Jaan Rääts. Marginalia (Kalle Randalu, Sven Grünberg)
Eduard Tubin. Works for Violin and Piano. Vol 1 (Sigrid Kuulmann, Marko Martin)
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: summer 2014
● Mystical Uniting, May-June 2014, duo Oksana Sinkova & Jelena Ossipova, recording by Estonian Public Broadcasting; June 29th Herz-Jesu-Church Munich, Ensemble Varié
● Between Heaven and Earth for symphonic wind orchestra, released on CD Kuuvalgel. Wind Music of Estonia, performed by CNU Wind Ensemble, conductor Mark U Reimer, Mark Records (USA, 03P101)
● In Memoriam HM (version for chamber orchestra), June 28th, Riga, Latvia, festival Artissimo!; July 10th, Tartu St John’s church; Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta, conductor Andres Mustonen
● Behind the Great Water for mixed choir, performers Kamēr and conductor Jānis Liepiņš; July 17th, Latvian National Library, Riga, live concert, presentation of the printed score and CD
● Prayer Wheel, July 2014, Riga, Tartu, Helsinki; Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra
● Series of events Tibet in Estonia, May 23th, Kullo Gallery (Kuninga Street 6, Tallinn, Estonia), lecture and photo exhibition Pilgrimage around Mt Kailash by Peeter Vähi; concert based on Tibetan Buddhist mantras together with Daakini Drukmo Gyal (vocal, Tibet)
● Forty-two (version for oboe and sinfonietta orchestra), Jul 10th, St John’s church (Tartu, Estonia), Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta; Eres Edition will publish the version of Forty-two for solo guitar (arranged by Heiki Mätlik)
● Flute concerto Chant of the Celestial Lake, Sep 2014, concert tour in Italy, soloist Massimo Mercelli (flute, Italy)
● Handbell Symphony, in summer-autumn 2014 will be arranged for handbells and wind orchestra by Mattias Lundqvist
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, the vice-chairman of the council of the Estonian Institute of Buddhism (2002−2014), a full member of Estonian Academic Oriental Society, 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, cantata Green Tārā for female soloist, girls’ choir, trombones and percussions, 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) 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 Erdenklang Musikverlag, Eres Edition, Edition 49, ERP, 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
Violet Winds, concerto for saxophone quartet and chamber orchestra, 26 min, planned première − Feb 5th, 2015, Estonia Concert Hall (Tallinn), MustonenFest, first performers Raschèr Saxophone Quartet and Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta, commissioned by Raschèr Saxophone Quartet and Estonian State Concert Institute Eesti Kontsert
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, planned première in 2015 by Eesti Kontsert
A work for flute, cello and chamber orchestra; ca 12 min, commissioned by David Oistrakh Festival
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)