Estonian composer Helena Tulve receives the Lepo Sumera Award

For the second year in a row Estonian Society of Authors and Estonian Composers’ Union have jointly issued the music award named after Estonian composer Lepo Sumera. Jury unanimously handed the 2017 award to Helena Tulve.

By tradition the members of jury present the candidates for Lepo Sumera Award.

The winner would be selected through discussions. The members of current jury are as follows: conductor Paavo Järvi, composer Erkki-Sven Tüür, musicologist Kerri Kotta and pianist Kadri-Ann Sumera.

The main goal of Lepo Sumera Award is to promote continuity of idiosyncratic and audacious trends in Estonian music, according to the chair of Composers Society Märt-Matis Lill. “This was true and certainly characteristic for Lepo Sumera’s life and his music. Beside that this award stresses another aspect of Lepo Sumera’s production – we can call it “an eternal perspective”. It takes artistic courage to pass over the everyday issues and devote his mind to the questions of life and death instead. Today, in my opinion, as the lightweight entertainment is intensely seeping into the realm of serious art, we face the deficit of Sumera-style artistic scope and depth.”

“Lepo Sumera was always fascinating to be around. I repeatedly witnessed how a single sentence or impulse could create an idea which he would immediately start to develop. The years of working with him and recording his music taught me a lot. I felt that back then, he was already an important part of Estonian contemporary music history,” jury member Paavo Järvi recalls.

The jury pointed out that this year recipient Helena Tulve (1972) is not only a composer who possesses idiosyncratic style of her own but also a trendsetter. The body of work of Helena Tulve might be described as a “sensitive modernity of sound” in a broad sense. Helena Tulve has already been internationally widely recognized. On the top of several distinguished rewards, Ms. Tulve has also been decorated with the medal of French Arts and Literature and medal of Virtu of Monaco. It’s also worth to mention that several works by Helena Tulve have been issued by record label ECM.

Helena Tulve has influenced her students in a noticeable intellectual and spiritual way. That in turn has had a major impact on Estonian music during a couple of last decades. In addition of her creative work and teaching responsibilities Helena Tulve has found time to participate in Estonia’s cultural life in general. Since 2015, she has been active as one of the artistic directors of contemporary music festival Estonian Music Days.