Vello Pähn

May, 30, 1958 Tallinn
Member of the Estonian Theatre Union since 1982

Vello Pähn graduated in 1976 from the Tallinn Music High School, where he had studied trumpet with Tõnu Tarum and choir conducting with Eda Kõrgemäe. He continued studies at the Tallin State Conservatoire on choir conducting with Olev Oja and orchestral conducting with Roman Matsov, graduating in 1981. From 1981 to 1986, Pähn received further training on conducting at the St. Petersburg Conservatoire with Arvīds and Maris Jansons.

In 1981–1989, Pähn worked as a conductor of the Tallinn State Conservatoire’s symphony orchestra. In 1982–1994, Vello Pähn was engaged at the state theatre Estonia and conducted many classical opera productions including Carmen, Madama Butterfly, La Traviata, Khovanshchina, L'elisir d'amore, Eugene Onegin, and many others.
In 2001–2003, Pähn was the principal of Opera Studio at the Estonian Academy of Music and from 2003 to 2006 the principal conductor and artistic director of the Kuopio Symphony Orchestra.

Vello Pähn is a conductor of a great stage music experience. Since 1988, he has frequently conducted at Opera National de Paris, since 1992 at the Hamburg State Opera, since 1999, at Dresden Semperoper and since 2000, at Staatsoper Berlin. He has worked with such legendary dancers and choreographers like Rudolf Nureyev, John Neumeier and Maurice Bejart. In addition to the aforementioned, he has been a guest conductor at Staatstheater Stuttgart, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Teatro alla Scala, Teatro San Carlo in Napoli, Wiener Staatsoper, Gothenburg Opera, Leipzig Opera, Dresden Semperoper and many others. Vello Pähn has conducted various orchestras in Italy, France, Russia, Japan, USA, Greece, Sweden, Latvia, Finland, Denmark, Spain, and elsewhere. Since 2012, Pähn is the principal conductor and artistic director of the Estonian National Opera.

Important part of Pähn`s symphonic reperoire comprises works by Estonian composers, including Lepo Sumera’s In memorian and Erkki-Sven Tüür’a Aditus, he has conducted premiers of Guitar Concerto by Raimo Kangro, Concerto Semplice by Tõnu Kõrvits and Cello Concerto by Timo Steiner.

In 2001, Vello Pähn was awarded the Annual Music Prize of the Estonian Cultural Endowment and in 2016, the annual prize of the Estonian Music Council.

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