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Artur Kapp


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Artur Kapp (February 28, 1878 - January 14, 1952) was a notable Estonian composer.

Born in Suure-Jaani, Viljandi County, Estonia, he was the son of Joosep Kapp, who was also a classically trained musician. Kapp began his musical career studying organ at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory as a student of both Louis Homilius and composition with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov in 1891. Kapp graduated from the Conservatory in 1900 as a composer and from 1904 until 1920 worked as a music director in the southern Russian city of Astrakhan, then returning to Estonia as a professor and conductor at the Tallinn Conservatory where he counted among his students such future notable Estonian composers as Evald Aav, Edgar Arro, Riho Päts, and Enn Võrk. He is, along with Rudolf Tobias (1873-1918), generally considered to be one of the founders of Estonian symphonic music.

Kapp’s two sons Eugen (1908–1996) and Villem (1913–1964) became notable composers as well, having studied at the Tallinn Conservatory under direction of their father.

Some of Kapp’s most enduring works are the 1899 overture Don Juan and the 1900 cantata Paradiis ja Peri (“Paradise and Peri”), both of which are large scale works that prominently feature the organ. He is possibly best recalled for his oratorio Hiiob (“Job”) and Metsateel (“On A Road Through The Woods”), a piece for solo voice. Kapp’s work is abundant and diverse and covers many classical genres.

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