Ensemble Auftakt

Ensemble Auftakt, consisting of a violin, clarinet and piano, is unique in the Estonian music scene. Miina Laanesaar (violin), Soo-Young Lee (clarinet) and Maila Laidna (piano) have been making music together since the spring of 2016 when they performed the trio version of the 2nd movement of Alban Berg’s Chamber Concert for the first time in Estonia. In 2019, Ensemble Auftakt was jointly founded.

The ensemble’s name Auftakt refers to the upbeat that gives momentum and direction to the music’s further movement. It’s like breathing in – of primary importance in music and life.

Music composed for violin, clarinet and piano by Béla Bartók, Aram Khachaturjan, Alexander Arutjunjan, Darius Milhaud and others, as well as works by Alfred Karindi and Harri Otsa belong to the permanent repertoire of the ensemble. Since Estonian composers have rarely written for an ensemble of such instrumentation, one of the goals of the ensemble’s activities is to enrich the repertoire with music commissioned by domestic composers. In 2020, “Peegeldusi Sulupere sillalt” [Reflections on Bridge of Sulupere] by Pärt Uusberg was premiered in Tartu and Tallinn.

Prof. Matti Reimann has been an essential influence in the trio's development. It has also participated in the master classes of Irina Zahharenkova, Stefan Schilling, Katherina Sellheim, Alison Smith, Evan Rothstein and Ralf Gothón. Ensemble Auftakt has won the absolute 1at prize at the International Danubia Talents Competition IV in Budapest (2019), 3rd prize at the Krakow International Music Competition Opus 2021 (2021), absolute 1st prize at the Clara Wieck Schumann Competition (2022) and the finalist diploma at the 10th International Chamber Music Competition Antón García Abril in Spain (2022).

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