Toomas Trass

b. December 12, 1966 Tartu
Member of the Estonian Composers' Union since 2004
Member of the Estonian Organ Society
Member of the International Society of Artur Kapp
Member of the International Eduard Tubin Society

Composer and organist Toomas Trass has composed large-scale works (e.g. orchestral music and works for choir and orchestra), instrumental chamber music and solo songs where the use of organ is important. Also electroacustic works and music for films can be found among his works (e.g. original animated opera Die Sprotte im Sonneschein, 1992). Sacral music has occupied a central position in his output (Passion of St. Luke, Immanuel, Ohio Mass, Fire Lake and many others). Trass, an excellent organist himself, has also created a numerous organ improvisations.

Toomas Trass’s works have been premiered by singer Mati Turi, clarinetist Edmunds Altmanis, pianist Kadri-Ann Sumera, flutist Tarmo Johannes, ensemble Cyber Studio and others. His music has been performed in NYYD Festival, Estonian Music Days Festival, Estonian Composers’ Festival, also festivals in Greece, U.S., Japan and elsewhere.

In 1986, Toomas Trass graduated from the Tallinn Music High School in music theory with Leo Semlek, René Eespere and Helju Tauk and in 1992 the Tallinn Conservatory in composition with Lepo Sumera, taking also lessons in organ with Professor Hugo Lepnurm. In 1998, Trass completed his Master studies at the Estonian Academy of Music in composition under the supervision of Jaan Rääts. He has improved his skills in organ with Josef Sluys in Brussels (1990), José Luis González Uriol in Spain (1992–1993) and Ludger Lohmann and Jacques van Oortmerssen in Alkamaar Festival in Holland (1999).

Trass has been the member of ensemble Grotest which improvised in different styles, invented new styles and parodied well-known works. Since 1993, Trass teaches organ and music theory at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (docent since 2006) and since 2002, music theory at the Tallinn University. He has also worked as a pedagogue of theoretical subjects at the Tallinn Music High School, taught the history of organ, lectured about early organ music of Spain and worked as the chief organist in Church of the Holy Spirit in Tallinn in 1995–2000.

As an organist, Trass has performed both as soloist and ensemble partner in Estonia, Belgium, Poland, Spain, Italy, France, Holland, Lithuania, Finland, Sweden, Russia, U.S. and elsewhere. Additionally, Trass has premiered several organ works by Estonian composers (Alo Põldmäe, Mari Vihmand, Andrus Kallastu).

Toomas Trass received the Heino Eller Young Composer Prize in 1999.

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