The Vanemuine Symphony Orchestra

Although the Vanemuine Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1908, the music history of theatre Vanemuine begun in 1883, when extensive musical plays such as operas and operettas were brough on stage. The first musical play at the theatre Vanemuine was C. M. von Weber’s song play Preciosa, which is regarded as the beginning of Estonian music theatre history. The conductor of the play was August Wiera, who also was the stage director, choral and orchestral conductor of the Vanemuine Society until 1906. Operettas, song plays, and dramas with musical background were performed by amateur chapel musicians. The foundation of professional symphony orchestra at the theatre Vanemuine was related with the establishment of Estonian first symphony orchestra in Tartu in 1900 by the leadership of active musician, composer and conductor Aleksander Läte. This ochestra participated also at festive opening of the new theatre building in 1906, wich included a symphony concert and stage play In The Whirl Of Winds by A. Kitzberg. The symphony orchestra was conducted by Samuel Lindpere, who continued Aleksander Läte`s work after his retirement of active musical avtivity and with whose initiative the Vanemuine Symphony Orchestra was established in 1908. The orchestra`s concerts were held in summer, between theatre seasons, under the name Garden Concerts. The programmes primarily contained classical music.

The concert life in Tartu in 1911 was greatly stimulated when Juhan Aavik became the conductor of the Vanemuine Symphony Orchestra. During the following summer, the first eight symphonies by L. van Beehoven were performed. In 1914–1940, the conductor of the orchestra was Juhan Simm. In 1931, Eduard Tubin became the musical director of theatre Vanemuine. He introduced the tradition of monthly winter symphony concerts. The reperoire of the orchestra was versatile thanks to the sheet music collection that had became one of the biggest in the Baltic States. After Eduard Tubin’s migration to Sweden (1944) became a long-time conductor of the orchestra Erich Kõlar, in 1985–1987 the conductor was Toomas Kapten, in 1980–1981 and 1987–1999 Endel Nõgene, 1999–2004 Mihkel Kütson, 2004–2006 Hendrik Vestmann, 2006–2007 Toomas Vavilov, 2008–2011 again Mihkel Kütson and since 2011, the musical director of the theatre and the principal conductor of Vanemuine Symphony orchestra is Paul Mägi. In 1993, is orchestra`s conductor was also Lauri Sirp. It has became a tradition that besides performing the musical productions of the theatre, the symphony orchestra also gives public concerts. The Orchestra has performed in many venues across Europe, including the Philharmonic Hall in Berlin, Germany.

Look also:

© EMIC 2013

The texts on the EMIC's homepage are protected by the copyright law. They can be used for non-commercial purposes referring to the author (when specified) and source (Estonian Music Information Centre).