Published 28/12/2023 | 11:34

Niguliste Organ Week fills the museum with beautiful music and intriguing conversations

The international music event enables the audience to enjoy, once again, the spectacular acoustics of the mediaeval church building. Photo: Karin Kaljuläte

From the first day of the new year until 7 January, the 36th International Niguliste Organ Week offers a variety of concerts and an exciting audience programme in the Niguliste Museum, which is renowned for its spectacular acoustics.

The opening concert of the festival is Doubly Majestic. Two Trumpets and Two Organs on 1 January at 5 pm. The organ with the trumpet has always been regarded as a majestic combination because these two instruments have often embellished the most festive events at European royal courts. Priit Aimla and Samuel Jalakas on trumpets, and Andres Uibo and Kadri Toomoja on organs will play music by Henry Purcell, Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Jean Sibelius and Marc-Antoine Charpentier.

In addition to organ music, concerts taking place on the following evenings will include Bach’s cello sonatas performed by Estonia’s top cellists, and a spirited concert-performance that will recreate Bach and Louis Marchand’s face-off in Dresden.

“The music festival taking place under the vaults of the Niguliste Church dates back to 1987. It has since spread all over Estonia, and now we are back where it all started. Even the title is the same: Niguliste Organ Week, to which the word “international” has been added”, said the creative director of the festival, Andres Uibo.

“The Organ Week adds dignity to the renovated Niguliste Museum. The international music event enables the audience to enjoy, once again, the spectacular acoustics of the mediaeval church building, as the festival programme offers different soundscapes created by a variety of combinations of musical instruments. With the help of music, we hope to bring an audience of varied backgrounds and interests closer to the unique artistic heritage of Niguliste,” added Tarmo Saaret, director of the Niguliste Museum.

Throughout the Organ Week, visitors to the Niguliste Museum can also participate in an intriguing audience programme. Every day at noon, Tarmo Saaret will be joined under the Christmas tree by an invited guest to talk about the colourful history of Niguliste. The guests include Jüri Kuuskemaa, Boris Dubovik, Marju Kõivupuu, Lydia Rahula, Tiia-Ester Loitme and Kaia Haamer. During the Organ Week it is also possible to visit the organ balcony with the organist Andres Uibo. Organ music half-hours will take place at 4 pm, with performances by the organist of the Niguliste Museum Tiit Kiik, as well as by Marten Meibaum, Olga Opryshko, Rusudan Chuntishvili and Aivars Kalējs.

Tickets to the evening concerts are available at Piletilevi and an hour before the beginning of each concert at the Niguliste Museum’s ticket office. A museum ticket provides access to all daytime events, such as the midday talks, visits to the organ balcony and organ half hours.

From the very beginning, the initiator, leader and creative director of the Niguliste Organ Week has been Professor Andres Uibo. The festival was organised in cooperation with the International Society of Artur Kapp.