The Tallinn Chamber Orchestra (TCO) was founded in 1993 by conductor Tõnu Kaljuste, who led the orchestra from 1993-95 and from 1996-2001. The group began as a string orchestra, founded by professor Jüri Gerretz in 1989, of students from the Tallinn Conservatoire. Mr. Kaljuste organized a professional chamber orchestra from the core members of this group, and though it is a string orchestra, wind players from the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and the Estonian National Opera participate regularly in the ensemble.
Particularly in the early years, the TCO was very tightly connected with the work of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir. In 1993 the critically acclaimed CD Te Deum was released by ECM, followed later by several more records on the same label: Erkki-Sven Tüür’s Crystallisatio, Arvo Pärt’s Litany, In Principio, and Adam’s Lament, Heino Eller’s Neenia, and others.
The TCO has been shaped by many important figures throughout its history including Finnish conductor Juha Kangas, who was the chief conductor from 1995-96 and the artistic advisor from 2001-03. During later years the TCO was supervised by the Artistic Director of the Tallinn Philharmonic Society Eri Klas, and Risto Joost has acted as chief conductor for the TCO since September 2013.
The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir (EPCC) is one of the best known Estonian music groups in the world. The EPCC was founded in 1981 by Tõnu Kaljuste, who was the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor for 20 years. During 2001–07 Mr. Kaljuste’s work was continued by British musician Paul Hillier who became Artistic Director and Chief Conductor, and since 2008 the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor has been Daniel Reuss from Holland.
Each season the choir gives 60–70 concerts in Estonia and abroad, and their repertoire ranges from Gregorian chant to late Baroque and the music of the 21st century with special focus on work by Estonian composers including Pärt, Tormis, Tüür, Grigoryeva, Tulev, Kõrvits, and Tulve.
The choir has been invited to perform at many renowned festivals including the BBC Proms, Edinburgh International Festival, Abu Gosh Music Festival, Moscow Easter Festival, Bergen International Festival, The Salzburg Festival, Musikfest Bremen, Salzburg Mozartwoche, and Festival Aix-en-Provence.
The EPCC has recorded for ECM, Virgin Classics, Carus, and Harmonia Mundi resulting in award-winning CDs, including Arvo Pärt’s Da Pacem (Harmonia Mundi 2006, conductor Paul Hillier), which won the Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance.
Estonian conductor Tõnu Kaljuste is recognized for his work with contemporary composers such as Kurtág, Penderecki, Kancheli, and Schnittke and as a specialist of Estonian composers like Arvo Pärt, Erkki-Sven Tüür, Veljo Tormis, Heino Eller, and Tõnu Kõrvits. Mr. Kaljuste is the founder of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, and continues to work with the ensembles on recordings and special projects, and has also been Chief Conductor and First Guest Conductor of the Swedish Radio Choir and Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Chamber Choir.
Since 2001 Mr. Kaljuste has concentrated on conducting symphonic repertoire, opera, and oratorios. Numerous invitations led him to appearances with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Danish Radio Symphony, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken, Bremen Philharmonic, Tonkünstlerorchester, BBC National Symphony Orchestra of Wales, Japan Century Symphony Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Swedish National Youth Orchestra, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, and Irish Chamber Orchestra, among others.
His discography includes many recordings with ECM Records, Virgin Classic, and Caprice Records. His recordings have been Grammy nominees and have won a number of prizes including the 2014 Grammy Award, Diapason d’Or, the Cannes Classical Award, the Edison Prize, and the Brit Award.
Mr. Kaljuste has been appointed a member of the Royal Music Academy of Sweden and was awarded the Japanese ABC Music Award and Robert Edler Prize. Since 2004 he has been Artistic Director of the Nargen Opera in Estonia.
St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Yonkers, NY, is a graduate school of 50-75 full- and part-time students, founded in 1938 and accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the U.S. and Canada. For several decades it has enjoyed a worldwide reputation in teaching, research, and publication in the areas of theology, church history, and music. The seminary prepares clergy and lay ministers and educators for service in Orthodox Christian churches and the greater community worldwide by offering Master of Divinity, Master of Arts and Master of Theology programs. SVS Press is the largest publisher of Orthodox Christian books in the English language, and the seminary’s library houses a collection of 140,000 titles including a collection of rare books. To find out more, please visit www.svots.edu.
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