Erkki-Sven Tüür awarded with University of Tartu national identity award

Erkki-Sven Tüür
Erkki-Sven Tüür Source: Gunnar Laak / Eesti Kontsert

Composer Erkki-Sven Tüür was awarded the University of Tartu Contribution to Estonian National Identity award at the university's 102nd anniversary celebration event on Wednesday.

"I am moved to my heart and thankful for this award. The list of previous national identity award recipients is awe-inspiring and to think that I am part of that list makes me feel a peculiar sense of unnerve," Tüür said in his speech.

Tüür's candidacy was accompanied by a statement, which said that the composer's portfolio captures the spirit of historic literary group Young Estonia, helping Estonians feel their national roots while also sensing themselves as a full participant of world culture.

"His music can move and speak to experts and simple listeners alike, doing so in concert halls in Estonia and across the world."

In addition to receiving 50 volumes of essay collection "Eesti mõttelugu" ("The Story of Estonian Thought") and a glass sculpture by glass artist Tiina Sarapu, Tüür was also gifted a carpet made by textile artist Anu Raud, who herself won the national identity award in 2013.

The University of Tartu recognizes individuals whose creative work has made an outstanding contribution to promoting the national identity of Estonians and Estonia. The university has issued the award for contribution to Estonian national identity 18 times.

Wednesday, December 1, marks 102 years from the opening of the Estonian-language University of Tartu. Although the traditional events of the anniversary of Estonia's national university have been cancelled due to the spread of coronavirus, 102 birthday candles will be lit in front of the university's main building, and the Arch Bridge in Tartu will turn blue in the honor of the university.

During the past year, the university has become richer by four honorary doctors and 106 doctors. Traditionally, doctoral degrees are conferred at the ceremony marking the anniversary of Estonia's national university, but this time, the conferment ceremony will take place in June 2022.

The University of Tartu's main building. Image is illustrative Source: Simo Sepp/


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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