Estonian famous composers Presentation of students, Lasnamae High School, 2009
Rudolf Tobias (1873 – 1918)
Rudolf Tobias’s significance as a founder of Estonian professional music is great. His strong individuality and its uniquely expression were apparent already in his student works. In his time he was primarily a fighter and a reformer.
Rudolf Tobias (1873 – 1918)
Tobias was the first to lay the foundation for Estonian instrumental music. Rudolf Tobias was the first Estonian to receive a professional musical education both as a composer and an organist. Tobias wrote the first Estonian instrumental works: the first symphonic composition – the overture “Julius Caesar” (1896), the first cantata “Johannes Damascenus” for soloists, mixed choir, organ and orchestra (1897), the first piano concerto in D-Minor (1897), the first piano sonata (1897, of which unfortunately only the final in C-Minor is preserved), the first string quartet in D-Minor (1899), the first oratorio “Mission of Jonah” (1909), the first programmatic composition “Walpurgis Burlesque” (1910).
Tobias has also created the first Estonian polyphonic compositions (Fuguette for piano in E-Minor).
Artur Kapp (1878 -1952)
Kapp was one of the very first Estonian professional composers. He studied organ with L. Homilius at St Petersburg Conservatory and completed his studies in 1898. In 1900 he graduated from the conservatory as composer being a student of N. Rimski-Korsakov. His two important works are Hiiob , an oratorio, and Metsateel , a romance for solo voice.
Gustav Ernesaks (1908-1993)
Gustav Ernesaks was an Estonian composer and a choir conductor.
He played an integral role in the Singing Revolution and was one of the father figures of the Estonian Song Festival tradition.
A statue of him was erected in 2004 on The Tallinn Song Festival Grounds.
Veljo Tormis is an Estonian composer, regarded to be one of the greatest living choral composers and one of the most important composers of the 20th century in Estonia.
Internationally, his fame arises chiefly from his extensive body of choral music, which exceeds 500 individual choral songs, most of it a cappella. The great majority of these pieces are based on traditional ancient Estonian folksongs (regilaulud), either textually, melodically, or merely stylistically.
Arvo Pärt (born in 1935) is an Estonian classical composer. Pärt works in a minimalist style that employs tintinnabulation and hypnotic repetitions influenced by the intellectual counterpoint elements of European jazz, but fitting into European-American classical post-modernism rather than so-called world music.
His most familiar works are for string orchestra and bell (1977) and the string quintet "Fratres I" (1977, revised 1983), which he orchestrated for string orchestra and percussion, the solo violin "Fratres II" and the cello ensemble "Fratres III" (both 1980).
Pärt is often identified with the school of minimalism and, more specifically, that of mystic minimalism or sacred minimalism. He is considered a pioneer of this style. Although his fame initially rested on instrumental works such as Tabula Rasa and Spiegel im Spiegel , his choral works have also come to be widely appreciated.