Olari Elts appointed as Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra from 20/21

Today, the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra (ENSO) announces in a press conference that Olari Elts will become ENSO’s Music Director and Chief Conductor from the 2020/2021 season, for an initial period of three seasons. His first concert with ENSO took place in 1998 and he has been the Principal Guest Conductor of ENSO since 2007.

Speaking about the appointment, Olari Elts said, ‘The Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, being my “home orchestra”, always holds a special place in my heart. As its Principal Guest Conductor in the last twelve years, I have been inspired by the passionate music making of our orchestra and I am thrilled and honoured to be taking our collaboration to another level! In these turbulent times, classical music is our universal lighthouse and we need it more than ever. I look forward to the new adventure with this wonderful orchestra with all the exciting projects ahead.’

Olari Elts is a conductor with a wide international reach, whose passion for putting together and conducting unique and exciting concert programmes has earned him worldwide recognition. He frequently performs with renowned orchestras around the world such as Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony and Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra. In addition to the core classical and romantic repertoire, Elts is also a champion of contemporary repertoire, especially those written by his Estonian compatriots including Erkki-Sven Tüür, Eduard Tubin, Tõnu Kõrvits, and Helena Tulve.

Olari Elts performed his first concert with ENSO more than 20 years ago. Cooperation with ENSO became closer in 2007, when Elts became ENSO’s Principal Guest Conductor. Olari Elts has brought with him a wide range of repertoire and conducted numerous performances of large-scale works with ENSO such as the concert performance of Mozart’s opera Idomeneo, Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust, Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphonie, etc., and, of course, Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which was performed in collaboration with Theatre NO99 and Eesti Kontsert. He has also brought to audiences several exciting cross-genre concerts, combining classical music with electronics and various visual effects and animations. In addition to numerous concerts in Estonia, Olari Elts has performed several concerts abroad with ENSO: at the Il Settembre dell’Accademia festival in Verona, Italy, at a concert dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia at Stockholm’s Berwaldhallen; at the Turin Cathedral, Italy; as part of the Cultural Programme of the XX Winter Olympics, during which Arvo Pärt’s La Sindone was premiered; and twice at the Finlandia Hall in Helsinki.

The current Principal Conductor Neeme Järvi will continue to work with ENSO as Honorary Conductor For Life from next season onwards. ‘I trust that creativity, positivity, openness, and excellent instrumental skills will continue to be the characters of ENSO. It is an exciting time and I hope that we will continue to share powerful musical experiences in Estonia and around the world. I send the ENSO and Olari Elts my best wishes,’ said Neeme Järvi.

4 December 2019
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