Pärt Uusberg ERR Musician Of The Year & Recipient Of The Ernesaks Foundation Scholarship

Photo: Riina Varol

Pärt Uusberg received the Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR) Musician of the Year title, which recognizes him as a musician whose work has significantly contributed to the development of Estonian music culture in close cooperation with ERR. The board of the Gustav Ernesaks Foundation, in turn, decided to award Pärt Uusberg the main scholarship, emphasizing his important role as a promoter of the choral movement, founder of choirs, composer, opinion leader, and recently also general director of the Estonian Song Festival.

Pärt Uusberg’s compositions speak of tender moments, life values, the magic of music and dreams that support us in the twists and turns of time. His compositions consist of choral songs, including major forms, film scores and instrumental works.

Uusberg was the artistic director for the XIII Youth Song Festival, titled “Püha on maa” (The Land is Sacred). His heartfelt message during the song celebration, inspired by Hando Runnel’s poem “Light!”, deeply resonated with the people of Estonia. The post-pandemic youth song festival became an unforgettable experience for both participants and the audience, reaching hundreds of thousands of viewers through radio and television broadcasts. Uusberg’s connection to the tradition of song festivals dates back to his childhood, with his compositions featured in these events since 2011. In 2019, he marked his debut as a conductor at a song festival.

Conductor Aarne Saluveer, a member of the Gustav Ernesaks Foundation: “Pärt Uusberg can be likened to Gustav Ernesaks, who personified the essence of the choral movement during the difficult times of Soviet occupation, embodying the suppressed longing for freedom. Uusberg emerges as a notable figure in the contemporary choral scene, possessing a compass in his soul and hands. Whether on stage or in the singing field, he directs the younger generation and engages listeners, shedding light on the path towards a more hopeful direction.”

“Uusberg’s exceptionally thorough and dedicated work, sincere and distinctive creative exploration, and his ability to paint the subtle nuances of the mother tongue into melodies have already elevated him to the status of a classic in Estonian choral music. I am pleased that on the 115th anniversary of the maestro of song, we can acknowledge Uusberg with the highest recognition in Estonian choral music, the Gustav Ernesaks Foundation’s top scholarship,” added Saluveer.

Pärt Uusberg pursued choral conducting studies at the Georg Otsa Tallinn Music School, mentored by Heli Jürgenson, and delved into music composition with Alo Põldmäe and Galina Grigorjeva. His undergraduate studies took place at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theater under the guidance of Tõnu Kõrvits, and for his master’s degree, he worked with Toivo Tulev, Tõnu Kõrvits, and Tõnu Kaljuste.

In a creative role, Pärt Uusberg organized the chamber choir “Head Ööd, Vend” for his brother Uku Uusberg’s diploma production, showcasing his distinctive means of expression.