The Performance

In collaboration with Estonian Music Week, the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra shares Estonia’s contemporary choral works with the award-winning choir Collegium Musicale. With their vibrant and dynamic performances, Collegium Musicale is emerging as the leading authority voicing the works of Estonia’s contemporary classical composers.

This concert highlights two generations of Estonian composers pushing the boundaries of choral repertoire. The first generation, Arvo Pärt (1935 – ), was the most performed living composer in the world from 2011 to 2018. Like a funnel, the 2002-composed Salve Regina work swirls inward becoming ever-more “concentrated and grave until it reaches the deepest point.” (Pärt, 2012) Rising star Estonian-Canadian pianist Erik Kreem joins for a performance of Erkki-Sven Tüür’s (1959 -) Reekviem (1994). Tüür whose roots are in progressive rock is considered among the most original and influential of his generation. The Reekviem choral mass “raises a Gregorian chant out of mediaeval ooze and sets it loose in postmodern orbit with frightening beauty.” Tüür’s 2022 acapella composition For Ukraine is written as an homage to the people of the war-torn country.  

The concert is accompanied by the Odesa Photo Days festival’s exhibit Ukrainian Frontline Photography, bringing about troubling parallels between the Baltic history under Soviet occupation and the devastating potential of current Russian ambition. Hamilton’s historic Cotton Factory promises to provide a striking backdrop for these emotionally heavy works and the photo exhibition. 

Support for this performance is provided by:

Project: Estonian Music Week, Estonian Museum Canada / VEMU
Major Funding: Estonian Foundation of Canada
Support: Estonian Integration Foundation, Estonian Embassy in Ottawa, Estonian Ministry of Culture
Presenting Partner: The Cotton Factory


Concert Program

Arvo Pärt: Salve Regina
Erkki-Sven Tüür: Reekviem
Erkki-Sven Tüür: For Ukraine