Andrus Kallastu

Composer and conductor, ECU member since 2002
Born on 17.04.1967

Estonian Music Information Centre

Since 2000, Andrus Kallastu has been working as a freelance composer and conductor. He is known as an active concert organizer, the artistic director and producer of various projects, as well as the founder and leader of several festivals.

During the years 1988–1994 and 1998–1999, Andrus Kallastu was the artistic director of Pärnu Contemporary Music Days and since 2003, he has been the main organizer of the festival.
Since 1993, he has been the manager of Pärnu Opera and since 2007 leading the conceptual music theatre ensemble Repoo Ensemble.
Andrus Kallastu is one of the founders of Estonian Arnold Schönberg Society, in the years 1992–1994, he was the chairman of the society, since 2003, the member of the board.
On his leadership, the Estonian music forum EMF Helsinki has been held since 2006 in Helsinki, Finland. The aim of this forum is to offer Finnish music community the opportunity to become more thoroughly acquainted with Estonian music and to promote cooperation between Estonian and Finnish musicians.
In 2000, Andrus Kallastu and Finnish organist Vivika Oksanen founded an international working group Church Composition Group, uniting professional artists of various areas. With regard to the composer’s 40th birthday celebrations, the Kallastu Festival was initiated in 2007.

Andrus Kallastu started his musical studies on piano with Maimu Parts in Pärnu Music School. In 1985–1990 he studied choral conducting with Prof. Olev Oja and composition with Prof. Eino Tamberg at the Tallinn State Conservatoire.
In 1991–1999, he continued studies at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki with conducting (Prof. Jorma Panula, Ilya Musin and Eri Klas), composition (Prof. Paavo Heininen, Olli Kortekangas and Erkki Jokinen), singing (Matti Pelo) and music theory (Profs. Tapani Länsiö, Hannu Apajalahti, Marcus Castrén, Lauri Suurpää).
In 1999, he acquired a Master’s degree in conducting at the Sibelius Academy and in the beginning of the 2000s, he studied musicology at the University of Helsinki.
In frame of his wide range of activities, Andrus Kallastu has also been, for example, a conductor of symphony orchestra of the Tallinn Georg Ots Music School (1990–1991), a freelance singer of the Finnish Radio Chamber Choir (1997–2004) and Aix-en-Provence opera festival (2004). At the end of the 1980s, he was a member of experimental music group Grotest. In 1990, he was the editor and publisher of the Tallinn Conservatoire publication Scripta Musicalia and up to now he has been working for the same publication as a collaborator and adviser. His texts and translations have been published in Scripta Musicalia and the Teater. Muusika. Kino magazine. He has also been actively contributing to web encyclopedia Wikipedia.

In music of Andrus Kallastu, two periods of style can be noticed. Most of his works, written at the time of conservatoire (1985–1990), bear influences of modality and express the spirit of neoclassicism that at the time was characteristic to a large part of Estonian music. In decisive year of 1990, besides several significant events in Estonian society, as well as in his personal life, also a remarkable change in style of Kallastu’s music started to emerge. In this decade he was intensively studying music by Arnold Schönberg and the Second Viennese School composers. Additionally, he acquired strong influences while studying in Helsinki, Finland. The first works of new spirit were composed in late 1990s. These works are characterized by serial texture, sound-field technique, groping the boundaries of musical sound and noise. Many of his works speak of intention to interconnect music and various types of arts and interest of performance art.

In addition to above mentioned festivals, Andrus Kallastu’s music has been performed at the Estonian Music Days Festival, Pärnu David Oistrakh Festival, the Young Composers Festival in Tartu, the Haapsalu String Music Festival [Viiulimängud], Glasperlenspiel. In many occasions his works has been played in Finland and in 2005, his multimedial composition Atemloswas premiered in Paris.

His music has been performed by organists Toomas Trass, Vivika Oksanen and Markku Mäkinen, cellist Bartosz Koziak, and cellist and singer Heikki Kulo, by pianists Ville Matvejeff and Maimu Parts, baritones Jorma Falck, Jürgen Michael Keitel and Timo Lipponen, viola da gamba player Mika Suihkonen, violinists Mati Uffert and Mikk Murdvee, by mezzo sopranos Susanna Tollet and Leili Tammel, sopranos Anna Heiskanen and Kai Kallastu, flutists Monika Mattiesen and Leonora Palu. Kallastu’s works has been also in the repertoire of Repoo Ensemble, Pärnu City Orchestra, Mixed Choir of Estonian Radio, Estonian National Male Choir and Estonian National Symphony Orchestra.