Haapsalu Early Music Festival announces anniversary program

Toomas Siitan.
Toomas Siitan. Source: Press release

On the second-to-last weekend of July, one of the longest-running music festivals in the Baltic attracts musicians from Estonia and abroad to Haapsalu.

This summer, the festival celebrates its 30th anniversary with international initiatives that connect musicians from all over the world. German tenor Benjamin Glaubitz will be one of the vocalists at the opening concert, along with Estonian singers Alvar Tiisler and Maria Valdmaa.

Toomas Siitan will conduct the festival's baroque orchestra with Aureliusz Goliski, director of the Polish orchestra "Arte dei Suonatori," as a lead violin.

The festival will also features the Floridante ensemble with nyckelharpa virtuoso Marco Ambrosin, which will perform a baroque program with Estonian influences.

Kristiina Watt, an Estonian-born lute player, has asked Sofia Prodanova, winner of the Leipzig Bach Competition, to join her on the stage.

British countertenor Iestyn Davies and the ensemble Jupiter will perform a program of Handel's oratorio arias, Belgian ensemble Graindelavoix will perform "Josquin the undead" and Finnish harpsichord virtuoso Aapo Häkkinen will perform J. S. Bach's "The Art of Fuga."

This year, for the first time, a youth program for early music will run concurrently with the festival bringing to audiences solo performances and chamber ensembles.

Saale Fischer, the executive director of the festival, said that the primary objective is to put together a festival that brings people together.  "Over the past few years, we have developed a steady audience, who is usually seen wandering in small groups from concert to concert and from café to café during the misty Haapsalu summer days," he said.

"This kind of togetherness in a small town in the middle of nowhere, which nourishes the spirit as well as the soul," Fischer said, "best exemplifies the Haapsalu Early Music Festival."


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Editor: Karmen Rebane, Kristina Kersa

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