Aare Kruusimäe

b. June 27, 1972, Tallinn
Member of the Estonian Composers' Union since 1999

Aare Kruusimäe has graduated from Kuressaare Gymnasium and studied singing, music theory and composition (under Alo Põldmäe) in Georg Ots Tallinn Music Scool from 1991 to 1993. In 1997, he graduated from the Estonian Academy of Music in composition as a student of Raimo Kangro. From 2000, Kruusimäe works as a professional singer (bass) in the Estonian National Male Choir and practices vocal improvisation in the ensemble Improloo.

In Aare Kruusimäe’s output, at the essential place there are vocal works, from which the considerable part is formed by sacred music. In 1999, Missa Adventus, Op. 14 for soloists, male choir and organ, that is the first Estonian Advent Mass, was performed in Kuressaare, Riga and Tallinn. Composer have found an idiosyncratic color combination in the form of the concurrence of male choir and saxophone quartet (Christmas Cantata, Op. 18, 2000; Saxophone Mass, Op. 24, 2004), next to them his work list involves also Saxophone Quartet, Op. 1 (1999). Particularly he is interested in the interplay of free improvisation and written music (Searching the Voice for soloists and male choir, 2004; Vernal Calf for voices and brass instruments, 2004; Lava’s Song for percussion, 2005). Aare Kruusimäe’s music is based on tonal mainstays and traditional use of harmony. There can be found vivid figures and various stylizations that is beautified by lyrical melodies and larded by witty attitude to the text and musical material. Composer himself claims to be influenced by Bach to Estonian composer Raimo Kangro.

Kruusimäe’s works have been presented at Estonian Music Days Festival, Suure-Jaani Music Days, Paide Town Hall Festival and Estonian Young Composers’ Festival. Intensive collaboration binds him with Estonian National Male Choir and Tallinn Technical University Academic Male Choir who have been commissioners, first performers and recorders of several works. In addition to them, his works have been performed by Tallinn Saxophone Quartet, PaukenfEst Duo, Tallinn String Quartet, Tallinn Baroque Orchestra, sopranos Pirjo Levandi, Pille Lill, Iris Oja and Aile Asszonyi, Villu Valdmaa (baritone) and others. "Discovering the world" (text Jaan Kross) was performed by joint choirs in Estonian Song Celebration as a commissioned work in 2009. At the same concert also "Song of happiness" for male choir (text Juhan Viiding) was presented.

For his music, composer has deserved several prizes. "Laudate Dominum" for mixed choir won the sacred choral music competition organised for Estonian composers in Rochester in 1995. "To fatherland" was awarded the 2nd prize at the choral song contest I Love You, Estonia in the male choir category in 2004. "Vernal calf" for boys’ choir got the 3rd prize at the contest for new choral songs dedicated to Gustav Ernesaks’s 100th anniversary in 2008. Kruusimäe’s music has recorded on CD "Anno Domini", Technical University Academic Male Choir (2000).


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