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Erkki-Sven Tüür studied percussion and flute at the Tallinn Georg Ots Music High School (1976–1980) and composition with Prof. Jaan Rääts at the Tallinn Conservatoire (1980–1984). He also took private lessons from Prof. Lepo Sumera in Tallinn and developed his skills in the field of electronic music in Karlsruhe. In 1979, Tüür founded the progressive rock ensemble In Spe, where he was engaged as composer, flautist, keyboardist and frontman (vocalist) until 1983. Since 1992, Tüür is a freelance composer, his works are primarily commissioned by world-renowned performers and are frequently premiered abroad before reaching the home public. His music is being played regularly by the best symphony orchestras and outstanding soloists worldwide in the most prestigious concert halls.
The main characteristic feature of Tüür’s music is an intense energetic transformative dimension. The intuitive and rational approach is synthesized into a complete organic system. Instrumental music makes up the main body of Tüür’s work. He is the author of nine symphonies, a number of works for symphony and string orchestra, ten instrumental concertos, a wide variety of chamber music and an opera.
As a composer, Tüür wishes to stimulate the creative energy of the listener. “Music has to have everything - overwhelming power, illuminating light, endless gentleness and the deepest darkness. Fury, pain, remorse. Everything that makes us human. And the tender touch of redeeming love.”