Dancing on town squares on New Year’s Eve, a wide range of concerts in Haapsalu and Tallinn, Seto’s Christmas and guided tours around the Estonian National Opera are Culture.ee’s recommendations for the very first week of 2019.

Hando Nahkur (piano)
String Quartet PREZIOSO
Hanna-Liis Nahkur (violin)
Mari-Katrina Suss (violin)
Helena Altmanis (viola)
Andreas Lend (cello)
Introduction by Peeter Volkonski

Sven Helbig. The chamber version of “Pocket Symphonies” (dedicated to the string quartet Prezioso)
Max Richter. “The Blue Notebooks”

Joint dance “Dancing Estonia”

31 Dec
All over Estonia

On 31 December, the end of the anniversary year, the last joint dance is performed on Estonian town squares. This concurrent event of Dancing Estonia is held in 16 cities with presumably thousands of participants. 

“Joint dancing has already involved over seven hundred dancing enthusiasts, who are inviting everybody to join them on Estonian town squares on New Year’s Eve,” said Raido Bergstein from the Estonian Dance Agency, the initiator of Dancing Estonia. “Steps are easy and suitable for everybody, so do not be afraid to participate. We have also included dance instructors from various counties to support the whole initiative and encourage everyone to participate in the joint dance. On the last day of the year at 2 p.m., everyone gets to learn the dance and perform it one hour later along with the whole Estonia,” Bergstein said.

The joint dance incorporates four different dance styles: ballet, show dance, modern, and folk, choreographed by Teet Kask, Argo Liik, Külli Roosna, Kenneth Flak and Liisa Laine. 

8th Tallinn Bach Music Festival bachFest

1 – 7 Jan
St. Nicholas’ Church

The festival has become a tradition and an original, warm and beautiful New Year’s greeting of Tallinn to all the inhabitants and visitors of our capital.

The concerts programs present organ, instrumental, orchestral, choral, vocal and Christmas cantatas works by Johann Sebastian Bach. The festival concerts will take place in the large concert hall of the Niguliste Museum (Church of St. Nicholas) and the St. Anthony Chapel of this museum, where the most famous work of art in Tallinn has been preserved and is currently displayed – the fragment of the original wide painting of Bernt Notke’s Danse Macabre (Dance of Death). The best works of J.S. Bach, as well as the works of other greatest composers, will be performed by musicians from Estonia, France, Italy, Germany and Poland.

New Year’s Eve Party with Marilin Kongo and Raivo Tafenau Band.

Heikko Remmel – bass
Joel Remmel – keyboards
Ramuel Tafenau – drums
Jaak Sooäär – guitar
Marianne Leibur – backgound vocals
Marilin Kongo – vocal
Raivo Tafenau – saxophone

In November 2017, the record company Universal published a debut album of one (yet) unknown Estonian band. Only a few months later, the same collective claimed the biggest recognition at the most important Estonian Music Awards gala in Saku Suurhall. Their creativity was awarded with the Best Album of the Year Award.

Of course, we are talking about the band Miljardid and their amazing first album ‘Kunagi läänes’ (‘Once Upon a Time in the West’).

Marten Kuningas, Raul Ojamaa, Peedu Kass and Kristjan Kallas are names needing no long introductions to music lovers. Marten’s second solo album ‘Praktiline mees’ (‘A Practical Man’) formed the band Miljardid from the four musicians who, within a short period, have gathered many followers.

This year, the 100 year anniversary of the birth of Leonard Bernstein, a beloved conductor and composer, was celebrated around the world with performances, concerts and film retrospectives. The traditional New Year concert will be playing the best pieces from his super-famous musical, film, and orchestra music. It is an energy bomb that will be detonated by the creative spark of Olari Elts.

In collaboration with Estonian National Symphony Orchestra.

Orthodox Singers Christmas Concert

4 Jan
Tallinn St. Mary’s Cathedral

The programme is full of beautiful Christmas songs. The group will perform Old Russian, Serbian and Greek music, and a Syrian Christmas song will be performed in Aramaic – the language of the era of Christ. In addition to Valeri Petrov’s ecclesiastical compositions, we can also enjoy Christmas songs by Valeri Kalistratov, Mihhail Lagunov, John Tavene and Galina Grigorjeva.

Vocal ensemble Orthodox Singers is known as the Orthodox church music introducer and promoter both in Estonia and abroad. Its manner of performance is characterized by profound attention to every word in the sacred text, flawless vocal production, a carefully thought-out dynamic plan, and an extraordinary sense of style.

The ensemble has been active in Estonian Culture almost 30 years.

Guided Tour around the Estonian National Opera

4 Jan
5 Jan
Estonian National Opera

Would you like to see more of Tallinn Opera House or learn about life of the Estonian National Opera and Ballet?

Join us for a 1-hour guided tour and gain an insight into some of the many facilities the Opera House has to offer and what goes on behind the scenes before the curtain rises.

Please note that the guided tour covers large distances and several stairs.

Pre-performance guided tours take place on Fridays at 17.30 (in Estonian) and on Saturdays at 17.30 (in English). The tours are planned only on the days when there are performances in the main venue.

Seto’s Christmas and winter svyatki

5 Jan
The Estonian Open Air Museum

Most Slavic and Orthodox Setos celebrate Christmas according to the Old Calendar on 6 and 7 January. The whole period of winter holidays – svyatki – lasts until the 19 January.

Come and celebrate the Seto and Russian Christmas at the Estonian Open Air Museum!

Denis Golubev – oboe (Moscow)
Mari-Liis Uibo – violin
Ene Nael – harpsichord
Aare Tammesalu – cello

Director of the Kadriorg Art Museum Aleksandra Murre leads the concert.

1 Domenico Gallo (1730 – 1768)
Trio sonata No. 1 in G major
2 Salamone Rossi (1570 – 1630)
Sonata In Dialogo Detta La Viena
3 Antonio Caldara (1670-1736)
Cello sonata E flat major Op. 1
4 Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759)
Trio sonata g minor Op. 2 No. 5
5 Giovanni Battista Cirri (1724 – 1808)
Duo for violin and cello in G major Op. 12 No. 4
6 Antonio Vivaldi (1678 – 1741)
Sonata in D minor Op. 1/12 “La Follia” RV 63

The artistic director of the Palace Music Concert Series is Aare Tammesalu.