Estonian Festival Orchestra

It all began in 2010, where our world renowned conductor Paavo Järvi decided to create a new kind of orchestra – one which would bring together hand-picked top international classical musicians with emerging talent from Estonia.

Since our start we’ve been busy. We are the resident orchestra at Pärnu Music Festival, where we welcome thousands of visitors each year, providing a cultural experience that is unique to the area. We are also partnered with Järvi Music Academy, offering young musicians the opportunity to perform and make friends with the very best of the industry. During the rest of the year we tour the world’s capital cities – most recently with back-to-back performances across Europe and Asia, joined by critically acclaimed soloists.

The long dreamed of ambition by Järvi to create a hand picked orchestra, bringing together the best of Estonian talent and leading musicians from around the world, has resulted in performances reviewed in Arts Desk as “begging comparison with the elasticity of Abbado’s concerts with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, which is as good as it can get”. The BBC Music Magazine added “There isn’t a hint of a hothouse environment on stage – these are simply musicians having the time of their lives, no small thanks to the inspiring Paavo Järvi himself.” Last but not least, Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung commented “This is highly concentrated music making where all the details are worked out: the ping pong of accents between violins and horns, antiphons between the woodwind groups, targeted focus curves in the second violins. Nothing is sweeping, nothing sleepy and nothing washed away.”

These reviews encapsulate Paavo Järvi’s goals in bringing colleagues and friends together to create a new orchestra which could grow out of the festival spirit. “An important component in creating the orchestra was to “match-make” the players in a professional way but within the festival atmosphere” says Järvi. “If you are a young player in Estonia, it doesn’t matter how good you are, it’s not always easy to make contact with a top player in the west. Now we can give these young musicians the advantage to both play with top colleagues from around Europe and get to know them as new friends. This spirit is what drives the orchestra and makes me particularly proud as its father figure.”

Talent, energy and innovation is our shared philosophy. Our music connects internationally-renowned performers with emerging talent from Estonia. High-level music making is at the heart of what we do.

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