b. July 2, 1963, Kohtla-Järve
Hirvo Surva is renowned choir conductor, especially dedicated to developing male and boys' choirs singing skills, long time National Opera Boys' Choir conductor. Hirvo Surva has conducted united choirs, male and boys' choirs at the Estonian Song Celebrations and has been artistic director at XII (1997) and IX (2001) Youth Song Celebrations.
Hirvo Surva graduated from Kohtla-Järve Children’s Music School with piano under the guidance of Tooni Kroon and Liana Jefimova. In 1979–1983, Surva studied conducting at the Georg Ots Tallinn Music School under the guidance of Silvia Mellik and 1983–1990 at the Estonia Academy of Music and Theatre with Ants Üleoja.
Hirvo Surva has taught conducting at the Georg Ots Tallinn Music School in 1990–1999. Since 2001, Hirvo Surva is the principal conductor of the Boys' Choir of the Estonian National Opera. Since 2006, Surva works at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre and the Tallinn Music High School. In 2006, Surva was a resident-professor at Oregon State University. His students include Kaspar Mänd, Kuldar Schüts, Jüri-Ruut Kangur, Aile Asszonyi, Jorma Sarv, Kelli Uustani and others.
Surva has also conducted several choirs: Female Choir of Kiisa Community and Cultural Centre (1979–1981), Female Choir of Tallinn Department Store (1981–1984), Male Choir of Academy of Sciences (1984–1998, since 1996 principal conductor), Revalia Boys' Choir (1988–1998), Estonian National Male Choir (1990–1993) and Virumaa Boys' Choir (1991–2006). Hirvo Surva has also been the principal conductor of Boys' Choir Kalev. Since 1998, Surva is the principal conductor of Revalia Chamber Choir.
Since 1990, Hirvo Surva has been a conductor at Estonian Song Celebrations (1991 united choirs, 1994 boys' and male choirs, 1999 boys' choirs). He has been the artistic director of VIII (1997) ja IX (2001) Youth Song Celebrations and XXVI Song Celebration "Touched by the Time". Surva is a member of the Estonian Choir Association and the Estonian Male Choir Association (head of the boys's choirs compartment). Since 2002, Hirvo Surva is principal of the Estonian Choir Conductors Union.
In 2003, Surva made his debut at the Estonian National Opera as the conductor and music director of B. Britten’s opera The Little Sweep. He has been also the music director of two plays – A. H. Tammsaare’s The Kingdom of Vargamäe (2006, in collaboration with Rakvere Theatre and Endla Theatre) and Eesti Asi by R.A.A.A.M Theatre and Viinistu Music Academy (2007, M. Kivastik).
Hirvo Surva has been awarded several prizes:
– Person of the Year (2014)
– Musician of the Year (2014)
– Gustav Ernesaks Award (2012)
– Folk’s Culture Award of the Estonian Cultural Endowment (2008)
– Badge of Honour of the city of Tallinn (2005)
– Badge of Honour by the city of Rakvere (2004)
– Conductor of the Year Award by the Estonian Choral Association (2003)
– Annual Grant of the Estonian Cultural Endowment (2002)
– Outstanding Young Person Award of the Junior Chamber International Estonia (2002)
Numerous choirs under his leading have successfully participated at many international competitions:
– 1st Prize at the competition of the Estonian Male Choir Association (with Revalia Male Chamber Choir, 2008)
– Gold Diploma at the Canteamus Festival in Hungary (with Estonian National Opera Boys' Choir, 2006)
– Two Gold Medals at Olomouc Choir Contest in Czech Republic (with Estonian National Opera Boys' Choir, 2005)
– 1st Prize and the Grand Prix at the 15th International S. Shimkus Choir Competition in Klaipeda, Lithuania (with Revalia Male Chamber Choir, 2005)
– 1st Prize and the Grand Prix at Cornwall International Male Voice Choral Festival (with Revalia Male Chamber Choir, 2003)
– 1st Prize at Llangollen choir contest in Wales (with Estonian National Opera Boys' Choir, 2003)
– 1st Prize at festival Tallinn 2003 (with Revalia Male Chamber Choir)
– The Best Conductor at the International Tallinn Choir Festival (1997, 2001, 2003)
– Gold Medal at G. Verdi international choir contest in Italy (with Estonian Male Choir Assotiation Boys' Choir Kalev, 1998)
– Gold medal at international choir contest in Oskarshamn, Sweden (with Estonian Male Choir Assotiation Boys' Choir Kalev, 1998).
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