From the International Arvo Pärt Centre
The Estonian Music Council used the occasion of International Music Day on 1 October to reward those Estonian musicians whose work has made a major contribution to music in Estonia.
The prize for Composer of the Year 2012 was awarded to the maestro Arvo Pärt.
International Music Day was initiated in 1975 by the then-President of the International Music Council, the legendary violinist Yehudi Menuhin and is celebrated around the world on 1 October. On that day the music institutions of Estonia come together as the Estonian Music Council to announce their joint awards. The number of awards and the size of the prizes awarded is decided each year to suit available resources. The prize for Composer of the Year has been supported by the Estonian Authors’ Society since 2002, the prize for Interpretation of the Year has been sponsored by the construction firm Merko Ehitus since 2005, and since 2006 the Estonian Cultural Endowment’s Music Fund has been behind the award for the most important and outstanding activity in the music world in Estonia.
The jury is made up of the board of the Estonian Music Council – Peep Lassmann, Toomas Siitan, Timo Steiner, Urvi Haasma, Jaak Sooäär, Olav Ehala, Marko Lõhmus, Aarne Saluveer, and Henry-David Varema – and the sponsors choose the award-winners from the short-list put forward by the Council. This is the eleventh time the Council has given its awards, and the fifth year that the Estonian Cultural Endowment’s Music Fund has made its award at the event.
The awards ceremony was held in the NO99 theatre and saw performances by U: and VindPower, Iiris, the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and the chamber choir Voces Musicales conducted by Risto Joost, and the theatrical improvisation group EMTA Häikijad directed by Anne-Liis Poll. Artistic director for the evening was Risto Joost, and the producer was Eva Klemets.
In previous years the award for Composer of the Year has gone to Erkki-Sven Tüür, Helena Tulve, Olav Ehala, Toivo Tulev, Tõnu Kõrvits, Ester Mägi, Veljo Tormis, Eino Tamberg and René Eespere.