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Tõnu Kaljuste Conductor General Management

Tõnu Kaljuste has established himself as a leading interpreter of music by György Kurtag, Krzysztof Penderecki, Giya Kancheli and Alfred Schnittke, and in particular of Estonian composers such as Arvo Pärt, Erkki-Sven Tüür, Veljo Tormis, Heino Eller and Tõnu Korvits. For the Arvo Pärt album Adam’s Lament by ECM Records with the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Sinfonietta Riga, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and Latvian Radio Choir the Estonian conductor was awarded the Grammy Award 2014.

He founded the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and performed with the choir and orchestra in the major concert venues and festivals around the globe. He previously held the positions of Principal Conductor with both the Swedish Radio Choir and the Netherlands Chamber Choir.

As a staunch ally and committed advocate for the work of Arvo Pärt, Kaljuste lately led numerous concerts with music of the composer. He is a frequent guest conductor of orchestras such as the London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony, Orchestra dell‘Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Tonkünstlerorchester, Iceland Symphony, Noord Nederlands Orkest, RTE Symphony Orchestra Ireland, Czech Radio Symphony, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra and Japan Century Symphony Orchestra. He is regularly working with the RIAS Kammerchor and Latvian Radio Choir.

From 1978 to 1985 Tõnu Kaljuste has been conductor of the Estonian National Opera, conducting Britten’s Let’s Make an Opera - The Little Sweep, Mozart’s Bastian und Bastienne and Der Schauspieldirektor, Der Freischütz and Veljo Tormis’ ballet Estonian Ballads. At the Hamburg Opera he was in the pit for Lera Auerbach’s ballet The Little Mermaid. At the Nargen festival he led Fidelio and Haydn's Il mondo della luna.

A prolific recording artist, Tõnu Kaljuste has an extensive discography on the ECM, Virgin Classics and Caprice labels, lately the CD Gesualdo featuring music by Brett Dean, Erkki-Sven Tüür and Carlo Gesualdo da Venosa as well as the CD Mirror with works by Tonu Korvits. Many of his recordings have won prizes including the Diapason d'Or, Cannes Classical Award, Edison Prize and Classic BRIT Award.

Tõnu Kaljuste is a member of the Royal Music Academy of Sweden and recipient of the Japanese ABC Music Award and the Robert Edler Prize. Since 2004 he has been Artistic Director of the Nargen Opera Festival presenting music and opera performances on the Estonian coast.

Season 2016/17

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News

Tonu Kaljuste conducts choral stage-production 'Nativity Words' in Tallinn

Tonu Kaljuste conducts the revival of the scenic production Nativity Words presenting works by Veljo Tormis with the Estonian National Male Choir, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, actors of von Krahl Theatre Tallinn and others at the Nargenfestival in Tallinn from 2-8 August. Stage direction: Peeter Jalakas.

Kaljuste's CD nominated for Grammy Award

Tonu Kaljuste’s recent CD Gesualdo featuring music by Brett Dean, Erkki-Sven Tüür and Carlo Gesualdo da Venosa with the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir on ECM Records has been nominated for a Grammy in the category Best Classical Compendium.

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Tonu Kaljuste on the rostrum of the RTE National Symphony Orchestra

Tonu Kaljuste is on the rostrum of the RTE National Symphony Orchestra Ireland in Dublin on 28 October joined by the RTE Philharmonic Choir featuring an Arvo Pärt programme: Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten, Tabula Rasa, Salve regina and Adam’s Lament.

Tonu Kaljuste at Arvo Pärt festival Tallinn

Tonu Kaljuste conducts the opening concert of the Arvo Pärt festival in Tallinn on 2 September featuring the Estonian first performance of Greater Antiphones for string

orchestra with the Estonian National Symphony and soloists. On 11 September Tonu Kaljuste performs Fratres and Te Deum among others within the closing concert in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the tintinnabuli style.

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Tonu Kaljuste conducts opening concert of Nargen Festival in Tallinn

Tonu Kaljuste conducts the opening concert of the Nargen Festival with works of Estonian Tonu Korvits (new CD programme)  together with the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and soloists in Tallinn on 6 June.

Tonu Kaljuste returns to Norwegian Chamber Orchestra

Tonu Kaljuste conducts the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra in Oslo in an manifold programme with works by Brett Dean, Erkki-Sven Tüür, Arvo Pärt and Tonu Korvits

joined by The Norwegian Soloists‘ Choir and cellist Anja Lechner in Oslo on 22 March.

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Tonu Kaljuste conducts Iceland Symphony with Górecki and Pärt

Tonu Kaljuste conducts the Iceland Symphony Orchestra in Reykjavik on 3 March in a programme with Arvo Pärt, Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten as well as Te Deum, and Henryk Górecki’s Symphony No. 3.

Tonu Kaljuste: New CD with works by Tonu Korvits

ECM Records has released the new CD Mirror with works by Tonu Korvits with Tonu Kaljuste, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and Anja Lechner.

Tonu Kaljuste: Record of the month

The new CD by Tonu Kaljuste with works by Carlo Gesualdo da Venosa, Brett Dean and Erkki-Sven Tüür together with the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and Tallinn Chamber Orchestra by ECM Records

has been chosen as Record of the month by Musikweb International.

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Tonu Kaljuste at rostrum in Kristiansand

Tonu Kaljuste conducts Händel’s Messiah on 3 December with Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Choir/Cathedral Choir in Kristiansand, Norway.

 

 

Tõnu Kaljuste conducts a portrait of Arvo Pärt in Prague

Tõnu Kaljuste conducts at the Dvorak Festival Prague on 21 September a portrait of Arvo Pärt with the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Estonian Philharmonic

Chamber Choir featuring Fratres, Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten, Adam's Lament, Salve Regina and Te Deum.

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Tõnu Kaljuste returns to Baltic Sea Festival

Tõnu Kaljuste conducts at the Baltic Sea Festival in Stockholm on 29 August an homage to Arvo Pärt: The programme includes the symphonies No. 1-4 and one of his latest orchestral works, Swansong. 

World premiere in Tallinn: “Adam’s Passion”

Kaljuste performs the premiere of the music theatre production “Adam’s Passion” (direction: Robert Wilson) with the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Tallinn

Chamber Orchestra, soloists, actors and dancers in Tallinn on 12 May. Further performances take place on 13, 14 and 16 May.

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Tõnu Kaljuste conducts Swedish Radio Symphony & Choir

Tõnu Kaljuste conducts the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Swedish Radio Choir in an entire Arvo Pärt programme in Stockholm on 9 May with following pieces: Dopo la Vittoria, Salve Regina and Adam’s Lament.

Kaljuste conducts Carte Blanche in Madrid

Tõnu Kaljuste conducts the final concert of an Arvo Pärt festival with the Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de España in Madrid on 14 March. The Carte Blanche includes Orient & Occident, Te Deum, Cantus, Salve Regina, Adam’s Lament and 2 Wiegenlieder.

Debut with Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI Torino

Tonu Kaljuste gives his debut with the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI Torino on 6 February, 20.30 hours. The programme features Claudio Ambrosini, Canzon XIII, 

Canzon I, Sonata XIX ,Einojuhani Rautavaara, Cantus Arcticus op. 61, Sofia Gubaidulina Offertorium for violin and orchestra as well as the Italian first performance of Arvo Pärt’s Swansong and is live transmitted on RAI 3: http://www.rai.tv/dl/RaiTV/popup/player_radio.html?v=3

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Tõnu Kaljuste gives his debut with the Malmo Opera Orchestra

Tõnu Kaljuste gives his debut with the Malmö Opera Orchestra in a concert on 27 November. Together with the opera choir and soloists he performs Mozart’s Requiem as

well as Schönberg’s Friede auf Erden (orchestral version) and John Adams’ choral works of The Death of Klinghoffer.

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Tõnu Kaljuste debuts with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra

The Estonian conductor is for the first time at the rostrum of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Chorus with two concerts in Edinburgh Queen's Hall and Glasgow City Halls

on 23 and 24 October. He presents a programme, that contrasts works by Arvo Pärt (Solfeggio and Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten) with Haydn's Symphony No 90 and the Harmoniemesse.

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EPCC at the Festival Wratislavia Cantans

Under the baton of Tõnu Kaljuste, the choir will perform Arvo Pärt's sacred master piece Kanon Pokajanen at Wroclaw's University Church on September 7. Further concerts on September 6 and 8 in Lower Silesia. In 1998

ECM released a recording of the Canon of Repentance sung by the EPCC under Tõnu Kaljuste, the choir's chief conductor at that time, one of the most highly valued CD recordings of the choir.

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Arvo Pärt - Te Deum

Press

  • CD Tonu Korvits: Mirror

    There is a special quality to the Estonian choral sound that is apparent from the outset in this recording. (…)This whole production benefits from the guiding hands of top conductor Tonu Kaljuste. If you like deeply heartfelt expression, fabulous but understated craftsmanship both in composition and performance, and that generous ECM ethos of providing something both brand-new and uniquely valuable for long-term listening then this CD comes with unreserved recommendation.

    Musicweb International, Dominy Clements, 06.05.2016

    It only needs to be mentioned that the performers of this recording comply by hundred percent to the requirements of such a musical genre and create a cryptic, atmospheric interpretation.

    Pizzicato, Norbert Tischer, 30.04.2016

     

     

  • CD Gesualdo: Brett Dean & Erkki-Sven Tüür

    The programme opens with a piece by Gesualdo heard here in a very fine arrangement for strings by Kaljuste. Brett Dean's Carlo is the most impressive work in that most welcome release. (...) This superbly performed programme is a pure delight from first to last.

    Musicweb International, Hubert Culot, 10/2015

    Both Kaljuste’s orchestra and his instinct are good ones; the insistent suspensions of Gesualdo’s vocal writing – not so much sliding as grinding over one another – translate beautifully for strings, muted and thickly scored in close imitation of a viol consort. They offer a point of departure for the Dean, whose verbatim musical quotations of the start quickly dissolve into fragments of melody and sound, song giving way to whispers and breaths, counterpoint to a clattering Babel of unfinished music thoughts.

    Gramophone, Alexandra Coghlan, 06.11.2015

  • Gubaidulina, Pärt & Rautavaara with Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI Torino

    Together with the violinist Sergej Krylov, Tõnu Kaljuste sets a universe of musical situations in rotation. Shiny lights and colors, lyrical fragments in which the violin sings on the tinkling burst of the percussion, landslides and explosions of the large orchestra vanishing into dreamy hazes.

    La Stampa, Paolo Gallarati, 10.02.2015

  • Pärt & Haydn with Scottish Chamber Orchestra & Chorus

    Tõnu Kaljuste gave an incisive yet generous performance – especially in an expertly shaped account of his compatriot Arvo Pärt’s Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten, movingly paced so that its inexorably tumbling scales led inevitably to a broad, sonorous conclusion. In Haydn’s Harmoniemesse he weaved his way with vigour through the composer’s choral counterpoint and enjoyed himself in the multiple jokes of Haydn’s Symphony No. 90. A revelatory evening.

    The Scotsman, David Kettle, 25.10.2014

  • Pärt "Adam's Lament" with Tallinn Chamber Orchestra

    The Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, conducted with authority and grace by Tõnu Kaljuste, brought out the clarity of the harmonic progressions in these deceptively simple pieces, as well as the gradual build up of sonic texture and emotional weight that makes them so riveting.

    The New York Times, 03.06.2014

  • Pärt, Sumera, Tüür, Kõrvits and Vasks with Ensemble Resonanz and RIAS Kammerchor

    At the concert of Ensemble Resonanz and RIAS Kammerchor under the charismatic and technically outstanding direction of Estonian Tõnu Kaljuste one could listen to contemporary music from Estonia and Latvia that opposes to the polemic modernity of our geographic region a pacifist concept of contemporaneity, in which actuality is not understood as breach of tradition, but as its vitalization. The “Prayer” of Latvian composer Pēteris Vasks, co-commissioned by the RIAS Kammerchor, who now gave a passionate and luminous German premiere of the piece, with its clear minor tonality consequently turns away from the battlefield of innovation… Tõnu Kaljuste knew how to gave the music in its simplicity a considerable graveness and a deep sincerity.

    Berliner Zeitung, Jan Brachmann, 02.03.2014

  • Exceptional quality with Camerata Salzburg & Latvian Radio Choir

    Tõnu Kaljuste and the Latvian Radio Choir prove their extraordinary quality, amazingly accompanied by the Camerata Salzburg. They enchanted with a programme that affected the listener’s souls. Sacral pieces as Mozart’s Sancta Maria, Mater Dei or Arvo Pärt’s Salve Regina and the melancholy of Eastern chants merged with the melancholy of the Knight of the Rose by Richard Strauss. A charming a cappella piece honored Strauss again, then the Grammy awarded final piece Adam’s Lament by Arvo Pärt on texts by monk Starez Siluan, where one mystic met another.

    Salzburger Nachrichten, 03.02.2014

  • Gubaidulina & Pärt with London Philharmonic

    The Magnificat and Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten were performed as one entity, to good effect (if perhaps demonstrating the similarity of programming that had concerned me). The London Philharmonic Choir was at its best in the larger tutti sections of the Magnificat, particularly where the sopranos felt they could open up to full voice. The soprano soloist was especially good – though intoning on one pitch, the solo requires excellent ensemble work, often with the tenors and basses, who in this concert were on the other side of the choir stalls. The Cantus was faster than I personally like, but very powerful in the lower registers, with dynamic range excellently controlled by Kaljuste.

    Bachtrack, Penny Homer, 08.11.2013

  • Standing ovations for Pärt programme at Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Hamburg

    The NDR Radio Philharmonic Orchestra mastered the melodic sculpture [Arvo Pärt’s Lamentate] – a technical highly complex piano concert between ruminant silence and tough breakouts, just few dare to perform, under the direction of Tõnu Kaljuste unstained: incisive brass, mild strings, bursting percussion. The audience in Hamburg celebrated the evening with standing ovation.

    Neue Presse Hannover, 08.2013

  • Highest level: Pärt "Adam’s Lament" with Sinfonietta Riga & Latvian Radio Choir in Munich

    The agile orchestra and the choir with his unswerving persistency embellish one another, once searching for harmony, contrasting the other time. Silvery flageolets emerge, the soprano voices are often rounded by male head voices in a velvety manner. The audience remains in breathless silence during the concert and literally explodes at the end of the concert celebrating the performers.

    Münchner Merkur, Christof Fiedler, 15.10.2012

    The five religious works by Arvo Pärt elaborately built on Gregorian phrases and mixed with broken chords, whose aesthetic proclaim an ideal world without sharp edges. Mainly because Tõnu Kaljuste, Latvian Radio Choir, Sinfonietta Riga and vocal ensemble »Vox Clamantis« were performing at the highest stage, one could hardly elude the charm.

    Abendzeitung München, Volker Boser, 15.10.2012

Discography

Tonu Korvits: Mirror

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Tallinn Chamber Orchestra
ECM (2016)

Carlo Gesualdo Erkki-Sven Tüür Brett Dean

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Tallinn Chamber Orchestra
ECM (2015)

Arvo Pärt: Adam's Lament Arvo Pärt: Adam's Lament
Latvian Radio Choir
Sinfonietta Riga, Vox Clamantis
Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Tallinn Chamber Orchestra
ECM Records (2012)
Grammy Award
Antonio Vivaldi: Missae & Vesperae Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Tallinn Chamber Orchestra
Carus (2012)
Ståle Kleiberg: David and Bathsheba Trondheim Symphony Orchestra
2L (2012)
Arvo Pärt: In Principio Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Estonian National Symphony Orchestra
Tallinn Chamber Orchestra
ECM Records (2009)
Alfred Schnittke/Arvo Pärt: Voices of Nature Swedish Radio Choir
BIS Records (2004)
French Choral Music Messiaen/Daniel-Lesur/Jolivet
Netherlands Chamber Choir
Globe (2008)
Lepo Sumera: Mushroom Cantata & other choral works Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Tallinn Chamber Orchestra
BIS Records (2005)
Krzystof Penderecki: Miserere Netherlands Chamber Choir
Globe (2004)
Frank Martin: Choral Works Netherlands Chamber Choir
Q-Discs (2002)
Arvo Pärt: Orient & Occident Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Swedish Radio Choir
Helena Olsson (soprano)
ECM Records (2002)
Antonio Vivaldi: Salmi a due cori Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Tallinn Chamber Orchestra
Carus (2002)
Heino Eller: Neenia Tallinn Chamber Orchestra
ECM Records (2001)
Sergey Taneyev The Twelve Choruses op. 27
Netherlands Chamber Choir
Globe (2001)
Paul Giger: Ignis Paul Giger (Violine, Violono d'amore)
Marius Ungureanu (Viola)
Beat Schneider (Cello)
Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
ECM (2000)
Mozart: Vesperae et Litania Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Tallinn Chamber Orchestra
Carus (2000)
Mozart: Litany Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Tallinn Chamber Orchestra
Carus (2000)
Veljo Tormis: Heaps of songs Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Carus (2000)
Veljo Tormis: Litany To Thunder Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
ECM (1999)
Alfred Schnittke: Psalms of Repentance Swedish Radio Choir
ECM Records (1999)
Arvo Pärt: Kanon Pokajanen Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
ECM Records (1998)
Arvo Pärt: Beatus Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Virgin Records (1997)
Erkki-Sven Tüür: Crystallisatio Tallinn Chamber Orchestra
Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
ECM Records (1996)
Arvo Pärt: Litany The Hilliard Ensemble
Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Tallinn Chamber Orchestra
ECM Records (1996)
Veljo Tormis: Casting a spell... Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Virgin Records (1996)
Alfred Schnittke: Requiem; Henryk Górecki: Miserere Swedish Radio Choir
Eric Ericson Chamber Choir
Caprice Records (1995)
Rachmaninov: All-Night Vigil op. 37 Swedish Radio Choir
Virgin Records (1995)
Arvo Pärt: Te Deum Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Tallinn Chamber Orchestra
ECM Records (1993)
Veljo Tormis: Forgotten Peoples Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
ECM Records (1992)