The musical scope of Eesti Kontsert encompasses symphonic and chamber music, jazz, choral music, electronic acoustic music and music for children. The State Concert Institute Eesti Kontsert (hereinafter Eesti Kontsert) organizes 1000 concerts and different musical events per year in Estonia and abroad as well. Eesti Kontsert services music institutions, individual performers and other concert agencies. Among the ranks of Eesti Kontsert there are two internationally renowned groups: Estonian National Male Choir and the early music consort Hortus Musicus.
The main mission of Eesti Kontsert is to coordinate musical activity in Estonia, organise concerts, and initiate new music programmes.
Until 2020, when a global virus pandemic broke out, Eesti Kontsert organized approx. 1300 concerts annually, both in Estonia and abroad (incl. 300 school concerts).
During the years 2020–2021 the main activities of Eesti Kontsert were significantly impacted by government-imposed restrictions and international travel limitations. The year 2022 marked the post-pandemic period, characterized by an unstable international political and macroeconomic environment, with the cultural market only starting to recover in the final quarter of the year. In 2022 Eesti Kontsert organized 805 concerts for a total of 17,1007 attendees (incl. 509 school concerts).
Eesti Kontsert holds concerts in schools and outdoors, in chamber halls all over Estonia, offers concert series for rural municipalities, music institutions and local concert arrangers/managers across the state.
Eesti Kontsert manages the largest concert halls in Estonia – Estonia Concert Hall in Tallinn, Vanemuine Concert Hall in Tartu, Pärnu Concert Hall and Jõhvi Concert Hall. All the aforementioned halls have excellent acoustics and capacity to seat approximately one thousand visitors per hall, are furnished with modern interiors and equipped with the latest technical equipment.
As a concert venue, the possible uses of Concert Halls are limited only by the organizer’s vision and imagination. Both the large casts of major symphonic works and pop musicians have felt equally at home on stage. The removable chair system of the Halls enables to transform the academic concert atmosphere to a opera house, conference facility, a concert hall or a ballroom. It is also convenient to hold banquets, fashion shows, concert-receptions, gala events, song contests, anniversaries, graduation festivities, exhibitions and charity events in the same Halls.
State Philharmonic Society of ESSR was founded on 4 February 1941. During the succeeding war years, the continuity of State Philharmonic Society was interrupted. Nevertheless, concert activities were going on until the threat of occupation forced most of performing musicians to leave their homes.
In November 1944, State Philharmonic Society of ESSR was restored with Paul Varandi, an actor and stage director as Director and Gustav Ernesaks as Artistic Director of the institution. The premises of the Philharmony were located in the Drama Theatre, Tallinn Art Hall, Kopli Cultural Centre, Nõmme Cinema and other locations in Tallinn.
In addition, Ernesaks’s male choir the Philharmonic Society incorporated the choir of Tallinn Female Society (stopped its activities in 1950) and Vladimir Sapozhnin’s jazz orchestra (in collaboration with conductors Erich Kõlar, Boris Kõrver, Leo Tauts, Richard Mölder, Peeter Saul, Feliks Mandre), brass band (conductors Voldemar Jakobson, Leopold Vigla, Aleksei Stepanov; reorganised into a pop orchestra in 1957). Auditions were also held for 60 performers with various profiles, ranging from magicians to bear tamers.
In the 1950s, the Philharmonic Society consisted of male choir, pop orchestra and folk dance ensemble, the soloists Ellen Laidre, Vera Poteshina, Nadezhda Anniko, Ines Rannap, Vladimir Sapozhnin, Roland Pikhof.
In 1972, the Philharmonic Society incorporated early music ensemble Hortus Musicus, founded by Andres Mustonen.
On 30 September 1989, the State Philharmony was renamed Eesti Kontsert (since 1997 a state concert institution). Oleg Sapozhnin continued as the Director, followed by Enno Mattisen in 1993 and Aivar Mäe in 1999.
Kertu Orro / juhatuse liige Member of the Board
Maarit Kangron / Artistic Director
Confirmed by the Supervisory Board of the Estonian Concert (SA Eesti Kontsert) on November 23, 2023, in Protocol No. 7.
Supervisory Board of Eesti Kontsert
Toomas Siitan (Chairman)
Ivo Lille (Vice-Chairman)