Head of Studies, Professor Tõnu Kaljuste
(choral conducting in the bachelor’s programme, orchestral conducting can be selected in the master’s programme)
Both choral and orchestral conducting are taught as part of conducting studies at EAMT. During the course of their studies, students are introduced to both music history and scores of works that are important in the Estonian and global context.
There are more than 1,400 choirs in Estonia. Many of them participate in the Estonian Song Festival, the most prominent and uniting event for the entire nation. The choral conducting curriculum at EAMT largely concentrates on educating people with the aim of maintaining the Song Festival tradition and elevating its artistic quality. At the same time, conductors need new choral works to contribute to musical life. Veljo Tormis, Arvo Pärt, Urmas Sisask, Erkki-Sven Tüür, René Eespere, Toivo Tulev and Tõnu Kõrvits, among many other Estonian composers, have introduced numerous new and interesting works to the world music stage in recent decades.
Estonian choirs have also been awarded many prizes at an international level. Ellerhein Girls’ Choir, Estonian National Male Choir and Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir have earned Grammy awards among other distinctions.
The conducting studies at EAMT aim to pass on the experience behind this productive work. The faculty members include Ants Soots and Toomas Kapten -former principal conductors of the Estonian National Male Choir, Hirvo Surva - artistic director of the most recent Estonian Song Festivals, and Tõnu Kaljuste - founder of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and present head of conducting studies.
Orchestral conducting is taught by Paul Mägi - former principal conductor of the Estonian National Opera and current musical director and principal conductor of the Vanemuine Theatre, Arvo Volmer - former artistic director of both ENO and the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, and Jüri Alperten a long-standing conductor of ENO and highly acclaimed professor of orchestral conducting.
The EAMT Symphony Orchestra, EAMT Sinfonietta and EAMT Choir work in collaboration with the conducting studies.