Born in Tallinn in 1953, Tõnu Kaljuste was artistic director of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir from its foundation in 1981 until 2001. He founded the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra in 1993. Kaljuste received a Grammy nomination for the ECM production of Arvo Pärt’s “Te Deum” with both ensembles and won several prizes for his recordings (Diapason d'Or de l'Annee 2000, Cannes Classical Award, Edison Prize).
Kaljuste has dedicated a major part of his work to the music of Estonian composers (Heino Eller, Veljo Tormis, and Erkki-Sven Tüür), whose compositions he has recorded for ECM.
Another important release on ECM features Alfred Schnittke’s “Psalms of Repentance”. Pioneering Arvo Pärt’s works since the early 90s Kaljuste has recorded five albums of his fellow countryman’s music for ECM New Series.
He has worked in collaboration with composers such as Alfred Schnittke, György Kurtag, Krzysztof Penderecki, Erik Bergman, Giya Kancheli, Knut Nystedt, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Brett Dean, and many others.
The season 2008/09 includes appearances with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Osaka Century Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg, Ensemble Resonanz/RIAS Kammerchor, Münchner Rundfunkorchester / Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, etc.
The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir covers a repertoire from Gergorian chant to contemporary composition. It has collaborated with conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Eric Ericson, Ivan Fisher and Helmuth Rilling and has been under the artistic direction of Paul Hillier since 2001. The choir’s numerous recordings on ECM have won major awards.
The Tallinn Chamber Orchestra’s repertoire focusses on 20th music, especially on Bartók, Britten, Tüür and Pärt. Formed by Kaljuste since its foundation in 1993 the orchestra voted Juha Kangas as principal guest conductor and artistc advisor in 2001. Extensive touring activity on both sides of the Atlantic.
The Estonian National Symphony Orchestra is the country’s leading orchetra, based in the capital Tallinn. During the Soviet regime it became the first orchestra in the Sovie Union to perform works by composers such as Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Webern who were suppressed by Stalin’s regime.