One of the most important accomplishments of Estonian Composers’ Union, Estonian Music Days, the name card for Estonian contemporary music, has been held now for decades and kept complete sovereignty. This festival has been and still is one of the main arenas and seedbeds for the new streams of Estonian music, where composers can experiment and take risks without fear of failure and the audience is encouraged to grasp both the mindblowing and unexpected and the more traditional ones that establish cultural continuity. This relation – and perhaps tension in a positive sense – between traditions and innovation is definitely a crucial axis and characteristic of the festival.
In 2019, Estonian Music Days will celebrate its 40th anniversary. On this occasion, we will alongside celebrate the ISCM World Music Days. Since its founding in 1922, the International Society for Contemporary Music has been the world’s premier network for new music. Each year, its festival is hosted in a different city around the globe. Vancouver hosted the ISCM World New Music Days in 2017 whereas in 2018, the festival took place in Beijing, and Tallinn will be succeeded by Auckland, New Zealand in 2020. According to the concept of the festival, there will be at least one piece on the programme from every member country of the society and in addition an abundance of Estonian music – both new commissions and highlights of the heritage. For Estonian music collectives, this festival provides an opportunity to perform for extremely erudite international audience at their home base and to get acquainted with the new music of less familiar areas. We also expect visiting collectives from neighbouring countries – Finland, Sweden and Latvia.
Estonian Music Days will thereby obtain an unprecedented international scale and both Estonian music and its listeners get a chance to relate to all kinds of musical ways of thinking and aesthetics of sound.
I look forward to meeting you in Estonia at our grand celebration in 2019!
Chairman of Estonian Composers’ Union
Artistic Co-Director of Estonian Music Days & ISCM World Music Days 2019