Head of the Department, Professor Tõnu Kaljuste
(choral conducting in the bachelor’s programme, orchestral conducting can be selected in the master’s programme)
Both choral and orchestral conducting are taught in the Conducting Department at EAMT. During the course of studies, students are introduced to both music history and scores of works that are important in the Estonian and global context.
There are more than 1,400 choirs in Estonia; many of them participate in the Estonian Song Festival, the most prominent and uniting event for the entire nation. The choral conducting curriculum of EAMT largely concentrates on educating people with the aim of maintaining the Song Festival tradition and elevating its artistic quality. At the same time, conductors need new choral works to contribute to musical life. Veljo Tormis, Arvo Pärt, Urmas Sisask, Erkki-Sven Tüür, René Eespere, Toivo Tulev and Tõnu Kõrvits, among many other Estonian composers, have introduced numerous new and interesting works to the world music stage in recent decades. Estonian choirs have also been awarded prizes; Ellerhein Girls’ Choir, Estonian National Male Choir and Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir have earned a Grammy awards among other prizes. The Conducting Department at EAMT passes on the experience behind this productive work. The faculty members of the Department include long-standing principal conductor of the Estonian National Male Choir, Professor Ants Soots, long-standing Head of the Conducting Department, Professor Toomas Kapten, outstanding artistic director of Song Festivals Hirvo Surva, and the founder of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Professor Tõnu Kaljuste.
Orchestral conducting is taught by Professor Paul Mägi, long-standing principal conductor of the Estonian National Opera and presently music director and principal conductor of the Vanemuine Theatre, whose international activity has elevated him amidst the most valued professors of orchestral conducting in the Nordic countries.
The EAMT Symphony Orchestra, the EAMT Sinfonietta and the EAMT Choir work in collaboration with the Conducting Department.