Music News

Piano duo Kai Ratassepp – Mati Mikalai in St. Petersburg

On January 14, Piano duo Kai Ratassepp – Mati Mikalai will perform at St. John’s Church in St. Petersburg. The program consists of Andante and Variantions in G major KV 501 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 6 Épigraphes antiques by Calude Debussy, Jeaux d enfants by Georges Bizet and Andante and Allegro brillante, Op. 92 by Felix Mendelssohn. Concert is organized by State Concert Institute Eesti Kontsert.

The pianists Kai Ratassepp and Mati Mikalai have been constantly playing together since 1998. The piano duo has found acknowledgement both in Estonia and beyond the border. Repertoire of the duo varies from 18th century to 20th century and to very contemporary authors. New works by Estonian composers, for example music by Ülo Krigul and Jüri Reinvere, hold the special place among the duo’s repertoire. The duo performs works both for two pianos and two hands.

The duo has gained 2nd prize at International Piano Duo Competition in Kaunas and 2nd prize at Silvio Omizzolo Piano Duo Competition in Padua (both in 2000). The duo of Kai Ratassepp and Mati Mikalai was given the 1st prize in 49th ARD Music Competition in Munich (2000), one of the most recognized of its kind. Before the year 2000, in category of piano duos this prize was handed out almost 30 years earlier.

In addition to Estonian concert halls, Kai Ratassepp and Mati Mikalai have performed as a duo in Germany, France, Italy and Russia. In addition to concert tours, the duo has participated in international festivals. They have co-operated with orchestras such as Estonian National State Orchestra, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Kremerata Baltica, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Orchester des Nationaltheaters Mannheim, Mariinsky Young Philharmonic (youth orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg); with conductors Juha Kangas, Thomas Rösner and Ádám Fischer. So far, the most important venues the duo has performed are Herkulessaal in Munich, Kontzerthaus in Berlin, St. Petersburg Philharmony and Milan Conservatoire. Kai Ratassepp and Mati Mikalai have performed together at 56th Hitzacker Festival, Festival of ARD Prize Winners in Schloss Elmau and the Musical Olympus Festival in St. Petersburg.

The duo has recorded for radio both in Estonia (Estonian National Broadcasting) and in Germany (Bayerischen Rundfunk, Deutschland Radio Berlin).

In 2000, the duo gained the Annual Award of endowment for music of Estonian Cultural Endowment.