Music News

The theme of the Estonian Music Days festival 2023 is “Soul and Spirit”

For the first time, the Estonian Music Days 2023 will present two themes, one of them at the heart of the concerts in Tallinn and the other one for the events in Tartu. The festival has different emphases in Tallinn and Tartu, but in their difference they complement one another and create a unified whole.

In the capital city Tallinn, this year’s festival centres around the Soul and Breathing. – You arrive to listen, breathless. As usual, you’re out of breath from your daily life. You catch your breath, ready to experience the concert and breathe it in together (ready to breathe fire over anyone who dares to disturb you). You listen with your heart and soul. Listening is breathing. But where is the soul of music? Hidden in its sounds? In the mind of a composer? In the soul of a musician?
Souls meet at a concert, come together to listen, to play, to breathe as one. Musicians have breathed life into the soul of the composer. Has he sold his soul to make it all sound like this? And sometimes, the swathes of music are so powerful, so magical that they overwhelm us. It is breath-taking to sense the end of a journey, of a composition.

The focus of the festival in Tartu is Spirit – spirit is something that easily relates to Tartu. Tartu is the intellectual capital of Estonia and a place where one can both nourish the soul and free the spirit. And, of course, Tartu is a wonderful place for locals as well as visitors. On our journey we will try to understand what more this “spirit” encompasses. What is its place and history in the Western cultural and intellectual heritage and in the Finno-Ugric worldview? What is the difference between soul and spirit?

The festival will feature premieres by numerous Estonian composers: Tatjana Kozlova-Johannes, Evelin Seppar, Maria Rostovtseva, Tauno Aints, Lauri Jõeleht, Mariliis Valkonen, Jonas Tarm, Kristo Klaus, Jüri Reinvere, Alisson Kruusmaa, Marianna Liik, Ekke Västrik, Sander Saarmets, Age Veeroos, Jüri Tamverk, Malle Maltis, Arash Yazdani, Margo Kõlar, Liisa Hirsch, Märt-Matis Lill, Ülo Krigul and Liina Sumera. In addition, new works by students of the composition department of Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre will be performed.

During 11 days, 18 events will take place in Tallinn, Laulasmaa and Tartu, 22 new works by Estonian composers will be performed by top Estonian ensembles. The Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Ensemble U:, Tallinn New Music Ensemble, M4GNET Quartet, Talvi Hunt, Tarmo Johannes, Taavi Kerikmäe and Anna-Liisa Eller, Garth Knox and others will perform at the festival.