The Israeli Baroque Orchestra Barrocade, known to the festival audience from last year, is again among the performers, presenting with chamber choir Voces Tallinn and maestro Andres Mustonen the delightful and brilliant music by Baroque master Antonio Vivaldi. Founded in 2007 by a group of young and enthusiastic musicians, the orchestra has become now one of the most remarkable ensembles in Israel. Omer Shomroni from Globes has said: „In my opinion, Barrocade is the most intriguing musical group currently performing in Israel.“
Barrocade has performed in all of Israel’s major festivals and concert halls as well as abroad. The orchestra has appeared in the Varaždin Baroque Evenings Festival in Croatia and was granted the Prize of the Excelling Concert. It has also represented Israel in concerts in the USA and Georgia. The performance of Purcell’s semi-opera The Fairy Queen in Israel and in London’s Wigmore Hall is worth mentioning as well. All members of the ensemble have graduated from leading European academies, specializing in early music. It is notable that the ensemble’s string instruments were built by its music director Amit Tiefenbrunn and the bows by lute player Eitan Hoffer. Usually the collective plays independently but sometimes collaborates with different conductors (Philip Pickett, David Stern, Matthew Halls, Shalev Ed-El) to perform larger Baroque pieces such as oratorios and operas. Barrocade is known for its rich sound that is owed to its large and varied basso continuo section. In 2011, the instrumental ensemble was joined by Barrocade Vocale, a group of 5–8 singers, who take part in Barrocade’s different projects.
Voces Tallinn: Kristi Jagodin (choral master), Kadri-Liis Kukk, Kristiina Under, Liisi Pitk, Triin Sakermaa,(guest singer from Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir), Aleksandra Bekushev, Evelin Ester, Galina Morozova-Iljenko, Hannela Lüsi, Tiiu Kütson-Janke, Kaarel Telgmaa, Kaido Janke (guest singer from EPCC), Tarmo Rajamets, Thordur Halgrimsson, Vahur Parve, Henri Taube, Jaanus Kann, Joosep Sang, Rainer Vilu (guest singer from EPCC), Veiko Tamm.
Voces Tallinn, known also as Voces Musicales (until 2019), has long surpassed the scope of a traditional semi-professional collective. Voces Tallinn is well known abroad and has won several prizes, including II prize at Harald Andersén Chamber Choir Competition in Finland (2009). In 2014, the choir participated as a finalist in the first London International Choir Competition started by The Tallis Scholars and their first CD Pilgrim’s Song (2009, Estonian Record Productions) was highly rated by the critics of BBC Music Magazine and Gramophone. Among the most remarkable concerts given abroad are the performance of Haydn’s oratorio Creation in Japan with world-famous Orchestra Kanazawa, the participation in the global project 1000 Voices for Peace in Brussels and several concerts in Israel with Barrocade in 2016. In Estonia, the choir has collaborated with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Corelli Baroque Orchestra, Hortus Musicus, NYYD Ensemble and other orchestras. In 2015, Voces Tallinn received the annual music award of the Estonian Cultural Endowment. During the first ten years the chief conductor was Risto Joost (now artistic adviser), in the season 2009/2010 Endrik Üksvärav and in 2011–2014 Kaspar Mänd. The choir has also worked with such conductors as Peter Phillips, Neeme Järvi, Eri Klas, Nikolai Aleksejev and Olari Elts. Over the years, the repertoire of Voces Tallinn has become truly diverse, extending from early music to contemporary compositions and comprising the most important works of the western vocal instrumental music such as Handel’s oratorios and Bach’s masses.
Andres Mustonen is one of the most charismatic Estonian conductors and musicians whose creative ideas and choices are anything but typical and boring. It has been said: „Andres Mustonen’s performances can be characterized as highly individual. With everything he does, he expresses his original outlook and musical cognition, be it conducting symphonies by Mahler and Shostakovich or the Vienna classics.“ (Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra)
Andres Mustonen graduated from the violin class of Prof Endel Lippus in Tallinn Music High School in 1972 and at the Tallinn State Conservatory in 1977. As a conductor he has collaborated with many prestigious European orchestras such as Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Sinfonietta Riga, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta and Tallinn Chamber Orchestra. He has also appeared in front of the prominent collectives as a violin soloist. Mustonen’s repertoire embraces both early music and contemporary works, the particular interest being placed on religious large forms such as oratorios and masses by J. S. Bach, Mozart, Bruckner, Schütz and Telemann. Mustonen works closely with several contemporary composers and has brought to Estonia numerous works by Kancheli, Silvestrov, Takemitsu, Gubaidulina and Penderecki. Mustonen is definitely one of the best experts of early music in Estonia. In 1972, he founded the early music consort Hortus Musicus which gives vital performances until today. Mustonen often shares his experiences and knowledge through different masterclasses and lectures. He has also started several concert series and festivals, most known of them probably MustonenFest. Andres Mustonen has been awarded with the Estonian State Cultural Award in 1995, the IV Class Order of the White Star of the Republic of Estonia in 1998 and the prize of Estonian Music Council in 2003. In 2016, he received a gold medal as the highest award of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia.