Finnish foreign students most common at EMTA this year, China second

Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (EMTA).
Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (EMTA). Source: Mait Jüriado

Foreign students make up some 20 percent of all students at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (EMTA) for this school year. While Chinese students were most common for years, Finland has overtaken them this year.

Yestyn Griffith, an American, ended up at EMTA to study for master's in the violin by chance. She found the Estonian school while browsing for music schools online and took the leap. "It seemed like you would have a lot of time to practice and study with accomplished people. My teacher was the concertmaster for ERSO (Estonian National Symphony Orchestra) so a high-ranking violinist," Griffith said.

After receiving a master's in the violin, Griffith decided to get another master's degree at EMTA. "The musical culture here is much more focused on classical performance and you are given a lot of opportunities to play chamber concerts and orchestras and solo concerts. I wanted to experience a more intensive and focused musical culture," the violinist said.

After graduating with a bachelor's in cello this spring and then entering master's studies this fall, Finnish student Juho Ahmase believes more Finnish musicians would be interested in the music academy in Tallinn if there was more information available.

"They knew there was a music academy in Estonia at the Lahti Conservatory, but not too well," he said, adding that more Finns come to study at EMTA each year. "Word is spreading, I think."

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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