Author, composer Enn Vetemaa dies at 80

Enn Vetemaa. Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

Estonian author, translator and composer Enn Vetemaa died aged 80 on Tuesday.

Meie seast lahkus 80-aastasena kirjanik, tõlkija ja helilooja Enn Vetemaa (20.06.1936–28.03.2017).

Vetemaa attended the Tallinn Secondary School No. 22 and graduated from Tallinn Polytechnic Institute in 1959 with a degree in chemical engineering. Among other jobs, he worked as craftsman at the Tallinn Paper factory (1959-1960), contributor to Küsimused ja Vastused magazine (1963-1965), senior editor and editor-in-chief for literary and art programs at ETV (1965-1969), poetry consultant for the Estonian Writers' Union (1969-1976), director of the publisher Kupar and as a freelance writer.

His diverse literary works included novels, plays, poetry, stories, film scripts and a number of libretti, including Veljo Tormis' "Luigelend," Alo Mattiisen's "Dispuut," Alo Põldmäe's "Kontrabass-kuningatütar," Heino Jürisalu's "Püha Susanna." Vetemaa had been a member of the Estonian Writers' Union since 1966 and the Estonian Composers Union since 1994.

Vetemaa studied composition in the youth section of the Estonian Composers' Union under the direction of Boris Kõrver and Edgar Arro and later at the Tallinn State Conservatory, from which he graduated a student of Anatoli Garšnek and Heino Eller in 1965.

He began composing in the second half of the 1990s, favoring instrumental concerts, including for bassoon, oboe and trumpet, as well as saxophone quartets.

His music has been performed at the Estonian Music Days festival and the Rapla Church Music Festival, among other events as well as by the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, the Youth Philharmonic, the Tallinn Saxophone Quartet, the Sleeping Tubas Quartet, oboist Aleksander Hännikäinen, trumpeter Indrek Vau and organists Aare-Paul Lattik and Kristel Aer.

Enn Vetemaa was awarded the Order of the White Star, Fourth Class in 2001. He also won the Juhan Smuul Literary Award in 1973, 1975 and 1976.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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