Tallinn Chamber Music Festival (TKF) will take place on Aug. 19-30, featuring performances by foreign and Estonian musicians alike. Culture.ee asked festival organizer, PLMF Music Trust founder and renowned opera singer Pille Lill about the organizational side of the event.
TKF has become a tradition as a premiere classical music event in Estonia, which this year will feature performances by foreign guests including the Nordic youth symphony orchestra Orkester Norden, Finnish-Estonian piano trio Teos, Polish chamber orchestra Baltic Neopolis Virtuosi as well as top Estonian soloists.
Ahead of the festival, Culture.ee asked Lill some questions about the behind the scenes work involved in organizing a music festival.
Culture.ee: Where did the idea to organize Tallinn Chamber Music Festival come from? Did you notice a specific unfilled void in the cultural events already taking place in Estonia?
PL: The birth of the festival was a logical continuation of the founding of the [PLMF] Music Trust, which indeed filled a sort of void as Estonia didn't have an organization which cared for the well-being of professional musicians. As one really important factor in enabling the development of musicians is performance opportunities, establishing the festival was the right thing to do.
C: What have been the greatest trials involved in organizing the event?
PL: Everything had to be started from scratch — budget, marketing, international cooperation, etc. Everything has been a trial and still is.
C: What have been the greatest joys? What is the one thing that keeps you organizing this?
PL: Our musicians and their standard. I am moved to tears every time by their dedication.
C. What kind of feedback have you received from the audience?
PL: Extremely positive. In recent years, we have received the best feedback, which is that the concerts of the festival are accompanied by a label of quality, which is very true, and we enable this with fairly reasonable prices. This year, two concerts offer free admission again — fantastic!
C: Which concerts do you definitely recommend to the audience?
PL: Every concert will have extraordinary energy. I have known all the musicians performing thi year for 15 years or more already, and I know what they are capable of. Also, the foreign guests are of high caliber: the Baltic Neopolis Virtuosi chamber ensemble features concertmasters from the Berlin Deutsche Opera and London Royal Opera House; the Nordic young talents' symphony orchestra is worth hearing; and the piano trio Teos, which consists of top Finnish-Estonian musicians, has earned recognition across Scandinavia.
C: Which concerts are you personally looking forward to the most this year?
PL: I don't want to have to choose, as I am very happy about every performance by our top musicians, who love their specialty and are dedicated to music.
C: Where to next? What's in store for the future of the event, and who else do you plan to invite to Estonia to perform?
PL: I believe that the festival will be back next year, and we already have agreements in place with many foreign performers, which we will surely soon announce to concertgoers. The soon to be established PLMF Academia Nova school will also enable master classes for young musicians, so there is much to expect!
Editor: Aili Vahtla