Works Discography

Erkki-Sven Tüür (1959-)

Erkki-Sven Tüür, who was born in 1959 in Kärdla on the Estonian island of Hiiumaa, is one of the most remarkable composers of his generation. Largely self-taught, he studied percussion and flute at the Tallinn Music School from 1976 to 1980; later, from 1980 to 1984 he studied composition with Jaan Rääts at the Estonian Academy of Music and took private lessons from Lepo Sumera. In 1979 Tüür founded a chamber rock group "In Spe" that soon became one of the most popular in Estonia. He functioned as composer, flutist, keyboard player and singer in this ensemble until 1983. From 1989 to 1992 he taught composition at the Estonian Academy of Music.

His first great success outside of Estonia was in Finland (with Insula deserta, 1989). This led to a continuously growing chain of commissions from major orchestras and outstanding musicians from all over Europe, North America and Australia. He has worked closely with the hr-Sinfonieorchester (Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra), Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Münchner Kammerorchester, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir. Tüür's favourite compositional medium to compose for is the symphony orchestra; his works have been performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Münchner Philharmoniker, NDR Sinfonieorchester, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Symphony Orchestra etc. There is a special relationship between him and conductors Paavo Järvi, Neeme Järvi, Tõnu Kaljuste, Olari Elts, Anu Tali, Markus Poschner and Alexander Liebreich.

His music has been performed in renowned concert halls such as the Wiener Musikverein, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Gewandhaus zu Leipzig, Berliner Philharmonie, the Salle Pleyel in Paris, the Royal Albert Hall in London, Carnegie Hall in New York, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Sydney Opera Concert Hall etc. In September 2003 Tüür was composer-in-residence at the Klangspuren Festival (Austria); in 2007 he was composer-in-residence at the Auftakt Festival of the Alte Oper, Frankfurt and 2008 he was composer-in-residence at the Davos Festival.

Renowned soloists and musicians to have worked with Tüür include Dame Evelyn Glennie, Pedro Carneiro, Colin Currie (percussion); Isabelle van Keulen, Gidon Kremer, Leila Josefowicz, Pekka Kuusisto, Christian Tetzlaff, Carolin Widmann, Richard Tognetti, Florian Donderer (violin), Lars Anders Tomter, Lawrence Power (viola), David Geringas, Tanja Tetzlaff, Nicolas Altstaedt, Ivan Monighetti, Jan Vogler (cello), Michael Collins, Jörg Widmann (clarinet), Lars Vogt, and Thomas Larcher (piano).


Wallenberg, Tüür’s only opera, was first performed in Dortmund in 2001 and was taken up by the Estonian National Opera in 2007, and then by the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe in 2013. Recent works include his Clarinet Concerto ‘Peregrinus Ecstaticus’, commissioned by YLE, the Finnish Broadcasting Company, which received its premiere in Helsinki in September 2013 with clarinettist Christoffer Sundqvist and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Hannu Lintu. Sow the Wind… premiered with the Orchestre de Paris and Paavo Järvi in 2015, with the storming piece reflecting how irreversible processes such as climate change have consequences for future generations, with sonic gusts growing into veritable whirlwinds. He has recently received commissions from the National Orchestra of Belgium, Orchestre de Paris, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Erkki-Sven Tüür is one of the artistic directors of the International Festival NYYD in Tallinn and an honorary doctor of the Estonian Academy of Music. He has received the annual Estonian Music Prize (1987, 1988), Estonian Culture Prize (1997), Baltic Assembly Culture Prize (1998), Great Bear Prize (1996, 1997), Annual Prize of the Estonian Music Council (2003) and the Annual Prize of the Endowment for Music of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia twice: in 2003 for the CD „Exodus"; in 2005 for the artistic direction of the international contemporary music festival NYYD. In 2014, Tüür was awarded the Culture Prize of the Republic of Estonia for his Clarinet Concerto Peregrinus ecstaticus and the orchestral work De Profundis. Peregrinus Ecstaticus was also awarded prize ‘The Young Musicians Favourite Choice’ of the Foundation of Prince Pierre of Monaco in 2015. In the same year, Tüür was given the Christoph und Stephan Kaske Stiftung's prize in Munich.

Today Erkki-Sven Tüür is a freelance composer based in Tallinn and on the island of Hiiumaa.

More information:
Official Website
Edition Peters
Interview at ZEIT ONLINE (in German)

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Awakening (Ärkamine) (2011)
Illuminatio for viola and orchestra (2008)
Insula deserta (1989)
Le poids des vies non vécues
Noesis, Concerto for Violin, Clarinet and Orchestra
Peregrinus Ecstaticus, Clarinet Concerto
Prophecy for Accordion and Symphony Orchestra
Searching for Roots (Hommage ? Sibelius)
Symphony No. 5 for Big Band, Electric Guitar and Symphony Orchestra
Symphony No. 8 (2010)
The Wanderer’s Evening Song (Rändaja õhtulaul) (2001)
Whistles and Whispers from Uluru for recorders and string orchestra (2007)
full discography

Discography (extract)

Baltic Sounds

(Digital album)


ODE 1395-2

Released 01/2021

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Erkki-Sven Tüür

Illuminatio for viola and orchestra 

Whistles and Whispers from Uluru for recorders and string orchestra

Symphony No. 8

Lawrence Power, viola

Genevieve Lacey, recorders

Tapiola Sinfonietta

Olari Elts

ODE 1303-2

Released 02/2018

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Erkki-Sven Tüür

Peregrinus Ecstaticus, Clarinet Concerto

Le poids des vies non vécues

Noesis, Concerto for Violin and Orchestra


Christoffer Sundqvist, clarinet

Pekka Kuusisto, violn

Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra

Hannu LIntu, conductor

ODE 1287-2

Released 02/2017

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Erkki-Sven Tüür
Symphony No. 5 for Big Band, Electric Guitar and Symphony Orchestra
Prophecy for Accordion and Orchestra

Nguyên Lê, electric guitar
Mika Väyrynen, accordion
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
Olari Elts, conductor
ODE 1234-2

Released 10/2014

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