Thursday, August 02, 2012

Estonia's new classic music festival hits high note

300 musicians from over a dozen countries

Parnu concert hall

(AFP) Estonia's new Jarvi Summer Festival of classical music kicked off this week promising to draw some 300 musicians from over a dozen countries to the Baltic coast city of Parnu in the south.

The festival was founded last year under the baton of globally renowned Estonian conductors Paavo Jarvi and his father Neeme Jarvi.

"Parnu is the town where our grandmother lived," Paavo Jarvi told AFP on Friday. "I have tried to come back for holiday to Parnu and this festival is kind of ode to our childhood," he added.

"Around 300 musicians from over a dozen countries, including Germany, the US, Britain and France will perform here this year," festival spokesperson Elis Vesik explained.

"We also have 21 young conductors attending the associated Jarvi Academy to learn with both maestros," she added.

Paavo Jarvi is currently chief conductor of the Orchestre de Paris, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie and was recently announced to become also chief conductor of Japan's leading NHK Symphony in 2015.

The festival's gala concert on Saturday has an outstanding list of well-known musicians including viola player Mate Szuecs, violinist Florian Donderer and French horn player Fritz Pahlmann, all from Germany.

England's Matthew Hunt will play clarinet alongside compatriot pianist Sophia Rahman. The concert will also feature Norway's Gunilla Suessmann on piano, American Jason Calloway on cello and Austrian Ulrike Danhofer on violin.

Sunday's concert stars are Estonian soprano Anneli Peebo from Vienna Volksoper and Estonian pianists Kalle Randalu and his son Kristjan Randalu.

The festival runs July 26 to August 2.

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