Tõnu Kaljuste 70


Arvo Pärt has said, “I have had a lot of luck with performers in my life. Tõnu Kaljuste, his choir and orchestra are a good example.”

The entire Estonian music community has been lucky to have Tõnu Kaljuste, who has made a name for himself over the decades as a conductor, the founder and artistic director of the Nargen Festival, the founder and long-time conductor of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, the commissioner and first-time performer of new works, as well as the one who teaches, encourages and inspires young musicians. He is characterised by his vision and bold ideas as well as the courage and determination to implement them.

Arvo Pärt’s music has accompanied Tõnu Kaljuste for almost half of his life. The conductor’s concert programmes have featured Pärt’s work continuously since the late 1980s. The first personal contact between the composer and the conductor took place thanks to the work Te Deum. It was under the direction of Tõnu Kaljuste that it achieved the sound the composer desired, and only then became one of the best-known works of Arvo Pärt. Arvo Pärt’s Te Deum, released in 1993 under the ECM label, laid a solid foundation for close collaboration with the composer. Since then, Kaljuste has recorded a dozen of Arvo Pärt’s albums, which have received a lot of recognition and laid the groundwork for a tradition of performing the composer’s music. In 2014, the jointly recorded album Adam’s Lament brought conductor Tõnu Kaljuste a prestigious Grammy award. For more than ten years now, the Arvo Pärt Days, the closing event of the Nargen Festival, have become the most anticipated event for many listeners. Arvo Pärt has dedicated the works In principio and Dopo la vittoria to the conductor, and the large-scale choral work Kanon pokajanen to both Kaljuste and the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir.

Arvo Pärt: “These musicians have a very keen sense of style because the conductor has taken them to the essence of music, sound and phrase. They work on every nuance, striving for — and finding — the ultimate perfection. In some fantastic way, these young people have achieved the ability to enter the music. And this is heard not only by professionals, but also by the audience.”
Thank you, Tõnu, for your dedication to giving both musicians and listeners a chance to go inside the music!

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