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The death of Estonian composer Jaan Rts on 25 December 2020

Hochgeladene Datei

Estonian composer Jaan Rääts passed away on 25 December 2020 at the age of 88. Born on 15 October 1932 in Tartu, Estonia, the composer studied at the Tallinn Conservatory with Heino Eller and Mart Saar until 1957. He began his career as a sound engineer at Estonian Radio moving from there to become music director at Estonian Television.

After leaving the broadcaster in 1974, he focused his activities not only on composing but also on pedagogy. In 1984, he was appointed professor of composition at the Tallinn Conservatory, where he himself had once been a student. Later, the conservatory was renamed the Estonian Academy of Music. From 1974 to 1993, Rääts headed the Estonian Composers’ Association.

Rääts’ earlier works in particular were characterised by a closeness to neoclassicism. Like his compatriot Arvo Pärt and the Russian Alfred Schnittke, the composer also turned to polystylism. The main focus of Jaan Rääts’ work was instrumental music.  

Jaan Rääts
(15.10.1932 – 25.12.2020)
- Concerto No. 2 for string orchestra op. 78
- Toccata for piano 

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