Latvian composer Pēteris Vasks and Finnish conductor Juha Kangas will celebrate their birthdays with a concert in Tallinn House of the Blackheads

  • 2021-12-01

At 19.00 on 11 December, the works of the most important composers in the 28-year collaboration of the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and the Finnish conductor Juha Kangas will be performed in the White Hall of the House of Black Heads operated by Tallinn Philharmonic Society. Among other pieces, the concert programme contains music dedicated to Juha Kangas: ‘Insula deserta’ by Erkki-Sven Tüür as well as ‘Musica serena’ and the premiere of a new piece by Pēteris Vasks.

The work to be premiered is ‘The fruit of silence’ for orchestra by Vasks. One of the best-known Latvian composers of contemporary classical music, Pēteris Vasks, wrote it to celebrate his and Juha Kangas’s 75th birthday although the celebration had to be postponed several times due to the pandemic restrictions applied to cultural events. “75+75=150!” says Vasks, is planning to attend the concert in person.

Over decades, conductor Juha Kangas with the famous Keski-Pohjanmaa Kammerorkestri as well as Estonian and Latvian orchestras have contributed to bringing the neighbouring countries closer to one another in cultural life by performing and introducing the works of Baltic composers in the three states and in Scandinavian countries. Kangas has been collaborating with a number of composers; Erkki-Sven Tüür has dedicated his work ‘Insula deserta’ to the conductor, and Pēteris Vasks, a piece titled ‘Musica serena’.

Juha Kangas was the chief conductor of the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra in 1993–1995, but his later cooperation with the orchestra was quite fruitful as well. The tradition to give at least one joint concert a year either at home or abroad still survives. This time, it takes place in Tallinn, and the most important pieces of the long-term collaboration will be performed: dedications by Tüür and Vasks; an orchestra classic, Concerto Grosso Op. 6 No. 1 by Handel; Violin Concerto No. 3 by Nordgren and Symphony No. 39 by Mozart.

The visiting soloist is the well-known Finnish violinist Jari Valo, who was a member and the first violin in the Keski-Pohjanmaa Kammerorkestri from 1972, when it was founded, up to 1994, when he joined the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, where he has been playing first violin since. The record to be released by Juha Kangas and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra before Christmas.


Handel. Concerto Grosso Op. 6 No. 1
Tüür. ‘Insula deserta’
Nordgren. Violin Concerto No. 3
Vasks. ‘The fruit of silence’ (premiere)
Vasks. ‘Musica serena’
Mozart. Symphony No. 39

The duration of the concert is approximately 2 hours with one intermission.

To attend the concert, audience members need to hold a COVID certificate and an ID.

The Ministry of Culture, the Cultural Endowment Fund and the city of Tallinn have provided financial support to the organisation of the concert.