Tartu Song Festival 2019

Source: Tartu Song Festival

Tartu Song Festival 2019

The Estonian Song Festival, which has been added to the UNESCO Oral and Intangible Heritage List, celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. The celebrations dedicated to singing, which started in Tartu, invite everyone to their birthplace to have a big festive event – the main concert of Tartu Song Festival takes place at Tartu Song Festival Grounds on 22 June 2019. The main concert will be preceded by a day of travelling through song festivals, when it is possible to experience the history of song festivals thanks to three concerts focused on the corresponding eras in various venues of Tartu on 21 June.

Photo: Tartu Song Festival

The main concert of Tartu Song Festival includes the works belonging to the absolute top of the Estonian choral music at Tartu Song Festival Grounds on 22 June. For example, 37 renowned composers include such world-famous persons as Arvo Pärt and Veljo Tormis. Approximately 8,500 singers will be performing their music on the stage, or under the arch of the Song Festival Grounds. Also, a brass band consisting of several hundred members will perform with Vanemuine Symphony Orchestra and soloists.

Let’s travel in time

21 June is a day of time travelling in terms of song festivals in Tartu. The event starts with an open-air church service in the ruins of Tartu Cathedral at 12. It will be followed by the era concerts at 16, 18, and 20, which will open the storyline of the song festivals by 50 years. At 22, there will be a dance performance “Destined to stay” (“Loodud jääma”) in the Kassitoome valley, speaking about the continuation of Estonian folk dances through several generations. The day ends, however, in a rather unexpected place – an event called “Small night music of masterminds” (“Väike suurvaimude öömuusika”), or a musical meeting will take place at Raadi cemetery in Tartu at 23. The event takes a deep bow before all the masterminds of Estonia who are no longer in this world. One of the most renowned Estonian folk musicians Maarja Nuut will also join this night contemplation. All concerts of this day, except for the dance performance, are free of charge.

Joint concert of song festivals

On 20 June, a joint concert of two big song festivals – Tartu Song Festival and XXVII Song Festival – will take place in one of the most important places related to the birth of song festivals – St. Mary’s Church in Tartu. The Estonian National Male Choir and the Academic Female Choir of the University of Tartu will perform at the concert. The concert draws a wonderful arch from the time of the birth of song festivals to modern day. Songs from the first song festival in 1869, the song festival of 2019, and a novel work by composer Jüri Reinvere, which has been created for the 150th anniversary of the Estonian tradition of song festivals, will be performed.

The artistic committee of the Song Festival is led by the renowned conductor Triin Koch, and the concerts are organised by a multi-award winning team, i.e. Anu Lamp, Riina Roose and Karl Laumets.

Last updated : 30.05.2019

In category: South Estonia, History & Culture