Jaan Rääts. Marginalia (Kalle Randalu, Sven Grünberg)
Eduard Tubin. Works for Violin and Piano. Vol 1
Joy and Sorrow Unmasked (European Union Baroque Orchestra, Lars Ulrik Mortensen)
Vivaldi senza basso (Baltic Baroque)
Vivaldi opera quinta (Baltic Baroque)
One of the most original contemporary composers in Estonia whose musical language comprises Oriental and Western, avant-garde and archaic, acoustic and electronic without falling into eclectic abracadabra.
Vähi’s music is always a subjective expression of his spirituality rooted in deep faith, which he contrasts with a hyper modern complex world and its actually intellectual and perfect, but often just as inexplicable and soulless contemporary music. ...his empathy converted into mystical connections between the cultures of different countries and epochs in exotic music. (DiscorD, UK)
News: winter 2015
● Composer-in-Residence 2015 at Eesti Kontsert, the State Concert Institute of Estonia
● To His Highness Salvador D for flute, violin and guitar, Dec 5th, Lola Montez-Saal, Bad Brückenau, Germany; Pegasus Ensemble
● Handbell Symphony, brand new arrangement for handbells and wind orchestra by Mattias Lundqvist; Dec 2014 performances in Sweden
● Concert series Mystical Sounds; Jan 9th−11th; Estonian National Concert Institute Eesti Kontsert
● Guitar Concerto No 2 Antarctic Concerto; March 21st, Tambov, Russia; performers Tambov Symphony Orchestra, conductor Mikhail Leontyev
● In Memoriam HM: Jan 14th, The Felicja Blumental Music Center, Tel-Aviv, Israel; Feb 2015, Fajr International Music Festival, Tehran, Iran; Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta
● Forty-two, arrangement for bassoon and chamber orchestra: March 2015, Toronto / Canada; Martin Kuuskmann (bassoon), conductor Viljar Weinmann
● Lectures about Buddhist music, Feb 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre
● Violet Winds, concerto for saxophone quartet and chamber orchestra: première, Feb 5th, MustonenFest, Estonia Concert Hall, Tallinn; performers Raschèr Saxophone Quartet, Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta, conductor Andres Mustonen; live recording and broadcasting by Estonian Public Broadcasting
● Behind the Great Water for mixed choir; performed by Kamēr on CD Amber Songs; will be released in the UK by Harmonia Mundi Distribution on Apr 6th
● Rainmaker for percussion instruments and synthesizer: Feb 20th, Jõhvi Concert Hall, Feb 28th, Estonia Concert Hall, Tallinn
Peeter Vähi was born in Estonia, in 1955. In his youth he learned to play the accordion, the piano and the double bass. In 1974 he began composition studies in the Estonian Academy of Music under the supervision by Prof Eino Tamberg, graduating as composer in 1980. Peeter Vähi has worked as a free-lance composer and a record producer; also as a concert producer in the Estonian National Concert Institute (1990−2000). Currently he is the artistic director of ERP (Estonian Record Productions) and of international music festivals − Eastern Music Festival Orient (1992 − present day), Glasperlenspiel Festival (1995 − present day). He is a member of the board of Estonian Composers’ Union (since 1988), the vice-chairman of the council of the Estonian Institute of Buddhism (2002−2014), a full member of Estonian Academic Oriental Society (since 1982), the member of Culture Council of the Estonian President (2001−2008), and the president of Drikung Kagyu Ratna Shri Centre (1992−2005).
Peeter Vähi’s works are characterized by broad-minded stylistic versatility, listener-friendly sound, skilful application of exotic instruments and electronic facilities, a wide range of moods from philosophical and meditative right through to Baroque movements. His most important works are oratorio Mary Magdalene Gospel, Mystical Uniting for chamber ensemble, Call of Sacred Drums for percussion ensemble and symphony orchestra, cantata Supreme Silence for mezzo-soprano, male choir and handbells, Chant of the Celestial Lake for flute and orchestra, A Chant of Bamboo for shinobue-flute and chamber orchestra.
Vähi’s music has been performed by European, Asian and American orchestras (among them the Japanese Philharmonic Orchestra, European Union Chamber Orchestra, WDR Symphony Orchestra / Cologne, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, MDR Symphony Orchestra / Leipzig, Vienna Tonkünstler Symphony Orchestra, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra, NDR Symphony Orchestra / Hamburg, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra), choirs (Tōkyō Philharmonic Chorus, State Choir Latvija), chamber (Slava Grigoryan, Rémi Boucher, Gidon Kremer, Raschèr Saxophone Quartet) and ethno musicians (Sevara Nazarkhan, Hiroyuki Koinuma, Hayashi Eitetsu taiko-ensemble) and naturally, by most of the Estonian top musicians such as Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Estonian National Male Choir RAM, girl’s choir Ellerhein, Early Music Consort Hortus Musicus, the Järvi “dynasty”, conductors Andres Mustonen, Risto Joost and Eri Klas, handbell ensemble Arsis, Martin Kuuskmann, Irina Zahharenkova, etc. In addition to the conventional venues, concerts of Vähi’s music have taken place on the open-air stage of World Exhibition EXPO 2000, in Roerich Museum, in the Royal Palace of Sweden. His music has been performed at the Estonian National Song Festivals, in the White House in Washington DC, in a Japanese Buddhist Temple, at the 50th anniversary celebrations of UNESCO in Strasbourg and at the Luzhniki Arena in Moscow.
Vähi’s works have been published by ERP, Erdenklang Musikverlag, Eres Edition, Edition 49, CultureWare Music Publ, and Maren Musikverlag. His music has been released on about 70 records, including 12 solo-albums.
As a keyboarder Peeter Vähi has performed with different ensembles (pop-rock group Vitamiin, jazz-rock group Uus Generatsioon), orchestras and choirs (including the 30,000-members choir at the Estonian National Song Festivals). In the recent years Peeter Vähi has been in close co-operation with musicians from Tibet, India, Japan, and other parts of Asia.
Works in process
To leydi Kaydara kaawnoyiindi / In the Mystical Land of Kaydara, an oriatorio for vocal soloists, two choirs and orchestra, lyrics in Fulani language compiled by Amadou Hampâté Bâ, duration ca 50 min, sponsored by Tiit Pruuli, commissioned by Eesti Kontsert; planned premières on Oct 10th and 11th, 2015 in Tartu (Vanemuine Concert Hall) and Tallinn (Estonia Concert Hall) first performers Tanel Padar (narrator), Girls’ Choir Ellerhein, Estonian National Male Choir RAM, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra; on Oct 2015 in Leipzig, performers Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk Choir and Symphony Orchestra, conductor Kristjan Järvi
Reminiscences of Youth for flute, cello and chamber orchestra; ca 11 min, commissioned by David Oistrakh Festival, planned première in 2015; first performers Massimo Mercelli (flute), Allar Kaasik (cello), St Petersburg Chamber Orchestra
Download photos: Peeter Vähi (Tallinn, 2012, photo by Kaupo Kikkas, jpg, RGB, 5.4 MB); Peeter Vähi (Tallinn, 2012, photo by Kaupo Kikkas, jpg, RGB, 4 MB); Peeter Vähi (Oman, 2003, photo by T Jokinen, jpg, 300 dpi, 840 KB); Peeter Vähi (India, 2003, photo by T Pruuli, jpg, 300 dpi, 1.8 MB), drawing (by Andres Adamson, Pärnu Postimees, 2007, jpg, 1.8 MB), Peeter Vähi (Tallinn, 2010, photo by M Puškarev, jpg, RGB, 300 dpi, 3.3 MB); Peeter Vähi, piano (Tallinn, 2012, photo by Kaupo Kikkas, jpg, RGB, 5.75 MB); Peeter Vähi at his studio (Tallinn, 2012, photo by Kaupo Kikkas, jpg, monochrome, 4.5 MB)
Wikipedia (in English, German, Ukrainian, Estonian, Finnish)
Academic dictionaries and encyclopedias (in German)
Cyclopaedia (in German)
List of works (in French)
Estonian Music Information Centre (in Estonian, English)
Estonian Composers’ Union (in Estonian, English)
Edition49 (in Estonian, English, German, French)
Estonian Organ Society (in English, German)
Tähelaev (Estonian TV, 2012, 73 min)