A beloved country for classical music fans

Estonia’s cultural heritage is rich in folk song and dance, colorful handicrafts, wooden saunas and rustic food. However, music has always played a highly important role in the cultural identity of Estonians. Estonia stands out from its neighboring countries with its unconventional classical music and passion for choral singing. Thanks to its compact size, even a long weekend trip to Estonia gives the traveler many opportunities to attend festivals and concerts in different parts of the country and still have time to enjoy everything in between. 

Legendary Estonian composer 

One Estonian is a household name for classical music fans worldwide — Arvo Pärt. He held the title of the world’s most-performed living composer from 2012 to 2019 and again in 2022. After decades abroad, Pärt returned home to Estonia and set up a center to house his archives and serve as a library, museum, and event space. The building stands out for its curved design and peaceful setting in the forests of Laulasmaa. 

Outstanding classical music festivals 

Thanks to Estonia’s love of music, the classical music scene here is alive and well, with festivals and performance series taking place all year round and all over the country. Events are held in concert and opera halls, open-air courtyards, and even in the wilds of nature.  

Estonia’s most popular classical music events: 

Forgotten Peoples — Estonian composer Veljo Tormis’s choral composition is a musical portrait of Finno-Ugric tribes along the Baltic Sea, performed by Chœur de l’Orchestre de Paris and conducted by Estonian conductor Ingrid Mänd. It is part of the European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 main program.  

Haapsalu White Nights Festival — this four-day festival brings together ballet, classical music and theatre in the romantic atmosphere of the resort town. 

Pärnu Music Festival — focuses on orchestral music. The musicians of the orchestra are high-level professionals from all over the world. 

Saaremaa Opera Days — one of the most popular opera festivals in the Baltics takes place every summer in the historical courtyard of Kuressaare Castle.  

Birgitta Festival — operas and ballets, oratorios and galas, acknowledged coryphaeus and crazy experiments, guest performances and self-productions, classical and modern. 

Leigo Lake Music Festival concerts on a variety of stages showcase music from classical to rock, with the summer’s evening culminating in a Leigo-style display of fireworks. This year Leigo will also host an innovative art/dance project “MindScape” with focus on mental health issues. 

Things to consider before traveling

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Some tips to consider while traveling

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