March 21 marked the start of this year's Estonian Music Days in Tallinn, a six-day festival showcasing Estonian-composed works performed by both local and foreign artists
Long considered one of the most important events in Estonia's musical landscape, the 30-year-old festival features the region's new music as well as some of its long-forgotten classical heritage.
The event's artistic director Timo Steiner told ETV that this year’s festival will put the spotlight on two different groups:
The first is local composers, who will be given the opportunity to showcase their creations in cultural centers around Tallinn. Thanks to collaboration with the Tallinn 2011 European Capital of Culture project, the performances will also be repeated at later dates, extending the festival's activity throughout the year.
The other group is foreign artists brought from neighboring states to perform, said Steiner.
"We have invited bands from nearby countries who will perform both our music and theirs," said Steiner, adding that by mixing the foreign collectives' repertoires with local compositions, the traditional tunes will attain an exciting, fresh sound.
Coinciding with the festival is the three-day Tallinn Music Week, a platform for the newer generation of Estonian musicians to get noticed by talent scouts from the international recording industry. It takes place from March 24 to 26.