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Pianist Viive Ernesaks dies aged 91

Viive Ernesaks.
Viive Ernesaks. Source: Kairit Leibold/ERR

Viive Ernesaks, pianist, concertmaster and music educator, died at age 91.

She was a beloved pianist, improviser who performed live on the ERR's radio show "Virgutusvõimlemine" that helped people wake up and stay in shape for over a decade.

Vikerraadio revived the live wake-up gymnastics radio shows, which were first broadcast in 1934 by gym teacher Ernst Idla and his pianist wife Leida Idla, in 2008, with legendary Viive Ernesaks improvising on the piano and keeping radio listeners entertained.

Viive has also written music for the television series "Pisuhänd" and the feature film "Keskpäev" and arranged music for over 150 productions.

Viive Ernesaks attended music schools in Tartu and Tallinn. She worked at the Tallinn School of Choreography from 1957 to 1959, the Estonia Theatre from 1959 to 1965, and the National Youth Theatre of the Estonian SSR as a music director from 1965 to 1977, the Drama Theatre as a music director from 1977 to 1990, and the drama school of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. She has worked as a freelancer since 1990.

Viive Ernesaks has authored the autobiography "Viiv: meenutusi eluteest, loomingust ja loojatest" in 2006. In 2001 she was awarded the Order of the White Star, IV class.

The recording of the Vikerraadio's show "virgutusvõimlemine."

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Editor: Kristina Kersa

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