Arvo Volmer is one of the most acclaimed conductors inEstoniaalso with widespread international recognition. He is considered one of the foremost Sibelius interpreters in the world and is also highly regarded for his interpretations of Russian composers and contemporary music. He made his conducting debut in 1985 at the Estonian National Opera. From 1987 he was engaged by the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra (ENSO) and held the position of Chief Conductor and Artistic Director in 1993–2001. In 2004–2012, Arvo Volmer was the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Estonian National Opera and since 2004 the Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Australia. Arvo Volmer studied at the Tallinn State Conservatory (the current Estonian Music andTheatreAcademy) with Professor Olev Oja and Professor Roman Matsov (1980–1985) and at the Rimsky-Korsakov Saint Petersburg State Conservatory with Professor Ravil Martynov (1985–1990). He participated in the master classes of Helmuth Rilling in theU.S.
His successful participation in the International Nicolai Malko Competition for Young Conductors in Copenhagen(1989) and subsequent international recognition was quick to follow. Arvo Volmer’s extensive activity as a conductor covers several continents and he has regularly conducted the following renowned orchestras: The BBC Philharmonic (Manchester), City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Orchestre National de France and all the major Australian orchestras including Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Arvo Volmer is a regular guest conductor at the leading Scandinavian theatres as well those inGermany,Switzerland,Holland,Ireland,France,Portugal,New Zealand,Israel,Russia,Poland andLithuania.
Arvo Volmer’s artistic career includes a diverse recording history that includes Estonian and foreign music from the past to the present. The most significant recordings are those of Leevi Madetoja’s complete orchestral works (Alba Records, Oulu Symphony Orchestra), the complete edition of Eduard Tubin’s symphonies (5 CDs; Alba Records, ENSO), the first recording of Tubin’s ballet Goblin in 2005 (Alba Records, ENSO), the first recording of Olli Kortekangas’s opera Messenius and Lucia (Arvo Volmer also conducted the premiere of the opera in Oulu) and Cyrillus Kreek’s Requiem – a unique recording of the original version in Estonian, completed in 1927 (the piece was sung in Latin during Soviet times). Arvo Volmer has led many various musical activities in his home country, including the role of Music Director for the opening program of the 23rd Estonian Song Festival in 1999.
In February 2002, Arvo Volmer received the Estonia State Cultural Award for his broad concert activity and the performances and recording of Eduard Tubin’s symphonies with ENSO. Arvo Volmer has many theatre engagements outsideEstonia, with regular performances at the Bolshoi Theatre inMoscow, the Finnish National Opera, Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, Royal Swedish Opera, Sydney Opera House, etc.
In August 2011 Arvo Volmer was the music director and conductor of Wagner’s last and one of the most demanding operas Parsifal in Noblessner Foundry within the frameworks of European Capital of Culture Tallinn 2011 and Nargenfestival. For this he received the National Culture Award 2011.