Jaan Rääts. Marginalia (Kalle Randalu, Sven Grünberg)
Eduard Tubin. Works for Violin and Piano. Vol 1 (Sigrid Kuulmann, Marko Martin)
MUSIC FESTIVAL 2014
A joint project of ERP and the city of Tartu. The festival Glasperlenspiel (‘The Glass Bead Game’) directed by Peeter Vähi has got its inspiration from the novel by Hermann Hesse. It is certainly a very special musical event in Estonian summer where music lovers can enjoy performers like Australian Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Süd-West Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra, Tōkyō Philharmonic Chorus, Quintet of Berliner Philharmoniker, Gidon Kremer, Vadim Repin, Piotr Anderszewski, Olli Mustonen, Kristjan Järvi, Paavo Järvi, Christoph Eschenbach, etc, as well as the leading musicians of Estonia.
July 10th − 16th, 2014, Tartu
● Thu, July 10th at 6 pm St John’s church (Jaani str 5, Tartu), in co-operation with Tartu Art Museum
Opening of exhibition: paintings by KOSTABI & FRIENDS
Artist Mark Kostabi was born in Los Angeles in 1960. He studied drawing and painting at California State University. Kostabi moved to New York in 1982, and by 1984, emerged as a leading figure in the now legendary East Village art scene where he cultivated a provocative media persona by publishing self-interviews reflecting on the commodification of contemporary art. By 1987, his work was widely exhibited in New York galleries as well as prominently throughout the United States, Japan, Germany and Australia. Kostabi established a second home in Rome in 1996. Dividing his time between Rome and New York enabled him to dramatically enhance his presence in the Italian art scene.
His permanent public works include a mural in Palazzo dei Priori in Arezzo, Italy, a large bronze sculpture in the central square of San Benedetto del Tronto, Italy, and a bronze portrait of Pope John Paul II in Velletri, Italy. Kostabi has designed album covers for Guns N’ Roses (Use Your Illusion) and The Ramones (Adios Amigos) and Jimmy Scott (Holding Back the Years).
Click here to download futher information in a PDF file
● Thu, July 10th at 7 pm St John’s church
Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta, Martin Kuuskmann (bassoon), Olev Ainomäe (oboe), Helena Altmanis (viola), Tõnu Jõesaar (cello), Andres Mustonen (violin, conductor), concertmaster Elar Kuiv
Mozart, Krigul (première − Concerto for Bassoon and Symphony Orchestra Goin’), Vähi
Broadcasting and recording by Classic Radio (ERR)
Address by the Mayor of Tartu Mr Urmas Klaas
Estonian born bassoon virtuoso, Martin Kuuskmann is a commanding force bent on redefining the bassoon as a top caliber solo instrument. His charismatic and entertaining performances throughout the world have earned him repute as one of the leading instrumentalists around. The New York Times praised Kuuskmann’s playing as “dynamic... amazing... gripping...” and in 2007 he received a Grammy Nomination for his recording of Chesky’s Bassoon Concerto.
Kuuskmann has appeared as soloist in the New York Philharmonic series performing Luciano Berio’s Sequenza XII for bassoon solo, the Macao Orchestra, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Nordic Symphony Orchestra, Riga Sinfonietta, Absolute Ensemble, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of the Norrlandsoperan in Sweden, among many others, and in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln and Kennedy Center. Kuuskmann conducts master classes and is the woodwind coach with the Baltic Youth Philharmonic at the Usedom Music Festival in Germany at the invitation of Kristjan Järvi.
Martin Kuuskmann’s recent solo album Nonstop with pianist Kristjan Randalu was released in April of 2010 on Estonian Record Productions, and contains works by J S Bach, Berio, Pärt, Schnyder, Jobim, among others.
A founding member of the Grammy nominated Absolute Ensemble, Martin Kuuskmann has been a featured soloist in Michael Daugherty’s virtuosic and madcap concerto, Dead Elvis, a work Kuuskmann has performed nearly 50 times around the world receiving wide critical acclaim. As a soloist, Kuuskmann has recorded on Chesky Records, CCn’C and ERP recording labels. His world music album on Erdenklang Records, The Path of Mantra, combines solo bassoon with the chanting of the Tibetan monks and electronic sounds by Peeter Vähi.
Kuuskmann has appeared as a solo principal bassoonist with the Seoul Philharmonic at the invitation of Myung-Whun Chung. He was the solo principal bassoonist of the Nordic Symphony Orchestra from 1998−2001. While living and freelancing in New York City he appeared regularly as principal bassoon with the Orchestra of the St Luke’s, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Miss Saigon on Broadway, to name just a few. After moving to the Seattle area he continues to record on numerous motion picture soundtracks.
Andres Mustonen’s (b 1953) discovery of music has followed a very unusual path. His adolescent fascination with contemporary music made an about-face in the early 1970s towards early and Christian music. In 1972 it led to founding the early music consort Hortus Musicus, which gives vital performances even today. Since the founding of the ensemble, Hortus Musicus and Andres Mustonen have been performing constantly on the world’s concert stages and at music festivals: the Utrecht Festival, the Malmö Baroque, concerts in Prague, Saint Petersburg and Moscow, performances at the Mozart-Fest in Chemnitz, the Jaffa Festival in Israel, the Lufthansa Baroque Festival in London, the Scottish Early Music Festival in Glasgow, the Lockenhaus Festival in Austria, the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, the Glasperlenspiel Festival.
Mustonen conducts the leading orchestras of Finland, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Latvia and Lithuania, the Great Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio, the Russian National Academic Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Musica Viva Academic Chamber Orchestra, the Bayerische Rundfunken, the Helsinki City Orchestra, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, etc.
Mustonen is in close creative contact with many composers − გია ყანჩელი (Giya Kancheli), Владимир Мартынов (Vladimir Martynov), Ավետ Տերտերյան (Avet Terterian), Валентин Сильвестров (Valentin Silvestrov), Erkki-Sven Tüür, Arvo Pärt, Peeter Vähi − also giving premières of their new works.
Making music, Mustonen can be characterised by spontaneity, improvisation and radiant performance. “For me an orchestra is not a static form but a living organisation of musicians, one whose members enhance and affect each other.” In time, Andres Mustonen has developed a wide circle of musician friends with whom he makes music: Natalia Gutman, Alexei Lubimov, Michel Lethiec, Inesa Galante, Yuri Bashmet, Gidon Kremer, Pascal Gallois, Seppo Kimanen. “I never share the stage with someone I don’t know, don’t consider my friend, or don’t love.”
GOIN’ by Ülo Krigul is dedicated to Martin Kuuskmann. While being asked to say something about the new work, the composer wrote: “From the very beginning of composing this work, I decided to approach it from the traditional point of view on both form and and content. This means that the soloist has the upper hand and upon Martin’s request I made his part rather challenging. The short but polysemantic word goin’ (go in) refers to constant motion and penetration. A similar equivocal approach has produced the titles of the movements. The first movement Doin’ creates the musical landscape and offers means to navigate it while at the same time giving a practical clue for moving between the different material. This clue in the form of a minor third presents ways of getting from one musical situation into another during the course of the work. The second movement Stayin’ represents a congelation that is still in constant flow from the inside. The third movement Movin’ begins with the traditional cadenza by the soloist after which a rondo takes over. Here the minor third is best observed − in its way of unwinding the new material. The most important are the motion and its impetus, never mind where it finally takes us. Having entered a room, you discover another door at the other end of it and rush over, with a key in an outstretched hand. In the meantime you might get a feeling that the movements are frozen as if searching for the right key among several similar-looking ones. As usual, it is always the last one which fits the lock.
Goin’ is also a beautiful word resembling the sound of a gong. The afore-mentioned aspects and Martin Kuuskmann’s idiosyncratic style as bassoonist were constantly in my mind while composing this work.”
In memoriam HM by Peeter Vähi is dedicated to the memory of the late soprano of Hortus Musicus, the wife of Andres Mustonen, the early departed Helle Mustonen. The composer was asked to create a work shortly before the memorial concert in 2005. By that time 5 composers − Kancheli, Silvestrov, Knaifel, Pärt and Tüür − had already completed their pieces. With regrets Vähi had to turn down the request as there was too little time left and he had two other commissions with pressing dealines on his desk.
“After a couple of hours I suddenly felt music entering me from somewhere Above. Being usually quite a slow composer, what happened this time, beat all the personal speed records − by the next morning the score and parts were printed and handed over to the conductor”, Vähi recounts.
By today there are 3 versions of the work: for Early Music consort, for chamber orchestra and for a large symphony orchestra. The current concert presents the middle one.
Forty-two for oboe and chamber orchestra is also a work with dedication, it has been composed in the memory of Elvis Presley, Joe Dassin and Vladimir Vysotsky who all departed this world at the age of 42. This is a true hit by Peeter Vähi that has been performed hundreds of times and arranged by the composer himself as well as other musicians for different staffs like guitar and organ, trumpet and organ, handbell ensemble, vocal soloist and chamber choir and string orchestra. The afore-mentioned being only some examples. The original is a song with a text. Thereafter the composer arranged it for a rock-band where he himself played the keyboards and only in 1997, when the composer got 42, the present version was born.
If a work can be considered autobiographical, then it is Forty-two. The lives of many talented musicians have ended prematurely at the age of 42. Why has namely that figure turned out to be such a fatal one, especially for men? Is it the midlife crisis or the inability to exit the creative labyrinth − these were the thoughts that tormented the composer while writing the work.
Peeter Vähi, In Memoriam HM. Conductor Andres Mustonen, fragm, 2 min 39 sec, mp3, 320 Kbps
Listen to the live recording of the whole concert
● Fri, July 11th at 7 pm St John’s church
Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta, Meelis Vind (bass clarinet), conductor Mikk Murdvee, concertmaster Elar Kuiv
Bach, Pärt, Varres (première − Concerto for Bass Clarinet and Chamber Orchestra Awakening Bell)
The Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta’s unique artistic style encompasses not only the masterworks of the classical repertoire, but innovative cross-art form projects and a vigorous commissioning program. The orchestra’s repertoire spanning over centuries, entwines old music with new, from Bach to Tüür, from Corelli to Piazzolla.
Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta’s birth is related to the ideas of Artistic Director, Andres Mustonen and his yearslong willingness to embrace the music with high emotional level, to give the audience unforgettable memories they are never expected to get from classical music concert.
Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta introduces to the listeners the music from the past as a live, breathing, joyful organism and proves that every type of music could bring freshness to the mind, warm the soul and give energy. It is only up to thinking and attitude. The resulting sense of energy and individuality is one of the most commented-upon elements of Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta concert experience.
During the last years Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta performed in Switzerland and Austria, in Italy and Finland, in Germany and Belgium, in Brazil and Chile, in Argentina and Uruguay and also took part at international music festivals like Ars Musica in Brussels, Festival Pianistico Internazionale di Brescia e Bergamo, Mittelfest and Emilia Romagna in Italy, Oleg Kagan International Music Festival in Kreuth am Tegernsee in Germany, Saint Petersburg Easter Festival in Russia, Iitti Music Festival in Finland, Riga Music Festival Artissimo in Latvia.
Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta has played on many prestigious stages in Europe, Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Grand Hall of Saint Petersburg Philharmonia in Russia, Cologne Philharmonic Hall among them, getting high acclaim for each concert.
The year 2014 started with three concerts on III Bach Music Festival in Tallinn. This year the concert halles in England, Italy, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia and of course in Estonia will wait the Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta’s unique play.
Ardo Ran Varres first studied the clarinet at the Tallinn Music High School in the class of Hans Suurväli. Later, though, he decided to make a change and took up drama studies at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre which lasted from 1992 to 1996. In 1996−2001 he pursued an actor's career in Rakvere Theatre which soon, however, exhausted itself. Varres commenced post-graduate studies in composition supervised by Helena Tulve at the Estonian Academy of Music and took his MA in 2011. During the years 2003−2011, he held the post of music director at the Estonian Drama Theatre. Since 2011, he is a free-lance composer and lives in Tartu.
Varres has had close co-operation with many stage directors in various theatres, play-acted a number of roles (also in Germany, Denmark and Finland), composed music for more than 50 plays (numerous choreographic compositions among others), films, TV-series and radio dramas. In addition to stage and soundtrack music he has a list of compositions for chamber ensembles, rock and jazz bands, among them a rock-oratorio, electronic and electroacoustic music and multimedia works, many of which have been critically acclaimed prize-winners.
The composer has said about the Bass Clarinet Concerto Awakening Bell: “I was haunted by an inner urge during the last couple of years making me compose the bass clarinet concerto. Having studied clarinet at the school, I am well acquainted with the instrument, though I acquired a bass calrinet of my own fairly recently. I experimented on its mild soundscape for quite some time before I put down the concerto’s first notes.” The work is dedicated to a great clarinetist Meelis Vind, also a student of Hans Suurväli.
The composer was inspired by the verses of Atharvaveda (11:8:18): Eta devā dakṣiṇataḥ paścāt prāñca udeta purastād-uttarāc-chakrā viśve-devāḥ sametya te no muñcantv-aṃhasaḥ. (Theft, wickedness, hunger and thirst live together with truth, wisdom, faith, nobility and contentment. Joy and sorrow, jealousy, ignorance and glory are woven in the fabric of human soul.)
Listen to the live recording from Glasperlenspiel Festival.
Mihkel Kerem, the author of more than 100 musical works, including 3 symphonies, 10 string quartets, 3 violin sonatas and a number of other orchestral and chamber pieces, is one of the most prolific Estonian composers of the younger generation. His music has been performed in the USA, Russia, the UK, Germany, Holland and many other countries and among others, by Camerata Nordica, Chiligirian Quartet, Oulu Symphony Orchestra, Joensuu City Orchestra, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and Estonian National Symphony Orchestra under Neeme Järvi’s baton. He has been composer-in-residence at the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival in Germany and Aurora Chamber Music Festival in Sweden. There have been numerous concerts as well as 2 CDs have been released featuring his music.
Laudatio has been composed as a wedding present to the composer’s wife in 2011. The leitmotif of both Lamento and Laudatio is derived from the initials of the composer’s wife. Unlike Lamento, Laudatio is in the major key and structurally resembles more a prolonged pickup measure unwinding only at the very end. Initially, it was composed for string septet. Though the version for solo violin and string orchestra was completed the same year, it is being premiered only at the present concert.
Little Concerto for Little Strings was commissioned by the International String Players’ Summer School, 2008. The short compact work in the classical 3-movement (fast-slow-fast) form with its harmonious, though in all aspects contemporary musical language reminds of neoclassicism. In the beautiful slow movement hints of Eller can be perceived. The composer has said that he wrote the work on a concert tour through Sweden, the USA, Canada and England and most of the last movement was completed in his hotel room in Florida while watching Jerry Springer’s TV-show.
Arvo Pärt’s work for string orchestra Silouan’s Song with a subtitle My soul yearns after the Lord... from 1991 has been inspired by the Athonite monk Silouan’s (1866−1938) beautiful poetry. In the course of his long life, the canonized Silouan put down a myriad of reflections and thoughts which he towards the end of his days entrusted to a young Russian monk Safron who, years later, published his biography together with texts by Silouan in a book that has been translated into a number of languages. Those psalm-like texts have kept on enchanting Arvo Pärt whose work for choir and string orchestra Adam’s Lament from 2010 has also been composed on Silouan’s lyrics. This, only 6 minutes long work is so pregnant and full of exalted spiritualism that it makes the audience hold their breath while following it to the end. This is probably that “something” that makes Arvo Pärt one of the greatest composers of the last centuries.
● Tue, July 8th at 7 pm, St Nicholas’ church, Tallinn*
● Wed, July 9th at 8 pm, Raehoov, Pärnu*
● Thu, July 10th at 6 pm, St Michael’s church, Jõhvi*
* in co-operation with Eesti Kontsert
● Fri, July 11th at 10 pm, the ruins of Tartu Dome church (in co-oprtation with Tartu Hanseatic Days and University of Tartu Museum)
Ensemble “Stary Olsa” / “Стары Ольса” (Belarus): Zmicer Sasnouski (artistic director), Ilja Kublicki, Ales Chumakou, Maria Shary, Andrei Apanovich, Siroga Tapcheuski
• founded by Zmiter Sasnouski in 1999
• the scope of repertoire spans from Mediaeval Early Music to Renaissance
• pieces from Mediaeval manuscripts, folk and popular tunes, works by Belarus Renaissance composers as well as Belarus folk dances, ballads and war songs
• the name Stary Olsa (Стары Ольса) comes from a river in the Western part of Belarus
• all music is performed on the instruments reconstructed according to their contemporary traditions
• the aim is to perform the music from the Belarus of the 13th − 18th c Lithuanian Kingdom as authentically as possible
• has released 11 CDs, among them 2 live-recordings
• their last CD − Santa Maria − was released in November, last year and features Mediaeval music dedicated to Virgin Mary
Stary Olsa, Ave Maria, fragm, 3 min 19 sec, mp3, 320 Kbps
Listen to the live recording from Glasperlenspiel Festival
● Sat, July 12th at 7 pm St John’s church
String quartet Prezioso, Igor Garšnek (synthesizer), Sven Grünberg (live electronics), Tammo Sumera (live electronics)
Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart, Garšnek, Grünberg (première − Observer for string quartet and live electronics)
Prezioso String Quartet: Hanna-Liis Nahkur (1st violin), Kristel Kiik (2nd violin), Helena Altmanis (viola), Andreas Lend (cello).
Prezioso String Quartet was initiated in 2006 by talented young Estonian string players, all graduates from Estonian Academy of Music, where they also studied in Henry-David Varema’s string quartet class. All four are currently playing in Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. Prezioso’s repertoire is various, from classical string quartets to contemporary works and pop music arrangements. They have premiered several new works by Estonian composers, co-operated with various prominent artists like pianists Antti Siirala, Hando Nahkur, composer / conductor Konstantia Gourzi, and Rein Rannap, clarinet player Toomas Vavilov, various singers, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, etc. Prezioso has been successful in several competitions for string quartets, participated in various music festivals. Besides Estonian stages Prezioso has performed in Finland and the Netherlands and received very warm reception from the audience as well as acclaims from the critics.
Sven Grünberg about his new work: “Observer is someone who analyzes the observed. Since our dimension allows all kinds of observation and analysis and instrumental music enables the listener to enhance his state of mind without specifying directions, I would leave it to each and every member of the audience to draw their conclusions. However, I am of the opinion that music, like any other art, should help people perceive the world and direct them to a better understanding and constructivity instead of being destructive. The same in this work: I try to direct the listener towards a mental path that would help him to observe and analyze important subjects, but still refrain from pointing a finger towards anything specific.”
Sven Grünberg became known to the wider audience in Estonia in the 1970s with his prog rock band Mess which turned out to be a pioneer in its genre all over the USSR. He is considered the founder of electronic music in Estonia and the USSR. He has gathered wide accolades with his soundtrack for the film Dead Mountaineer's Hotel. By today, Grünberg has composed music for over 100 films and theatre performances, collaborated with several renowned film-makers as well as been awarded numerous international prizes.
He has created a new study subject − the role of music and sound in opening the movie drama − and has been teaching it since 1993 at 4 Finnish and 3 Estonian universities.
An interest in Eastern philosophy and culture has brought Oriental rhythmic and melodic elements into his music. Grünberg is a member of the Council and Director of the Estonian Institute of Buddhism as well as Member of the Board of the Institute of Peoples’ Rights and the Estonian Academic Oriental Society.
See also Sven Grünberg’s recordings released by ERP.
Composer and music journalist Igor Grašnek has written music in almost all genres: for symphony orchestra (including 2 symphonies), vocal-symphonic works, instrumental chamber music (string quartet, wind quartet, saxophone quartet to name just a few), for solo instruments, for electronics, stage and film music as well as numerous pop songs. As keyboarder he has played in rock bands Ruja, Data, Led R et al. His works have been performed by ENSO, NYYD Ensemble, Kremerata Baltica Sextet, Tallinn Saxophone Quartet, Marko Martin, Andres Uibo, Toomas Vavilov, Robert Black et al. at the Estonian Music Days, NYYD Festival, Tartu Rock and Lockenhaus.
The title of his work Kuiper Code (2008) comes from astronomy. It refers to the Solar system’s distant neighbour, the massive Kuiper belt consisting of asteroids and small bodies discovered by and named after a Dutch astrophysicist Gerard Peter Kuiper (1905−1973). The Solar system is periodically attacked by asteroids and comets from its surrounding Kuiper belt, some of them occasionally approaching the Earth’s close vicinity. In Kuiper Code it is the synthesizer impersonating the dangerous “asteroid” which periodically appears and disappears, only its last musical approach sounds more ominous than others...
Igor Garšnek. Kuiper Code, fragm, 3 min, mp3, 320 Kbps
● Sat, July 12th at 10 pm, the ruins of Tartu Dome church (in co-operation with Tartu Hanseatic Days and University of Tartu Museum)
Kostabi Band (Italy): Mark Kostabi (piano), Tony Esposito (percussion), Paul Kostabi (guitar)
Mark Kostabi has performed music as a soloist and with other musicians including Ornette Coleman, Jerry Marotta, Tony Levin, Amedeo Ariano, Stefano Nunzi, Aaron Comess, Richard Hammond, Olen Cesari, Marco Siniscalco, Marco Loddo, and Puccio Panettieri. His compostions have also been performed independently by Rein Rannap, Kristjan Järvi, Delilah Gutman and the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. His CDs include I Did It Steinway, Songs for Sumera and New Alliance.
Kostabeat – Mark Kostabi, Tony Esposito, Paul Kostabi
• collaboration between these 3 musicians began 3 years ago in Italy where they have been performing together in romantic Mediaeval hilltop towns, national TV and also on Colosseum in Rome
• all three musician are also professional visual artists and they frequently merge the disciplines of art and music
• brothers Indrek Paul and Kalev Mark Kostabi have collaborated on music since their teenage years within the Orange County and Los Angeles art rock and punk rock scenes of the late 1970s
• in 1986 they began collaborating also on paintings; one of their large painted collaborations was acquired by the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1980s
• Tony Esposito known internationally for his 1984 hit single, Kalimba De Luna (performed also by Boney M), began first as a painter, studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples
• after art school he embraced music, first as an avant-garde jazz drummer, collaborating with Don Cherry and Gato Barbieri
• before becoming Italy’s most famous percussionist, recording on numerous pop hits by artists such as Pino Daniele and Lucio Dalla
• at present Esposito is known for his tribal rhythms, Mediterranean musical sensibility and as an inventor of exotic percussion instruments like his Tamborder, which he performs also at the present Tartu concert
• recently he released an album of Classical music with the Orchestra dell’ Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome where he re-arranged a diverse sampling of famous classical pieces with an emphasis on his African inspired rhythm
• all 3 artists / musicians have collaborated on the 6×9 meter stage backdrop which they regularly use on stage
Photo gallery from the concert
Mark Kostabi, Tony Esposito, Paul Kostabi; live at Glasperlenspiel Festival, fragm, 4 min 35 sec, mp3, 320 Kbps
● Sun, July 13th at 7 pm St John’s church
NEW YORK COUNTERPOINT
Katō Kuniko (percussion, Japan)
Reich, Pärt, Davies
- one of the most gifted and significant percussionists of her generation
- studied under the legendary marimba player Keiko Abe at Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tōkyō, and advanced her studies under Robert van Sice at Rotterdam Conservatory
- graduated with summa cum laude as the first percussionist in the institution’s history
- after graduation was based in Europe for over 10 years, currently resides in USA
- 1996 has won the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis from the Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt and 2nd prize at the International Leigh Howard Stevens Marimba competition in the USA
- 2005 one of her career highlights was the Japanese première of the music theatre production of The Pure Land (Jōdo) by James Wood
- 2009 gave the world-première of Electric Counterpoint by Steve Reich, transcribed for steel pans, marimbaphone and vibraphone
- 2011 released critically acclaimed CD kuniko plays reich (Linn Records) which came the best-selling album of the year
- a member of various orchestras and chamber groups such as the Saitō Kinen Orchestra (Japan), ensembles Ictus (Belgium) and Nomad (Japan)
- 2013 − the highly acclaimed Keizō Saji Award from Suntory Arts Foundation
Arvo Pärt was born on Sep 11th, 1935. He graduated from the Estonian Academy of Music in 1963. Official judgement of Pärt’s music veered between extremes, with certain works being praised and others, like the Credo of 1968, being banned. This would prove to be the last of his collage pieces and after its composition, Pärt chose to enter the first of several periods of contemplative silence, also using the time to study French and Franco-Flemish choral music from the 14th to 16th centuries: Machaut, Ockeghem, Obrecht, Josquin. At the beginning of the 70s, he wrote a few transitional compositions in the spirit of early European polyphony, like his Symphony No 3. Pärt turned again to self-imposed silence, but re-emerged in 1976 after a transformation so radical as to make his previous music almost unrecognizable as that of the same composer. The technique he invented, or discovered, and to which he has remained loyal, practically without exception, he calls tintinnabuli (‘little bells’), which he describes thus: “I have discovered that it is enough when a single note is beautifully played. This one note, or a silent beat, or a moment of silence, comforts me. I work with very few elements − with one voice, two voices. I build with primitive materials − with the triad, with one specific tonality. The three notes of a triad are like bells and that is why I call it tintinnabulation.” The basic guiding principle behind tintinnabulation of composing two simultaneous voices as one line − one voice moving stepwise from and to a central pitch, first up then down, and the other sounding the notes of the triad − made its first public appearance in the short piano piece Für Alina.
Having found his voice, there was a subsequent rush of new works and three of the 1977 pieces − Fratres, Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, and Tabula Rasa − are still amongst his most highly regarded. As Pärt’s music began to be performed in the west and he continued to struggle against Soviet officialdom, his frustration ultimately forced him, his wife Nora and their two sons, to emigrate in 1980. They never made it to their intended destination of Israel but, with the assistance of his publisher in the West, settled firstly in Vienna. One year later he moved to Berlin.
Pärt has concentrated on setting religious texts, which have proved popular with choirs and ensembles around the world. Among his champions in the West have been ECM Records who released the first recordings of Pärt’s music outside the Soviet bloc, Hilliard Ensemble who have premiered several of the vocal works, and Neeme Järvi who conducted the première of Credo in Tallinn in 1968, and has, as well as recording the tintinnabuli pieces, introduced Pärt’s earlier compositions through performances and recordings.
See also Arvo Pärt’s CDs (Pilgrim’s Song, Vater unser) released by Estonian Record Productions.
Arvo Pärt, Für Alina, Katō Kuniko, fragm, 2 min 42 sec, mp3, 320 Kbps
Listen to the live recording from Glasperlenspiel Festival
● Sun, July 13th at 10 pm Tower of St John’s church
Dance performance KALEIDISCOPE. LEVEL (première)
Just Dance School
Choreographers Helena Kirinal and Madli Teller (Dance theatre Tee Kuubis)
Music by Liisa Hirsch, light design by Reelika Palk, costumes by Maia Karm
Dancers: Ulla-Mari Tammela, Britt-Heleen Kandimaa, Laura Maria Kull, Kaisa Teele Oja, Eesi Raa Oreškin, Isabel Mari Jezierska, Liisi Valtna
Kaleidoscope. Level is a dance performance uniting visual and cognitive ideas from Baroque with the modern body and performance art into a whole from an unexpected point of view above the night-time Tartu. The audience is separated from an abyss by a balustrade, patterns from the past emerge from the far distance while new realities flash in front of the eyes with choreographers Helena Krinal and Madli Teller and composer Liisa Hirsch haunting the Bell Tower of Tartu St John’s Church. The performance has drawn its choreographic inspiration from the notions of mobility, imbalance, restlessness, contradictions and colours of Baroque aesthetics and thought. The plot is created around the attempts of the social élite, endulging in an idle lifestyle, to find suitable entertainment corresponding to their status.
Watch video (51 sec)
Liisa Hirsch, Kaleidoscope, fragm, 1 min 11 sec, mp3, 320 Kbps
Photo gallery from the performance
● Mon, July 14th at 7 pm St John’s church
ESSE-Quintet (Saint Petersburg)
Mikhail Krylov (bayan-accordion), Kirill Evseev (balalaika), Anna Shatilova (alto domra), Darya Nefedova (bass-balalaika), Ksenia Kvochko (bayan-accordion).
ESSE-Quintet is a bright modern ensemble, playing on folk instruments. The ensemble was created in 2007 by the students of the St Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts and Rimsky-Korsakov St Petersburg Conservatory. All the members of the ensemble are very charming, artistic and are masterly musicians. On their technically and timbre wise unique instruments, they have control over; works written in the genres of folk and classical music, in all their rich variety of styles and songs, as well as the compositions made in a currently popular style “classical crossover”, where complex musical image is created using intonations of different genres and styles.
Legendary Tomas Broman, one of the founders of the international organization called WOMAD and the artistic director of more than 175 festivals, held in 27 countries of the world, said regarding the performance of the ensemble at the Terem Crossover competition: “ESSE-Quintet from St Petersburg are great. ... these young people are fantastic musicians and deploy the by now familiar folk instrument line-up of balalaika, accordion and lute in a dazzling and witty performance... But this lot would be a triumph at any UK festival”.
In a short period of time the ensemble has become the winner and holder of Grand Prix at 6 international competitions, held in Russia, Italy, Sweden and France. Currently it is the most titled ensemble of the Northern capital of Russia.
● Mon, July 14th at 10 pm Tower of St John’s church
Just Dance School, choreographers Helena Kirinal and Madli Teller (Dance theatre Tee Kuubis), music by Liisa Hirsch
● Tue, July 15th at 12 St John’s church (free entrance)
MUSICAL QUARTER OF AN HOUR
Kato Kuniko (percussion, Japan)
Listen to the live recording from Glasperlenspiel
● Tue July 15th at 7 pm St John’s church
Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra (string group), Hui-Ying Liu-Tawaststjerna (piano), music director Lin Tein-Chi (Taiwan), concert master Su Sen-Ta (蘇 顯達)
Taiwan folk music, Mozart, Shostakovich, Vähi
Hui-Ying Liu-Tawaststjerna is one of the best-known pianists and pedagogues in Finland today. Born in Taiwan, she had subsequently lived in Buenos Aires, New York and Paris, before settling down in Helsinki in 1982. She holds a Doctor of Music degree in Performance from the Sibelius Academy, and a Master of Music degree from the Peabody Conservatory of Music.
Hui-Ying Liu-Tawaststjerna won her first piano competition in Taipei at age 13. Her ensuing competition success preceded her recital debut in Buenos Aires at age 15 and orchestral debut in New York at age 17, as well as her Carnegie Recital Hall debut at 23. As recitalist, chamber musician and soloist with orchestra, she has performed around the world. She has shared podium with conductors such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Okko Kamu, Eri Klas, and with instrumentalists such as Steven Isserlis, Paul Tortelier, Patrick Gallois, Jean-Jacque Kantorow, among others. She also performs regularly as a pianoduo with her husband Erik T Tawaststjerna. She has recorded piano solos and chamber works for Finlandia Records and the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE.
Liu-Tawaststjerna has held a tenured position at the Sibelius Academy since 1984. She has taught a number of outstanding musicians and winners of international piano competitions, among them, Antti Siirala, Juho Pohjonen, Irina Zahharenkova, and Uki Ovaskainen. Additionally, Liu-Tawaststjerna has co-authored a piano method The Piano Key, edited the early piano music of Jean Sibelius, and done research about Rachmaninoff. She has given master classes and lectures in England, Ireland, Spain, Germany, Taiwan, the USA, the Nordic and Baltic countries. Liu-Tawaststjerna was the head of the Piano Department at the Sibelius Academy during 2004−2009; and she has been the president of the Chopin Society of Finland since 2005.
Taiwanese composer and harpist Li Chi-Ye is the author of more than 1200 works and 3500 arrangements. He has been guest-performer at the Taiwan National Symphony and Taipei Philharmonic Orchestras. He was the first Asian to win a Prize at the Lyon and Healy Interantional Jazz and Pop Harp Competition. He has also been awarded the Taiwanese Golden Melody Prize in the category of the best composer. An impressive number of works have been commissioned by symphony orchestras, chamber ensembles, dance, theatre and TV companies. Currently, Li Chi-Ye is the Artistic Director and composer-in-residence of Just Music Philharmonic Orchestra.
Dancing Strings I was premiered by the Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra String Ensemble in 2008. The work has various orchestrations and has allegedly been inspired by dance band music with its electric instruments. Every player in this very demanding work has to fulfill the role of a soloist as if it were a jamming rock band creating splendid dialogues between the instruments.
Like several other works by Peeter Vähi Prayer-wheel has its connections to Buddhism. This time, however, the source of inspiration has been not so much Buddhist “software” but rather the “hardware” − the constant rotation of prayer-wheel. Each turn of the wheel corresponds musically to a bar-long 4-note descending motif which is repeated in different variations more than 100 times during the composition, thus creating with its monotony an illusion of infinity.
It is common knowledge that reciting mantras makes an important part of the Tantric Buddhist practice. Mantras are chanted many hundred thousand times, sometimes aloud, sometimes silently and at times completely voicelessly only in one’s mind. One of the most popular mantras − Om Mani Padme Hung which is also the basis for this work of music − is connected to the deity of compassion Avalokiteśvara. In Tibetan Buddhism the reciting of mantras has become “mechanized”. This means that the mantra is written a great number (eg 1 million) of times on a paper which then is rolled together and placed in a prayer-wheel. When the prayer-wheel is put into rotation, then every turn equals reciting the mantra 1 million times.
The ideological background aside, speaking in musicological terms Prayer-wheel stands first and foremost out with its unique scale upon which the work is based and thus a different from regular way of notation has been used. Like with Indian rāgas, Arab muqams and Indonesian gamelan music the Western traditional chromatic scale is not enough, also the score of Prayer-wheel is full of signs denoting quarter-tones. When contemporary Western composers have used quarter-tones, it has usually been while creating modern music rich in dissonance. Vähi’s quarter-tones, on the contrary, give an exceptionally natural impression. However, achieving this natural quality on the classical orchestra instruments is not an easy task. Creating pitches somewhere between F and F-sharp requires punctuality, concentration and skill to at least partly forget the knowledge acquired from studies at the academical musical establishments. Therefore for performing Prayer-wheel top-class strings-players are needed.
Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra
• at the present concert performs in the staff known under the name of Taipei Sinfonietta
• founded in 1985 and has by today gathered accolades all over the world
• founded by Henry Mazer, co-conductor Chicago and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras, who dedicated 18 years to his Taiwanese brainchild
• 1990, critically acclaimed USA debute under Mazer’s baton; 1995, another accoladed tour in North-America
• after Mazer’s death in 2002, the conductors have been Aleksandr Rudin, Andreas Delfs and Lin Tien-Chi
• concerts in many European countries, among others at the hall of Vienna Musiekverein, Russia, Finland and in 2003, also at the Glasperlenspiel Festival
• collaboration with many contemporary composers like Krzysztof Penderecki, Leif Segerstam, Chung Yiu-Kwong and Peeter Vähi
• concert master – violinist Su Shien-Ta
Listen to the live recording from Glasperlenspiel
● Tue July 15th at 10 pm Tower of St John’s church
Just Dance School, choreographers Helena Kirinal and Madli Teller (Dance theatre Tee Kuubis), music by Liisa Hirsch
“A foreign body is an piece of extraneous matter that has entered the body by accident or design. Foreign bodies can be inert or irritating. If they irritate they will cause inflammation and scarring.”
The one-movement piece Foreign Body introduces the waterphone to the otherwise standard instrumentation of the symphony orchestra. The waterphone was invented in the 1970s by Richard Waters and is heard more often in film scores than in the repertoire of the symphony orchestra. Foreign Body investigates the relation between this newcomer and the regular members of the orchestra. Will the waterphone find its place in the orchestra?
Symphonic Poem Pines of Rome composed by the Italian composer Ottorino Respighi in 1924 is the second work in his Roman Trilogy. It was preceded by Fountains of Rome (1917) and followed by Roman Festivals (1926). Through the four movements of the work, the composer observes Roman pines at various locations and times. This refers to the impressionist painting style trying to catch the mood of a moment. With the help of orchestral colours Respighi has succeeded perfectly in the task. The work was premiered under the baton of Bernardino Molinari in Rome, in December, 1924.
The masterpiece of Russian programmatic music by Rimski-Korsakov, Symphonic Suite Sheherazade was completed by the composer within one month during his summer vacation in 1888. In the 4-movement work on the basis of Arabian fairy-tales 1001 Nights the cruel sultan Shahryar, smart Sheherazade, Sindbad the Sailor and many other characters get colourful expression, each of them being characterized by a leitmotif. The work brings out two important aspects of Rimski-Korsakov’s music − skilful handling of different sound colours and a profound interest in the Oriental music and culture. The work was premiered under the composer’s baton in Moscow, in the autumn of the same year. In 1910, a well-known Russian choreographer Mikhail Fokin staged a ballet to the music of the suite.
• the orchestra of the VU-University of Amsterdam
• founded in 1962
• consists of approximately 90 enthusiastic musicians, who combine their studies at the university with playing music on a high level
• since 1975, Daan Admiraal has been the musical director of the orchestra
• the repertoire usually consists of works from the 19th and 20th century
• the orchestra performs in the best concert halls of the Netherlands and abroad, including the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam
• born in Eindhoven in 1949
• started his musical career as a brilliant oboe player
• already during his studies in 1971 he was appointed solo-oboist in the Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra
• graduated his oboe study at the Conservatoire of Amsterdam with many prizes, among them the Zilveren Vriendenkrans, a special prize of the Friends of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and the Price d'Excellence in 1976
• studied orchestral conducting at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague with Louis Stotijn and continued privately with the famous Russian conductor Kirill Kondrashin
• at present, chief conductor of two Dutch university orchestras − Amsterdam and Delft, both occupying a leading position in Holland
• frequent and dedicated performances of the most challenging orchestral repertoire
• conducts also De Philharmonie, the VU Chamber Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra of Eindhoven
• the repertoire list of Daan Admiraal contains compositions from four centuries: from Gabrieli and Monteverdi to Messiaen, beside the great romantics from Beethoven to Mahler the classics of the 20th century have a central position in many of his programs: Stravinsky, Bartók, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Schönberg, etc
• has recently conducted opera productions in Amsterdam, The Hague and Delft
• performances Sweden, Denmark, England, Germany, Prague, Belgium, France and Italy, Russia and China
Listen to the live recording from Glasperlenspiel Festival
Philips Symfonie Orkest Woodwinds
• Sander Teepen, John Adams (oboe), Jeroen Salm, Harmen Klomp (clarinet), Marcel Beckers, Jo Laeven (bassoon), Maarten Theulen, Nicholas Thornhill, Ron van der Stelt (French horn), Geertje Kramer (cello), Ildikó Schermann (double bass)
• Royal Philips or just Philips, founded in 1891, is today one of the most successful technology companies of the world with nearly 122,000 employees in more than 60 countries
• Philips sponsors only very few selected musicians and events, one of the few selected ones is Philips Symfonie Orkest − a 90-member symphony orchestra, the staff of which consists of players from various Dutch blue-chip orchestras
• the orchestra’s home is Eindoven in Norhern Braband, Holland
• the 11-member ensemble is making a smooth introduction to the next year’s festival program as in the Glasperlenspiel of 2015, the full orchestra will take stage
• the chore of the present ensemble in Estonia is formed by woodwind octet with an addition of a French horn, cello and double bass
Video-clip (20 sec) of Glasperlenspiel Music Festival 2014 on YouTube
See press resonance
Peeter Vähi – artistic director
Taavet − artistic advisor
Tiina Jokinen – executive director
Kadri Kiis – producer, accountant
Kaia Lattikas – management of Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta
Taimi Paves − Far-East relations
Anu Jaanson – assistant producer, manager
Inna Kivi – musicologist, booklet
Olavi Sööt – logistics
Jüri Tallinn, Kalle Käärik − video
Tanel Klesment, Tammo Sumera – sound
Mart Kivisild – design
Johannes Vähi – website, logistics
Reno Hekkonens – marketing director
Andra Roosmets − marketing assistant
Nele Ambos − art exhibition
Special thanks: Tartu City Government, Urmas Klaas, Külli Aleksanderson, Raul Oreškin, Taipei Mission in Latvia, His Excellency Gary Kuang-Yueh Ko, Yu Bing-Ching, Alar Metsson, Urmas Petti, Juhani Jaeger, Jaanus Tepomees, Lukas Groen, Bert Langeler, Klassikaraadio, Audiosky, Lauri Kasemets, Annika Tiko, Tiiu Valper, Tuuli Metsoja, Kaupo Kiis, Heidi Maarja Melts, Nele Ambos, Estonian Defence Forces Orchestra, Peeter Saan, Heino Eller Music College, Kadri Leivategija, Rita Hade
Next festival: July 9th − 14th, 2015, Tartu
Premieres by Märt-Matis Lill and Pärt Uusberg
Artists: Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta, Philips Symfonie Orkest, Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra, choir Kamēr, conductors Andres Mustonen, Mikhail Leontyev, Jānis Liepiņš, ensemble U:, Andres Uibo (organ), Mari-Liis Uibo (violin)
See also: Glasperlenspiel-festivals; Glasperlenspiel 2015, Glasperlenspiel 2013, Glasperlenspiel 2012, Glasperlenspiel 2011, Glasperlenspiel 2010, Glasperlenspiel 2009, Glasperlenspiel 2008, Glasperlenspiel 2007, Glasperlenspiel 2006, Glasperlenspiel 2005, Archives: Glasperlenspiel 2003 and 2004