Tõnu Kaljuste is the conductor who founded the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir (EPCC) (1981) and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra (TCO) (1993). He has been a regular Grammy nominee and the winner of several prizes for recordings (Diapason d'Or de l'Annee 2000, Cannes Classical Award, Edison Prize).
Kaljuste has been a lecturer at the Tallinn Conservatory and a conductor of the Estonian National Opera. He has worked with many orchestras and choirs all over the world. During the 1990’s, next to his work with the EPCC and the TCO, he was also the principal conductor of the Swedish Radio Choir and the Netherlands Chamber Choir. Since 2001 he has worked internationally as a freelance conductor. He has been appointed a member of the Royal Music Academy of Sweden and has been awarded the Japanese ABC Music Fund Award, the International Robert Edler Prize for Choral Music and the First Prize of the 2004 Estonian Cultural Fund.
Kaljuste has dedicated a major part of his work to the music of Estonian composers (Heino Eller, Arvo Pärt, Veljo Tormis, and Erkki-Sven Tüür), whose compositions he has recorded for the ECM Record label. He has also recorded all of the Vespers and Litanies of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as well as the church music of Antonio Vivaldi for the Carus Verlag record label. He has worked in collaboration with composers such as Alfred Schnittke, György Kurtag, Krzysztof Penderecki, Erik Bergman, Giya Kancheli, Sven-David Sandström, Knut Nystedt, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Brett Dean, R. Murray Schafer, a.o.
In 2004, the new Nargen Opera project theatre began its activities under Kaljuste’s direction. During the 2004-05 season, there were stagings of three of Joseph Haydn’s operas, Jaan Tätte’s play “Lantern” and Veljo Tormis’ “Estonian Ballads”, the latter in a co-production with the Von Krahli Theatre. The 2005-06 season of the Nargen Opera will include two chamber operas by composer Tõnu Kõrvits.
International engagements during the 2005/06 season include appearances with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Brabants Orkest, Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Copenhagen Philharmonic and the Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra a.o.
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