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Pärnu City Orchestra

Pärnu City Orchestra was established in 1994. The orchestra has been conducted by Neeme Järvi, Paavo Järvi, Kristjan Järvi, Jorma Panula, Eri Klas, Olari Elts, Paul Mägi, Vello Pähn, Arvo Volmer, Erki Pehk, György Selmeczi, Marcello Rota and others. The orchestra’s first chief conductor was Loit Lepalaan. Since 1998 the orchestra’s chief conductor has been Jüri Alperten.

Many renowned musicians have performed in front of the Pärnu city’s prominent musical collective: violinists Sarah Chang, Leila Josefowicz, Liana Issakadze, Sergei Stadler and Xiang Gao; pianists Chitose Okashiro, Arbo Valdma, Kalle Randalu, Ivari Ilja, French horn player Wilhelm Schwaiger, trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth.

The orchestra has been involved in staging various musical plays and operas: Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (in Pärnu, conductor Rolf Gupta), Puccini’s La bohème (in Vaasa, conductor Zheng Xiaoying), Rubinstein’s The Demon, Verdi’s Rigoletto, Bizet’s Carmen (The 21st Century Orchestra in Endla theatre, conductor Erki Pehk), Bartók’s Bluebeard's Castle (in the Hungarian Cultural Institute, conductor György Selmeczi), Tormis’s Swan Flight (Estonian Music Days 2007, conductor Mihhail Gerts); season 2008 opening concert of Pärnu Philharmonic and Pärnu Concert Hall (conductor Jüri Alperten), and Massenet’s Thaïs (PromFest in Endla Theatre in May-June 2009, conductor Erki Pehk).

Pärnu City Orchestra has recorded Eino Tamberg’s composition for TV film Dark Windows (2007). In January 2008 the orchestra provided sound for silent film Young Eagles (made in 1927, digitally restored in 2008). In the same year, compositions by Gavin Bryars were recorded together with the Estonian National Male Choir (GB Record Production). In November 2011 the orchestra and Pärnu Chamber Choir recorded Te Deum by Urmas Sisask. The orchestra produced its first CD in November 2012, titled 6 Seasons+. The record’s artistic director and soloist was Maano Männi, under whose guidance the orchestra performed compositions by Astor Piazolla and Evald Vainu. On the 26th of April the orchestra’s first DVD “Traveling Songs” was presented, its release was one of the highlights of the Pärnu City Orchestra’s 20th anniversary season. Its music and text were authored by Tauno Aints and Madis Kalmet; director Madis Kalmet, solists Sepo Seeman, Karin Tammaru and Risto Lehiste; video by Argo Valdmaa.

Pärnu City Orchestra is a frequent performer at Estonian music festivals, has collaborated with Eesti Kontsert, Järvi Summer Festival, Pärnu International Choir Festival, Pärnu Kontserdibüroo and many other festival and concert promoters. The orchestra has won the Pärnu Annual Music Award twice - for its achievements in 2002 and 2007.