Priit Ardna

November 23, 1892 Vändra – November 9, 1981 Stockholm

Priit Ardna (Elmar-Friedrich Rossmann until 1935) was an organist, conductor and composer. He graduated from Rudolph Griwing Private Music School in organ in Tartu in 1912, studied there also composition until 1914. He was active as an organist from 1915 at first in Thbilisi, later in cities of Estonia (Tartu, Tallinn and Viljandi). He worked as a pianist and orchestra conductor in theatre "Ugala" (1927–1933) and theatre "Endla" (1942–1944), also as a music teacher in schools in Vändra, Tartu, Tallinn and Viljandi. He performed both as an organ and piano soloist. Since 1944, Ardna lived in Sweden and worked as an organist and music teacher in Stockholm. He was longtime archive worker by the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.

Priit Ardna has been claimed to be the father of Estonian operetta. The most popular of his five operettas – "Kalurineiu" ("The fishermen's daughter"), has been staged also in Sweden and Canada. Besides he has written a number of solo and choral songs, pieces for piano and organ.

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