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April 7—2:30 pm4:00 pm

Discover the music of Veljo Tormis (1930–2017), one of the most important Estonian composers of the late 20th century, through a performance, screening and book discussion on April 7!

Veljo Tormis’s compositions were profoundly based on the ancient traditional songs of the Estonian people — runic songs or regilaul. One of the goals of his professional life (in which he succeeded) was to restore that music to a central place in Estonian culture, which proved to be of great importance to a culture that had been subjugated by the Soviet Union for over 50 years. Since then, other Estonian composers have been influenced by his combination of ancient and contemporary styles.

In today’s program, experience the Estonian folk-style music that has evolved from regilaul through a performance by Celia Roose (vocals, bagpaipes and garmon) and Ants Johanson (guitar); see the documentary short The One & Only, exploring how Veljo Tormis influenced his companions such as former Estonian president Kersti Kaljulaid, composer Arvo Pärt, and others; and explore the digital photo exhibition Isa Ise / Father Himself by Tõnu Tormis (Veljo Tormis’s son), which provides an exceptionally vivid vision through Veljo’s character from 1964-2000. Concluding the event will be a conversation with Mimi Daitz, author of the book Ancient Song Recovered: The Life and Music of Veljo Tormis (now in its 2nd edition), as well as a book-signing.

The event is part of Estonian Cultural Days in New YorK and is organized in partnership with Veljo Tormis Virtual Center, Estonian Ministry of Culture, Consulate General of Estonia and Foundation for Estonian Arts and Letters.



April 7
2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
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Scandinavia House
58 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10016 United States
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