Conductor Peeter Saul Dead at 82 ({{commentsTotal}})

On the eve of the Song Festival, one of the nation's best known conductors, Peeter Saul, died Wednesday.

Saul, 82, began his road to fame through jazz, although had few opportunities to explore the field during Soviet times. He then studied conducting in Tallinn and St. Petersburg, before taking the reins at the State Philharmonics and the Eesti Raadio orchestra.

In his youth he was an avid boxer, even winning the Estonian championship.

The number of his recordings is unknown, but the ERR archives alone have over 1,400 pieces, also conducting thousands of concerts. His wife, actor Heli Lääts, has said Saul even conducted in his sleep.