Uno Soomere

September 19, 1930 Tallinn – March 19, 2010 Tallinn
Member of the Estonian Composers' Union since 1967

Composer, musicologist and pedagogue Uno Soomere was the author of several considerable song cycles, instrumental concerts and choral music as well as the researher of Estonian symphonic music.

Soomere studied piano in Tallinn Music School with Erna Saar and Heljo Sepp (1947–1951), graduated from Tallinn State Conservatoire in piano under Bruno Lukk in 1959 and in composition in Eugen Kapp’s class in 1962.

Soomere worked as a teacher of music theory subjects and piano in Tallinn Pedagogical Institute (1960–1983), taught piano at several other places including Kuusalu School of Music and Art (1988–2003).

He has contributed to Estonian Radio (broadcast series like On Development of Estonian Symphonism, 1973–1976, and Pages of Estonian Symphonic Music, 1988–1991) and published articles in press. His musicological work was focused primarily on Arvo Pärt’s music and Estonian symphonic music. He has written many music books: To Listen, Understand, Value (1969), On Avangardism in Music Compositions (1969), Estonian symphonist Arvo Pärt. Creative period in homeland 1959–79 (1980, manuscript], Estonian Symphonic Music. Orchestral Works 1896–2000 (2007, manuscript).

Vocal cycles accompanied both with orchestra and piano as well as instrumental concertos for cello and piano hold an important place in Uno Soomere’s oeuvre. The opus magnum of the late period is oratorio Song for the Creator (1996) for soloists, mixed choir and symphony orchestra, which chamber version was premiered in Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre in 2005. Soomere’s symphonic music is characterised by dramaticism, chamber musis by sentimentality.

His works have been performed and recorded in Estonian Radio by Estonian National Symphony Orchestra (conductors Vallo Järvi, Roman Matsov and Vello Pähn) and interpreters like Ivo Juul, Andrus Haav, Paula Padrik, Veera Taleš, Jüri Pärg and Uno Kreen. Soomere himself has participated in the performances of his music as a pianist.

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