choral music has been performed by chamber choir Head Ööd, Vend under the baton of the author himself, yet the collaboration bends him also to Estonian Students' Mixed Choir, Mitte-Riinimanda Youth Choir, chamber choirs Voces Musicales and Collegium Musicale, mixed choir HUIK! and chamber male choir JÕUD. Commissions have been made by Estonian National Male Choir, Academic Male Choir of Tallinn Technical University and others. His orchestral works have been conducted by Kaspar Mänd, Toomas Vavilov, Jüri-Ruut Kangur, Mikk Murdvee and Hando Põldmäe.

Several composer recitals of Pärt Uusberg have taken place in churches in Tallinn and Rapla: "Siis vaikivad kõik mõtted" (All Thoughts Will Be Silent Then, 2008), "Lauliku talveüksildus" (Singer's Winter Loneliness, 2010), "Kuule mu palve häält" (Listen to My Cry..., 2011), "Õhtu ilu" (Beauty of Evening, 2014, co-conductor Kaspar Mänd) and "Te parem kuulake, kuis vaikus laulab..." (You Better Listen How the Silence Is Singing..., 2015). In 2011, Pärt Uusberg presented a program at showcase festival Tallinn Music Week.

Pärt Uusberg have been acknowledged as a composer both in Estonia and abroad. In 2009, Uusberg’s choral song "Ilus ta ei ole" ("It isn't beautiful") received the 1st prize at the patriotic song contest organised by Tallinn Central Library. In 2010, his Psalm of David No. 121 won the composition competition David’s Song of Estonian Composers’ Union and Pirita Monastery. The same year, his piano piece "Paradiis" ("Paradise") was selected to the program of World New Music Days in Sydney through the separate competition Momentary Pleasures in which composers were called to compose a piece for piano in one day. At the Youth Song Celebration 2011, Pärt Uusberg was handed over the Veljo Tormis Fund Scholarship. In 2012, young composer’s male choir song "Kuule mu palve häält" ("Listen to my cry") obtained the special prize at the European Award for Choral Composers 2012 in the category of a cappella choral songs. For the fruitful year, Estonian Choral Association has gave him twice the award of the Choral Composer of the Year (2012, 2018), his author-CD "Liiv, meri ning mõtted" was ascribed the title of Choir Album of the Year 2014. In 2014, Uusberg was given the Gustav Ernesaks Foundation Study Grant, in 2015 Marje and Kuldar Sink's award "Young Musician", in 2016 The Young Cultural Figure Award of the Cultural Foundation of the President of the Republic of Estonia. In 2023, Uusberg got the Award of the Endowment for Music of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia for the preparation and artistic management of the 13th Youth Song Celebration and Gustav Ernesaks Foundation's Scholarship. Estonian Public Broadcasting chose Uusberg as the Musician of the Year 2023.

Uusberg’s choral music has reached also to the programs of Estonian song celebrations: "Nad vaatavad üksteise otsa" ("They are looking on each other") was performed by young male choirs at the XI Youth Song and Dance Celebration in Tallinn in 2011. Toddlers choir song "Lauldes" ("With singing", text by Andres Ehin and Ly Seppel) was commissioned work for the General Song and Dance Celebration that took place in Tallinn in 2014, where also "Muusika" ("Music", 2008, text by Juhan Liiv) for mixed choir and "Mis on inimene?" ("What is the human?", 2012, text by Doris Kareva) for male choir were performed.

Edition Talmar & Põhi has published Pärt Uusberg’s author’s compendium "Songs for Mixed Choir" (2010). Pärt Uusberg has four author-CD-s: "Siis vaikivad kõik mõtted" ("All Thoughts Will Be Silent Then", Chamber Choir Head Ööd, Vend, 2009), "Liiv, meri ning mõtted" (Male Chamber Choir JÕUD, 2014), "Õhtu ilu" (Chamber Choir Head Ööd, Vend, Collegium Consonante, 2016) and "Luiged läevad" (Girls' Choir Kammerhääled, 2016).

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/p-rt-uusberg

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Updated in December 2023

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