Works Discography

Tõnu Kõrvits

Tõnu Kõrvits (1969) is a shining star of Estonian contemporary music. Beside Veljo Tormis’s shamanistic spells, Erkki-Sven Tüür’s energetic explosions and Arvo Pärt’s religious contemplations, Kõrvits’s sound world stands out as highly poetic, full of visionary fantasies. His music carries the listener along on hypnotic journeys through the landscapes of nature and folk tradition, human soul and subconscious.
His oeuvre includes all traditional genres from orchestral and instrumental music to choral music and operas. Currently, the list of his compositions contains 210 opuses. Figurative titles of his works often reflect romantic or mythological allegories. Breathing, song-like expression is the core of his personal idiom, reflecting delicate breeze from jazz and popular music. By its nature, Kõrvits’s idiom can be called as “magic impressionism”.

Tõnu Kõrvits started composing in 1990s in neo-romantic style. In 2000nds, orchestral works with more elaborated sound canvas were composed, searching for synthesis of archaic and exotic melodies, such as The Sign of Love (2002), Eldorado (2002), Safra (2005) for piano and string orchestra, Tsirgutii (Milky Way, 2005) for flute and string orchestra, and others. In 2000nds, Kõrvits has also composed a series of works reflecting the imagery of the mythical Northern land Thule, an archaic prototype of Estonia – such as Sung into the Wind (2006) for symphony orchestra and Elegies of Thule (2007) for string orchestra. Kõrvits’s poetic idiom has achieved extreme power of expression in chamber operas My Swans, My Thoughts (2005) and Firegarden (2006). In 2013, also the two-act opera “Butterfly” was composed after Andrus Kivirähk’s novel. Kõrvits’s excellent melodic gift is evident in his numerous works for solo instruments. He is also known as an accomplished arranger of popular music and author of soundtracks for documentaries and animation films.

In last decade, Kõrvits has composed remarkable works being still inspired by Estonian and Northern traditional culture, religious and pantheistic subtexts – Kreek’s Notebook (2007) for mixed choir and string orchestra, based on Estonian sacred folk tunes (collected by Estonian composer Cyrillus Kreek), Hymns from the Western Coast (2009) for mixed choir and saxophone quartet, Seven Dreams of Seven Birds (2009/2012) for cello, mixed choir and string orchestra (text by Maarja Kangro and Tõnu Kõrvits), Canticle of the Sun (2014, text by Saint Francis of Assisi) and Stabat Mater (2014) for mixed choir.

Music of Tõnu Kõrvits has been performed at several festivals in European countries, USA, Australia, Canada and Russia. His works belong to the repertoire of the most important Estonian orchestras, choirs and artists, and has been performed by noted foreign collectives, like BBC Symphony Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Swedish Radio Choir, The Sixteen Choir, and many others.


As a talented and prolific creator, Tõnu Kõrvits has gained recognition from the Estonian state and cultural institutions a number of times, among them the Annual Prize of the Endowment for Music of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia in 2004 and 2014, the Annual Music Prize of the Estonian Music Council in 2007, and the Cultural Prize of the Republic of Estonia in 2011 and 2016. Estonian Public Broadcasting chose Kõrvits as the Musician of the Year 2015.


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Azure (2016/2017) for strings
Elegies of Thule (2007) for strings
Hymns to the Nordic Lights (2011)
Leaving Capri (2018) for strings
Moorland Elegies
Silent Songs (2015) for bass clarinet and orchestra
Tears Fantasy (2011)


Tõnu Kõrvits

Hymns to the Nordic Lights

Orchestral Works

Digital release in January, CD available in February

Estonian National Symphony Orchestra

Risto Joost, conductor

Meelis Vind, bass clarinet

ODE 1349-2

Released 01/2020

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Tõnu Kõrvits

Moorland Elegies

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir

Tallinn Chamber Orchestra

Risto Joost, conductor

ODE 1306-2

Released 04/2017

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