Erich Jalajas

December 22, 1912, Narva – February 28, 1987, Tallinn
Member of the Estonian Composers’ Union since 1963

Composer and pianist Erich Jalajas started his music studies with piano at the Narva Music School, where he graduated from in 1927. In 1933, Jalajas graduated from Theodor Lemba’s piano class at the Tallinn Conservatoire, in 1940, from the faculty of law of the Tartu University, and in 1952, from the Tallinn State Conservatoire, where he had studied composition with Prof. Mart Saar.

In the years 1934–40, Erich Jalajas worked as a piano teacher in Narva Music Studio. During the II World War, he was moblized into the Soviet army. In 1945–47, he taught piano at the Tartu Music School and was an accompanist at the Vanemuine Theatre. In 1948–61, he was an accompanist at the Tallinn State Conservatoire, and from 1952 to 54 he taught music history at the Tallinn Music School. In 1954–60, Jalajas played piano in ensemble of cinema Sõprus, being the artistic director of the ensemble in 1957–60. From 1961 to 1973, Jalajas worked as a piano teacher at the Tallinn Pedagogical Institute.

Besides his work, Erich Jalajas has made musicological studies on aesthetics (Some aesthetic concerns in art / “Mõningaid esteetikaalaseid probleeme kunstis”, 1972, in manuscript), and on opportunities of utilization of Estonian composers’ piano works in musical education.

In 1975, Erich Jalajas was awarded the Year’s Music Prize of the Estonian SSR.

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