The Estonia Society named composer Arvo Pärt an honorary member of the society for his special merits in achieving the society’s goals. The honorary member certificate was handed over to him on 20 May in Laulasmaa, when a delegation of the society visited the Arvo Pärt Centre.
Currently, the Estonia Society has five honorary members: in addition to Arvo Pärt also conductor Neeme Järvi, pianist Peep Lassmann, opera director Arne Mikk and publicist Jutta Zilliacus.
There have been 19 former honorary members, including Veljo Tormis, Roman Toi, Gustav Ernesaks, Jaan Kross, Kalju Lepik, Eino Tamberg, Vive Tolli, Tiit Kuusik, Käbi Laretei and Hugo Lepnurm.
The singing and acting society Estonia was founded in 1865. After the establishment of the professional Estonia Theatre, the activities of the Estonia Society were related to the construction of the new theatre and concert hall, which was inaugurated in 1913.
In 1919, with the establishment of the Tallinn Higher School of Music, the society laid the foundation for professional musical higher education in Estonia. In 1923, the Higher School of Music was renamed the Tallinn Conservatory, and in 2005 it was named the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. With the arrival of the Soviet occupation in 1940, the society ended its activity. It was re-established in 1990.
The Estonia Society has 293 members in Estonia and 15 members in other countries. The chairman of the society is Mart Mikk.