The Maestro series will start in October, under the direction of conductor Gilbert Varga, whose previous performance with ERSO achieved great success in February 2022. Varga’s strengths include his elegant conducting technique and a deep sense of dynamics and texture, which allow him to bring out the subtlest of nuances in the orchestra. The soloist of the concert will be Antoine Tamestit from France, who will be performing Béla Bartók’s Viola Concerto. Tamestit is one of the most admired violists in the world today, having performed with a formidable list of orchestras, conductors, and chamber musicians. Tamestit plays on a viola by Antonio Stradivari, made in 1672, which is reportedly the first of its kind and one of only ten surviving Stradivarius violas. Tamestit plays with flawless technique and rich tone on an instrument that has been considered the best in the world.

This November, Scottish composer and conductor James MacMillan will come to Estonia. Last year, he ranked 10th on the list of most performed living composers on Bachtrack. The concert programme was put together with the season of All Souls in mind. In addition to his own fifth symphony, MacMillan has selected works by Arvo Pärt and Benjamin Britten for the ERSO concert programme. Similarly to Pärt, religion plays an important part in MacMillan’s work, although he has been influenced, for example, by Scottish folk music. In his fifth symphony, subtitled Le grand Inconnu, he attempts to explore the mystery of the Holy Spirit through music. In the choral part of the work, Macmillan has used sacral texts in English, Latin, Ancient Greek, and Hebrew, which will be presented at this concert by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and Vox Clamantis.

Neeme Järvi, Honorary Artistic Director for Life of ERSO, who is always awaited with great joy by the orchestra and the public, will be joining the orchestra in May. This time, the programme will feature works of German music by Wilhelm Furtwängler and Paul Hindemith.  Furtwängler, who is considered one of the best conductors of the twentieth century, is considerably less well known as a composer. He has written three symphonies, of which his Symphony in E minor, which will be performed by ERSO, is an extensive four-movement work in the late Romantic style. In 1930, Furtwängler expressed support for Hindemith, performing the works of the latter even after they had been banned in Germany by the Nazis. Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphoses ties a third German composer, Carl Maria von Weber, upon whose themes the work is based, with the programme. The composition was originally conceived as a ballet, although it was completed in the United States in 1943 as a four-part orchestral work.

The ‘Maestro’ series will conclude in May, under the baton of Olari Elts. The 2023/24 season of ERSO will be feature works by one of the greatest symphonists of all time, Gustav Mahler. The programme includes Symphony No. 5, which Mahler finished over a period of nearly ten years. The soloist for Erkki-Sven Tüür’s Cello Concerto No. 2, which is currently in progress, is Nicolas Altstaedt. The work was co-commissioned by ERSO, the Bamberg Symphony, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and one of its premieres will take place in Tallinn. Altstaedt is a versatile and popular artist who performs as a soloist, conductor, and chamber musician, with repertoire ranging from early music to contemporary compositions. He has premiered Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Cello Concerto and, in addition to Tüür’s new concerto, he is scheduled to premiere new concertos by Liza Lim and Márton Illés in upcoming seasons.

Series sponsored by EPIIM


  • 20.10.23 at 18:00 - Estonia kontserdisaal (eelkontsert)
  • 20.10.23 at 19:00 - Estonia Concert Hall
Joseph Haydn, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Béla Bartók, Arnold Schönberg
MACMILLAN AND PÄRT. All Souls Day concert
  • 03.11.23 at 18:00 - Estonia kontserdisaal (eelkontsert)
  • 03.11.23 at 19:00 - Estonia Concert Hall
Arvo Pärt, Benjamin Britten, James MacMillan
ANDREA LAUREN BROWN soprano, KIM PORTER alto, DANILA FRANTOU tenor, ALVAR TIISLER bass, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Vox Clamantis, ERSO, conductor JAMES MACMILLAN
  • 10.05.24 at 18:00 - Estonia kontserdisaal (eelkontsert)
  • 10.05.24 at 19:00 - Estonia Concert Hall
Paul Hindemith, Wilhelm Furtwängler
  • 17.05.24 at 18:00 - Estonia kontserdisaal (eelkontsert)
  • 17.05.24 at 19:00 - Estonia Concert Hall
Erkki-Sven Tüür, Gustav Mahler