Peep Lassmann

b. March 19, 1948 Tartu
Member of the Estonian Association of Professional Musicians since 1998

Peep Lassmann is one of the most outstanding pianists in Estonia, valued as a soloist and ensemble partner. He has achieved recognition for his interpretation of Olivier Messiaen’s piano music, he gave the Estonian premiere of the grand cycles „Vingt regards sur l’ enfant Jesus” and „Catalogue d’Oiseau”. Lassmann is also pedagogue and an active figure in Estonian musical life.

Lassmann began his musical studies at the Tallinn Music High School with Professor Heljo Sepp, whose supervision he remained under until graduating from the Tallinn State Conservatoire in 1971. He continued with Emil Gilels in Moscow Conservatoire (1971-1973).

Already during his university years, Lassmann was awarded many prizes at the piano competition, the most valuable is the second prize at the competition for pianists of the whole former Soviet Union in 1969.

After graduation Lassmann started to teach at the Tallinn Conservatoire in 1973 (Associate Professor since 1985, Professor since 1992) and acted as the Head of Piano Department in 1987–1991. He has been the Vice Rector (1992–1992) and in 1992–2017 the Rector of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. Among his pupils there are Mati Mikalai, Kai Ratassepp, Marrit Gerretz-Traksmann, Ralf Taal, Marko Martin, Diana Liiv, Age Juurikas.

As a active concert pianist, Lassmann has given solo recitals and performed with chamber ensembles. Concert trips have taken Lassmann in many countries of Europe, North America, Cuba and Asia. He has performed together with such conductors as Paavo Berglund, Neeme Järvi, Eri Klas, Nikolai Rabinovich, Nikolai Alexeev, Peeter Lilje, Arvo Volmer, Vello Pähn, Paul Mägi, Jüri Alperten, Andres Mustonen, Toomas Vavilov, Juozas Domarkas, Imants Resnis and many orchestras such as Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and Moscow Philhramonic Orchestra.

Being an excellent accompanist and valued ensemble partner, Lassmann has had numerous musical collaborations with singers Mati Palm, Tiit Kuusik, Ivo Kuusk, Hans Georg Ahrens, Hendrik Krumm, Yolanda Hernandez, Lionelle Lhote and instrumentalists Aaron Rosand, Marianne Boettcher, David Grimal, Jüri Gerretz, Jaak Sepp, Edith Peinemann, Jossif Feigelson, Peeter Paemurru, Teet Järvi, Henry-David Varema, Michel Lethiec, Hannes Altrov, Toomas Vavilov.

For more than ten years Lassmann was also active as the concert master of the Estonian National Male Choir (1975-1986). He has participated in many international competition juries as well as given master courses in many European countries.

Being an acitve figure in Estonian musical life, Lassmann is related to many musical institutions: he is a chairman of the board of Estonian Piano Teachers Association (since 1991), the president of Estonian Music Council (since 1995), the vicepresident of Association of Baltic Academies of Music (since 2002), the councillor of Estonian National Opera (since 1998) and the chairman of the board of Estonian Ornithological Society (since 2003). Lassmann has been the member of the board of The European Association of Conservatoires (2000–2006) and The Academic Council of The President of the Republic of Estonia (2002–2006). He was also a foundation member of Association of Estonian Professional Musicians and has been its first chairman (1998–2002).

Lassmann has recorded piano music for Estonian Radio, also for Moscow and Sweden radio. He has a solo CD „Estonian piano music” (Eres, 1994) and CD „Mati Palm sings Estonian and Italian songs” together with bass Mati Palm (Kuldklassika, 2002). He also plays in several compilation CDs, e.g. 24 Estonian Preludes, Op. 80 by Jaan Rääts on CD „24 Marginals for Two Pianos, Op. 68; 24 Estonian Preludes, Op. 80” (Antes, 1996).

Lassmann was given the honorary title of ESSR Honoured Worker in Arts (1987), he has been awarded the Annual Prize of the Endowment for Music of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia (1999, 2009), Life’s Work Price of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia (2018) and the Interpretation Prize of the Estonian Music Council for his significant contribution to the development of Estonian pianism(2020), Estonian Radio selected him as The Musician of the Year 1989 and he has received Estonian Republic’s IV Class Order of the White Star (2001).

© EMIC 2008
(updated in February 2018)

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