Mihkel Kerem

b. January 23, 1981 Tallinn
Member of the Estonian Composers' Union since 2007

Violinist and composer Mihkel Kerem graduated from the violin class of his mother Mirjam Kerem and composition class of Mati Kuulberg at the Tallinn Music High School in 1999. He continued his studies in both violin with Mirjam Kerem and composition with Prof. Jaan Rääts at the Estonian Music Academy, where he received Bachelor’s degree in 2003. In 2002–2004, Kerem improved his skills under the supervision of Levon Chilingirian and William Mival at the Royal Music College in London, obtaining his Master’s degree in 2006. Since the autumn of 2002, Mihkel Kerem lives in London.

During his studies, Kerem achieved recognition as a violinist at many competitions: diplomas from the International B. Dvarionas Competition for Young Pianists and Violinists in Lithuania (1992) and Jan Kocian Competition in Czechoslovakia (1993) and the first prize at the Estonian Competition for Young String Players (1995).

In 2001–2002, Kerem held a post of co-leader in Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and has since also appeared with them as a guest leader. In 2006, he was the leader of Southbank Sinfonia. At present time, Kerem is working as the leader of Charities Philharmonia (since 2006) and the leader of Brandenburg Sinfonia (since 2007). He also is a member of chamber orchestra Camerata Nordica (Sweden) and orchestra London Musical Arts. In 1995–2002, Kerem was the first violin of Kerem Quartet in Estonia and 2002–2007 in England, he has also played in Tobias String Quartet.

As a soloist, Kerem has appeared with many orchestras including Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Estonian National Opera Symphony Orchestra, Brandenburg Sinfonia and Southbank Sinfonia. His repertoire consists of wide range of chamber music and also violin concertos by Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Max Bruch, Camille Saint-Saëns, Henri Vieuxtemps, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Mihailo Trandafilovski. As a recitalist he has performed in Estonia, Finland, Austria, Germany, Latvia and England.

Kerem’s oeuvre consists of more than 100 works. Although he has composed orchestral music (e. g. three symphonies) and instrumental concertos, the chamber music, where the violin occupies the central position, dominates in Kerem’s output (9 string quartets, 3 sonatas for violin and piano, 6 sonatines for violin solo etc).

Mihkel Kerem’s music has been performed by Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Oulu Sinfonia (Finland) and chamber orchestra Camerata Nordica (Sweden), also ensembles The Chilingirian Quartet (England), Kerem Quartet and many outstanding performers, like Mikk Murdvee, Sten Lassmann and Silver Ainomäe. He has been the Composer in Residence at Schleswig Holstein Music Festival in Germany (2001) and Aurora Chamber Music Festival in Sweden (2009).

Look also: Mihkel Kerem

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