Estonian composers have been acknowledged with the Lepo Sumera Music Award since 2016. The prize is initiated by the Estonian Composers’ Union in collaboration with the Estonian Authors’ Society. This year, Ülo Krigul was awarded the composition prize for his new work “The Bow”. The prize was handed out at the final concert of the Pärnu Music Festival. The flute virtuoso of “The Bow” by Ülo Krigul was performed by soloist Emmanuel Pahud along with conductor Paavo Järvi and the Estonian Festival Orchestra.
The jury of the award included composer Märt-Matis Lill, musicologist Kerri Kotta and pianist Kadri-Ann Sumera, who said that Ülo Krigul’s works are characterized by a bold and powerful approach to sound. Musical images are embossed and their unfolding over time is often based on a clear linear evolutionary logic. “There is some darkness in Kriguli’s music, which paradoxically retains its flexibility and therefore does not become difficult. At the same time, there are references to different musical ways of thinking, but this does not break the sonic and stylistic homogeneity of the music,” the jury member Kerri Kotta describes this year’s selection. “Krigul can be considered one of the most unique expressions of aesthetics similar to Sumerian music in today’s Estonian music due to his symphonic approach and the ways of synthesizing.”
Ülo Krigul graduated from Tallinn Music High School (Alo Põldmäe’s composition class and the extracurricular tuba class) in 1997, and from the Estonian Academy of Music under the guidance of Raimo Kangro and René Eespere in 2003. In 2004/2005 he furthered his studies at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien with Detlev Müller-Siemens. In 2006, he obtained master degree in composition with Tõnu Kõrvits at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre.
Previous laureates of the Lepo Sumera Music Award have been Tõnu Kõrvits, Helena Tulve, Toivo Tulev, Jüri Reinvere, Galina Grigorjeva. The award has been handed out since 2016. The award includes a cash prize of 4,500 euros, which has been sponsored by the Estonian Authors’ Society and the Estonian Composers’ Union.