The major choral event Europa Cantat comes to an end today

The major choral event Europa Cantat is coming to an end today. More than 5,000 choral singers and music fans between ages 5 and 85 came to the festival from 50 countries. Almost a thousand people, including conductors, choral singers, musicians, invited choirs and volunteers, were involved with the festival organization.

„Huge interest in the festival took us by surprise – we expected about half the number of participants that eventually registered,“ said Kaie Tanner, the General Manager of the festival team. „We are, however, thrilled that so many music fans wanted to come to Tallinn. The level of participating choirs was extremely high, the concerts were very well received, and our experiments, for example the public sing-alongs at Town Hall Square and the Promenade concert at the Culture Cauldron, were a big success. I have never seen so many concert halls packed to the absolute limit – for some concerts at the House of the Blackheads the queue stretched for more than a hundred metres!“

The Europa Cantat programme included 20 atelier concerts, 14 regional concerts outside Tallinn, 37 open-air concerts, 38 concerts by participating choirs, 26 special concerts with invited choirs, 38 concerts at the Choirs´ Night and 19 Promenade concerts. A total of 25,000 tickets were printed for participants and 2,500 tickets were sold to the general public.
The Music Expo featured 25 businesses and organizations, including music publishers, music event organizers, and other music industry professionals.

The highest number of guests came from Germany (500), Israel (444) and Switzerland (426). There were 170 volunteers from the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Lithuania, France, Hungary, Slovenia, South Africa, Ireland, Finland and many other countries. Participants ate 30,430 festival meals during the week.

The programme included concerts and appearances by the The Swingles (UK), the jazz choir Vocal Line (Denmark), Inner Mongolia Youth Choir and many others. There were also concerts by the cream of Estonian groups – the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, the Estonian National Male Choir, Vox Clamantis, Estonian Voices and others.

The festival highlights included the Opening concert at Liberty Square, the „Happy Birthday, Estonia!“ concert at Tallinn´s Song Celebration Ground, Arvo Pärt´s «Te Deum» by the nearly 300-strong choir and the National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of the Grammy-award winning conductor Tõnu Kaljuste, and the Choirs´ Night in the courtyards of Tallinn´s Old Town. „Positive feedback from the participants, both in the street and in the concert halls, was what I treasured most. It was wonderful to hear compliments for a superb festival where everything was going smoothly. The work that our small office has done is beyond imagination. Despite that, everyone still has the energy to smile, even today, and I think that the energy has come from our guests,“ said Raul Talmar, Artistic Director of the festival and President of the Estonian Choral Association. „We were delighted that we managed to find space in Tallinn for the thousands of people that came here. It was also heart-warming to see how well the overseas singers, with no knowledge of Estonian, managed to understand
and to deliver the message of the Estonian songs so important to us, at the Song Celebration Ground. I think that the energy and the atmosphere of the venue helped.“

The festival programme included ateliers for singers, a conductors and composers programme, seminars, workshops and round tables, a training course for young event managers, showcases, concerts and public sing-alongs. There was also the Music Expo where publishers, music event organizers, organizations and other music industry professionals presented their products and services and the work that they did.

The international music festival Europa Cantat was initiated by the European Choral Association. It takes place every three years and it is one of the key events in the choral world. The first festival was held in Passau, Germany, in 1961, and the previous one was in Pécs, Hungary three years ago. The next Europa Cantat will be held in Ljubljana, Slovenia in 2021.