Mari Kalkun has been named ERR's Musician of the Year.
Kalkun will be presented with her award at a live concert to be broadcast via ERR's Culture portal next Wednesday, January 13.
A prolific musician with an international reach who has performed in Europe, the U.S. and Japan, Kalkun's 2018 offering "Ilmamõtsan" (""in the wood of the world" in the Võro language – ed.) was chosen in the top 10 world music albums of the year by critics from U.K. broadsheet the Guardian as one of the top ten best world music albums of the year.
Her sixth album "Õunaaia album" ("Apple Orchard Album") was released last year.
Kalkun is the first world musician to be awarded ERR's Musician of the Year, though her roots are very much Estonian, particularly from South Estonia where she both lives and has her own, and ancestral, roots, regularly performing across Võru County.
Her influences also include runosong ("Regilaul" in Estonian, a form of traditional folk song) as well as classical music.
She also highlighted the plight of the national folklore archives (Eesti Rahvaluulearhiiv), via a song, co-written with poet and singer-songwriter Kristiina Ehin, entitled "Hädaabikõne peaministrile" ("Emergency Call to the Prime Minister") which premiered on ERR's Klassikaraadio last year,
Her work has also been performed at the national Song and Dance Festival, and via Klassikaraadio and other ERR channels, she has had exposure on international markets via the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
ERR's Musician of the Year award is granted each year to a musician whose creative achievements have been thought to have promoted Estonia's musical culture, and who has also worked closely with public broadcaster ERR.
Past awardees include Paavo Järvi, Ivo Linna and Erkki-Sven Tüür. Last year's recipient was Kadri Voorand.
The Musician of the Year concert and award presentation starts at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, January 13, and will be carried by Vikerraadio and Raadio 4, as well as Klassikaraadio and ERR's Culture portal (all links in Estonian, except Raadio 4 which is ERR's Russian-languge radio channel).
Editor: Andrew Whyte