A selection of cultural events taking place in Estonia this week as curated by culture.ee: "Song and Dance Festival Week is upon us, in addition to many other events taking place. Take out your dancing shoes and your umbrellas and enjoy as the sweetest time of year has arrived."
Wednesday, June 28 - Saturday, July 1
Muhu Island / Saaremaa
The "Juu Jääb" festival is a cultural event on the tiny Western Estonian island of Muhu, off the east coast of Saaremaa. The international music festival, which first took place in 1997, is an annual summmer festival in Estonia which has brought together musicians and artists from all over the world, including from the U.S., the U.K., Brazil, Argentina, Japan, Mongolia, France, Finland, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Bulgaria, Faroe Islands, Italy, Nigeria, Denmark, Canada, Colombia, Sweden and Estonia itself.
Various locations, Haapsalu
The inaugural Tchaikovsky Festival will allow listeners to enjoy classical concerts by leading Russian theater Moscow Novaya Opera in the courtyard of Haapsalu Castle, chamber concerts, thematic walks along Tchaikovsky's paths, children's concerts as well as the Estonian National Ballet's grand open air performance of "Swans" on the city's Lake Väike Viik.
Wednesday, June 28 - Sunday, July 9
Established in 1993 in collaboration with Finnish church musicians with the aim of introducing the world's rich musical heritage to audiences, the Rapla Church Music Festival has featured numerous classic works of classical music. Beginning in 1997, the festival outgrew the walls of Rapla's Mary Magdalene Church and has since reached other Estonian towns and counties. Professional music has sounded in the small village churches of Rapla County, Tallinn and Haapsalu, while chamber concerts have als taken place in beautiful manor houses across Estonia.
Thursday, June 29
Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn
In honor of the 12th Youth Song and Dance Festival, Kumu Art Museum will be celebrating Song Festival Week. From Tueday through Thursday, visitiors will have the opportunity to participate in tours of the exhibition "Conductors of Colour: Music and Modernity in Estonian Art." From the first song festival in 1869 through the Singing Revolution and beyond, music has played a fundamental role in Estonian history, culture and identity.
Various locations, Tartu
Every year, June 29 involves a great deal of fun and number of activities as Tartu's City Day continues to turn into an easy-to-navigate mini-festival of opera and other beautiful, occasionally somewhat unusual forms and crossovers of classical music. On June 29, opera and soloists will once again take over the city center. This year, beloved Estonian actors will joint them in order to make opera cross over into concerts and performances that will cause different genres to melt together and force people to think twice before writing off any genre of music simply due to being unaccustomed to it.
Thursday, June 29 - Saturday, July 1
Rummu Quarry, Harju County
Rummu Quarry, located about 45 minutes away from Tallinn, boasts a small beach with a crystalline lake where festivalgoers can take a dip to cool off. The abandoned prison framing the area provides a mysterious and slightly rough backdrop, while the camping area adjacent to the festival site will have plenty of room for camping festivalgoers.
Thursday, June 29 - Sunday, July 2
Various locations, Pärnu
Over the years, the Estonian Street Organ Festival, which first took place in 2005, has introduced Estonia to people from other countries and offered locals the opportunity to enjoy Western culture and the beautiful world of mechanical music.
Friday, June 30 - Saturday, July 1
Orjaku Village House, Hiiu County
For the fourth time, the tiny island of Kassari, located off the coast of the small Western Estonian island of Hiiumaa, will host the concerts of Kassari Guitars, whose program will feature artists such as Marie Vaigla & Raul Vaigla, Tõnu Timm (Tõun), Robert Jürjendal and Mick Pedaja.
Friday, June 30 - Sunday, July 2
Tallinn Song Festival Grounds / Kalev Central Stadium, Tallinn
The participants of the 12th Estonian Youth Song and Dance Festival belong to a generation that was born into a free Estonia. For them, the world is open, but their roots will continue to connect them to their homeland. These are the young people whose values and deeds are only beginning to shape the future path of the Estonian state and people. This year, the song festival will highlight the work of a new generation of composers, and, in addition to seasoned conductors, several young conductors will get their first taste of conducting at a song festival.
NB! As of Monday evening, all three performances of the dance festival have been sold out. Tickets remain available for the song festival on Sunday, however. Click here to purchase tickets online. Tickets can also be purchased at all Piletilevi points of sale nationwide.
Saturday, July 1
Käre Festival Grounds, Põlva County
An unspeakably cool family folk celebration on the shore of the ancient border river of Setomaa – this is Käre folk! The folk party takes place on Käre festival grounds in Mikitamäe parish, Põlva county (8 km from Räpina). During the folk celebration, there is a sauna area free for the use of party guests on the shore of the river! Guests can also take a cooling dip in the river. In addition to good music, good food and drink can be enjoyed at the celebration, as well as different exciting attractions.
This post originally appeared on the Culture critics' blog at culture.ee.
Editor: Aili Vahtla