LE GRAND CLAVECIN
The Sixth Harpsichord Festival (Klavessiinifestival)
in Tallinn, Estonia, 10-15 April 2008,
attended by PETER G HOWELL
The Eesti Klavessiinsoprade Tsunft, that is the Estonian Harpsichord Society, is a well established organisation; the society can be joined by anyone who has an interest in keyboard music. This was the sixth festival that has been organised by this very active society. It has a strong influence on developing and promoting the art of the harpsichord in Estonia. The prestigious internationally known names of those taking part in previous festivals demonstrate its importance. The Festivals are put on every two years and are of considerable interest to those who are concerned with keyboard instruments and related research. Besides concerts, there are masterclasses as part of the festival and this year they were given by the three star performers. Whether a player or a listener, the concerts are always designed to be enjoyable to everyone.
The Viru Gate in Tallinn. Photo © 2008 Peter Howell
Attending this Festival is an opportunity to hear fine music and an excuse to visit the historic city of Tallinn, which has to be the best preserved old walled town in Northern Europe. In between the concerts you can wander through the old streets, admiring the merchants' houses, whose strength demonstrates the power of this former Hanseatic League port. The elegant soaring spires of the churches also reveal wealth and power with their varied interiors, some containing the elaborate coats of arms of the guilds.
Merchants' Houses in Tallinn. Photo © 2008 Peter Howell
The patrons of the Festival are very august bodies such as the Estonian Ministry of Culture, the US Embassy, the Austrian Embassy and many more.
Town Hall Square, Tallinn. Photo © 2008 Peter Howell
The artistic director is Imbi Tarum, who is Professor of Harpsichord at the Academy of Music and Theatre. She is ably assisted by Ene Nael and Irén Lill, both well known musicians.
Copyright © 1 May 2008
Peter G Howell, Shropshire UK