Aivo Välja graduated from the Estonian Academy of Music as a choral conductor in 1994 (the class of O. Oja) and in 1998 as a conductor of symphony orchestra (the class of R. Matsov and P. Mägi). He also studied orchestra and opera conducting in Hamburg, Vienna, Helsinki and the State Conservatory in St. Petersburg. Aivo Välja has been conducting in the Estonian National Opera since 1994 and in 2001–2007 he was a resident conductor leading more than 70 opera and ballet performances per season, including Mussorgsky’s “Boris Godunov”, Verdi’s “Aida”, “Otello”, “Don Carlo” and “La traviata”, Mozart’s “Don Giovanni”, Bizet’s “Carmen”, Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake”, “The Sleeping Beauty” and “The Nutcracker”, Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet”, “Petrushka” among others. He has also conducted world premieres of several Estonian composers. He has also worked with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Estonian Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, the City Orchestras of Pärnu and Narva, Vanemuine Theatre Symphony Orchestra, Maribor Opera Orchestra, Malmö Opera Orchestra, Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra among others. Aivo Välja was the chief conductor of the Schleswig-Holstein Landestheatre in 2009/10 season, premiering Offenbach’s opera “Orpheus in the Underworld”. In Bavarian State Ballet he conducted “Swan Lake” by Neumeier, winning the TZ-Rose for outstanding achievement in culture in 2014 (Munich Tageszeitung – critics’ award). In 2017 he conducted Adam’s ballet “Giselle” there. In 1993 Aivo Välja won the orchestra conducting competition in Estonia, in 1996 he was awarded a diploma for a successful performance at the Prokofiev Competition in St. Petersburg and in 2003 the Richard Wagner scholarship for the Bayreuth Festival.