Estonian conductor Eri Klas dies

World-famous Estonian conductor Eri Klas passed away on 26 February. Klas worked with over 100 symphonic orchestras in 40 countries.

Born on 7 June 1939 in Tallinn, Klas was introduced to music by his mother, who was a well-known pianist. He graduated Tallinna Muusikakool in 1959 and studied under Estonian composer and conductor Gustav Ernesaks at the Tallinn Conservatory.

He continued his studies at the Leningrad Conservatory as a student of Nikolai Rabinovich and at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow under Boris Hajkin.

On from 1965, Klas worked at the Estonia Concert Hall and Opera as a conductor and director. He became chairman of its supervisory board in 2004.

During his career, Klas worked with orchestras from Iceland to Australia and Japan to the United States, including the philharmonic orchestras of Berlin and Munich, the symphony orchestras of the Opéra in Paris and the BBC in London, and famous American orchestras like the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

The memorial service for Eri Klas will take place at the Estonia Concert Hall on March 2 at 12:00. Doors are open from 11:00.

Contact Heidi Kiisa +372 5276203

150 members of the Estonian National Opera are going to perform at MustonenFest in Israel

150 members of the Estonia Theatre will travel to Israel to participate in the MustonenFest festival taking place from 22 February until 1 March. The highlights of the festival will be the performances of Handel’s operas “Julius Caesar” and “Rinaldo” in Tel Aviv Opera House under the conduction of Andres Mustonen. In addition to that, the National Opera Orchestra, Boys’ Choir and soloists Helen Lokuta, Oliver Kuusik, Monika-Evelin Liiv, Rauno Elp, Helen Lepalaan, Juuli Lill, Kadri Kipper, Mart Laur and Mart Madiste will perform at numerous concerts of the festival.

“It is the first time the Estonian National Opera is going to perform in Israel, and I am extremely glad that we have the opportunity to pay a visit and introduce our opera culture in such an interesting country with such a rich history. Hereby, I would like to thank the Estonian ambassador Malle Mustonen for the invitation and for helping to organise the travel, as this trip is indeed more difficult than usual in many ways,” said Aivar Mäe, the General Manager of the Estonian National Opera.

The 27th MustonenFest festival, which is building a cultural bridge between Estonia and Israel, began at the end of January with concerts in Estonia and will continue in an outstanding manner in Tel Aviv in February. The participation of the Estonian National Opera is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Estonia.

In February, the visitors of the Estonian National Opera can help to elongate the life of cancer patients

The 4th of February, is the World Cancer Day. On that day, the collaboration between the cancer treatment foundation The Gift of Life and the National Estonian Opera will begin. The collaboration aims to collect donations for cancer patients at 12 shows.

People who go to see Medea, Aida, Cinderella, Rinaldo, Die Zirkusprinzessin, Cardillac, La Bayadère, and La bohème on the 4th–25th of February are able to make donations to cancer patients in cash, with a bank card, or by calling donation numbers.

“For cancer patients, each day is of inestimable value and some medicinal products can even offer them a substantially long life or complete recovery. The Estonian National Opera makes a contribution in the fight against cancer and encourages everybody to donate in February,” said Aivar Mäe, the General Manager of the Estonian National Opera. “Together, we can help a lot of people fight the severe disease, which is often actually treatable. I would not want anyone to miss the chance to get the treatment due to the lack of money.”

Toivo Tänavsuu, the Director of the cancer treatment foundation The Gift of Life, added: “The cancer treatment foundation The Gift of Life continues to inspire Estonians to fight for the lives of their own. The Estonian National Opera opening its doors to us gives us great joy and we are extremely grateful for it. Each opera visitor can make a feasible donation, so that the cancer patients would have one last straw – hope – and a fulfilling life with their loved ones. Plus, donating has an inward healing effect – thus, we all become a little better.”
The Estonian National Opera gives two theatre tickets for the March shows to 15 people who have donated by bank transfer in February. Only those bank transfers, which have the donator’s contacts on the explanation line, will enter the draw.

The cancer treatment foundation The Gift of Life also celebrates its second birthday on the 5th of February. For the foundation, the year 2016 has begun with a wave of aid applications. Last year, the Gift of Life financially supported the treatment of 50 Estonians with a total of 470,000 euros. In this year’s January only, ten people have already received donations in the sum of more than 100,000 euros from the foundation.

“I encourage all Estonians and enterprises to contribute in the fight against cancer. Together, we can ensure that nobody is left without one last straw. Even 1 or 10 euros donated each month are greatly appreciated. Because, if you leave a bucket under a dripping faucet overnight, it will be nicely full by the morning,” Toivo Tänavsuu explained.

The cancer treatment foundation The Gift of Life collects donations under the auspices Intermission matters as well at the following shows at the Estonian National Opera:

– 4.02 Medea
– 5.02 Aida
– 6.02 Cinderella
– 7.02 Rinaldo
– 10.02 Die Zirkusprinzessin
– 11.02 Cardillac
– 12.02 La Bayadère
– 13.02 Aida
– 17.02 La bohème
– 18.02 Medea
– 19.02 Cardillac
– 25.02 Cardillac

The Hille Tänavsuu cancer treatment foundation The Gift of Life ( was founded by Hille and Toivo Tänavsuu and Janek Mäggi on the 5th of February 2014. The foundation pays, within the limits of collected donations, for the treatment of those patients whose bills the Estonian Health Insurance Fund does not compensate. The foundation is financed by the donations. The Supervisory Board of the foundation that decides who should receive aid awards consists of oncologists Dr. Peeter Padrik, Dr. Hele Everaus, Dr. Kristiina Ojamaa, and Dr. Kadri Putnik, Maris Jesse, the Director of the Estonian National Institute for Health Development, actress and psychologist Rita Rätsepp, and public relations expert Janek Mäggi.

Additional information:
Toivo Tänavsuu, director of the cancer treatment foundation The Gift of Life
Telephone: +372 52 76 004, e-mail:

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