Composer Ester Mägi has passed away on May 14, 2021, at the age of 99.
Ester Mägi graduated from Tallinn State Conservatoire in 1952 as a student of Prof. Mart Saar and continued with postgraduate studies in Moscow Conservatoire in 1951–1954 with Prof. Visarion Shebalin. In 1954–1984, from 1977 as an associate Professor, she lectured music theory at Tallinn State Conservatoire. In 1999 she was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre.
Chamber music and choral works form the bigger half of Mägi’s oeuvre, but also the Symphony, one of her few orchestral opuses, stands out as a remarkable work in Estonian music.
Her music has been played by renowned Estonian and foreign musical collectives and artists in Estonia, former USSR, many countries in Europe, USA and Australia. Mägi’s choral songs belong to the repertoire of numerous Estonian choirs and have been awarded at many competitions.
Ester Mägi. Photo: Kaupo Kikkas
Ester Mägi has been awarded the Prize of the Soviet Estonia (1980), Annual Music Award of the ESSR (1985), Annual Music Award of Estonia (1991), Estonian Culture Award (1996), Lifetime Achievement Award of the Estonian National Culture Foundation (1999), Annual Award of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia (2001) for her creative achievements, Annual Prize of Estonian Music Council (2008) and Culture Prize of the Republic of Estonia for the longtime outstanding creative activity (2014). She has also been awarded the titles of Honorary Art Worker (1971) and People’s Artist (1984) of ESSR. In 1998 Ester Mägi received the 5th class order of the National Coat Arms.