About us

Mixed Choir Noorus...

...is a collection of singing enthusiasts, that as a group first came together more than half a century ago. Due to the restrictions set by its name (Noorus means "Youth" in English), and because sadly, none of us can be young for more than 30-40 years, the choir's membership is an ever-changing entity. New "young" singers are auditioned every autumn and winter, regardless of their gender, occupation and marital status. Certain prerequisites apply however, such as an aspiration to sing and an ear for music. Of course it never hurts, if you can handle a little prima vista or if you are punctual about attending rehearsals and passionate about performing on stage.

Members

A singer of mixed choir Noorus is characterised by unparalleled concentration levels when rehearsing, vast amounts of sharpness when attending choir camps, and limitless joy and passion when performing on stage. Furthermore, all of our members have more than perfect pitch and boast deep academic knowledge of music theory. Everyone of us has a prodigy's memory and not one piece shall ever be forgotten once learned. So, if every once in a while an instance should occur, in which a simple harmonic minor scale proves to be too difficult to sing- do not be fooled! It is just that our singers are much too talented for this kind of children's play.

The soprano voice group

...brings together a most gracious set of beauty queens, whose voices are the sweetest and highest. Their song is a gleeful glimpse of sun on wind-polished crystals, softly moistened by fresh snowmelt. Each and every one of them is a shimmering star in the limitless expanse of choir singing, glimmering and glowing brightly until the soul-inspiring melodies turn into an eternal bliss..

The altos'

...warm and mild timbre embarks the listeners on a trip to the winding pathways of childhood. It provides a motherly sense of trust and security, which can sometimes seem so scarce in our world today. The voices of our altos wrap you in a warm cashmere scarf, which leaves you sensing the sunny warmth of a sunny summer afternoon on the wooded meadows of our dear homeland.

The tenor group

...is only made up of world-class soloists, which every opera house in the world would be lucky to have on their payroll. Their timber is like the dramatic cry of a faun awaiting death, or like a lovely poem, that a well-rested knight has eagerly composed for his sweetheart. Not a single role in the opera world is such that our tenors cannot perfectly interpret it for the audience..

The basses and baritones

...with their strict and powerful war cry can pierce the bones and muscles of every rival. Their strong and masculine voices carry the responsibility of being the backbone, base and foundation of the choir. They stand steadfast and firm like Atlas, carrying the whole weight of the world on their shoulders.

The spirit of Noorus is embodied by:

Sopranos - Ann Tammoja, Heidi Pähn, Kaisa Laht, Katri-Helena Siirak, Mari Kareda, Marilis Aasa, Sandra Laura Luhtein, Tene-Riin Vaarmann

Altos - Alexandra Anett Sannik, Ingrid Põldoja, Juuli Puusepp, Kristiin Gross, Merily Roopärg, Merit Rist, Pille Adra, Piret Lepik

Tenors - Ake Lang, Mihkel Ummelas, Reinhold Mutli, Tõnis Sarap

Basses/baritones - Adam Cullen, Johannes-Madis Aasmäe, Madis Linnamägi, Martin Miido, Üllar Soon

The most famous of our alumni:

Anneli Peebo, Boris Lehtlaan, Valdur Laid, Priit Pajusaar, Imre Sooäär, Aivar Surva, Tauri Tallermaa, Krista Lensin, Mikk Üleoja, Sulo Tintse, Priit Rebane and many, many others.

Conductors


Maarja Helstein

...began her career in Noorus in 2009 as the assistant conductor. She is the head conductor of the choir since 2012. She has studied conducting at Heino Eller Tartu Music College (under Triin Koch) and in Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (under prof. Ants Soots). She has also studied singing at the Georg Ots Tallinn Music College (under Heli Veskus).

Maarja has worked as a chorus master for the alumni choir of Academic Women's Choir of the University of Tartu (2007-2009), as a conductor for the mixed choir

In January 2014, Maarja was named the young conductor of the year by Estonian Choral Association. In July 2017, she won the Conductors Promotion Prize at the international choir competition Ave Verum in Austria.

Taavi Hark

...has studied conducting at Tallinn Music High School (under Anneli Mäeots) and classical singing at Georg Ots Tallinn Music College (under Tarmo Sild). Currently, Taavi is studying music science at Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre.

Taavi is a versatile musician, whose interest in music was first sparked by his joining the Tallinn Boys Choir. Later, he turned to playing the clarinet (II prize at the National Competition) and eventually developed an interest in conducting.

Besides making music, Taavi also likes to read and write about it. For instance, he has frequently contributed to the music journal

History


60 years of youthful Noorus

  • 1959 In November, mixed choir NOORUS was founded. The first conductor was AUGUST LÜÜS. The first rehearsal was attended by 22 singers.
  • 1960 In January, the first public performance took place. The number of singers had already risen to 78.
  • 1963 The choir was awarded a diploma by the Supreme Soviet of the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic, two years later it was named a People's Ensemble of the Soviet Union.
  • 1966 MAIE KIVITA became the assistant conductor at Noorus.
  • 1969 The first important victory - Noorus was awarded II place at Anniversary Song Festival choir competition.
  • 1970 In autumn, Noorus performed independently in the Central Television of the USSR.
  • 1976 A very important event for the choir took place: The unification of the choirs Noorus and Kevade (the mixed choir of the 22. high school of Tallinn), and the forming of a new choir nicknamed Uus Noorus (New Youth); Maie Kivita remained the assistant conductor of the new choir, but ENE ÜLEOJA became the new head conductor; This year Noorus was also awarded a Certificate of Honor by the Central Committee of the Komsomol.
  • 1981 I prize in Celje (Yugoslavia).
  • 1982 I prize at a choir competition honoring the 100. birthday of the Estonian composer Mart Saar.
  • 1988 I prize in Neerpelt (Belgium); I prize at the Tallinn '88' choir festival and I place in Budapest (Hungary).
  • 1991 I prize in Arnheim (The Netherlands); RAUL TALMAR became the new head conductor, having previously taken part in the choir's work as a singer.
  • 1994 II prize in Riva Del Garda (Italy).
  • 1995 II prize in Cork (Ireland).
  • 1998 III prize on Rhodos (Greece.)
  • 2002 II place at Schubert Festival in Vienna (Austria).
  • 2003 An accolade at the Youth Music Festival in Gatchina for the best rendition of a sacral piece.
  • 2004 A concert tour to Germany to celebrate Estonia joining the European Union.
  • 2008 Põltsamaa Chamber Choir Festival- First category III place and participation in the Grand Prix round.
  • 2010 Haapsalu Chamber Choir Ferstival- First category I place and participation in the Grand Prix round.
  • 2012 MAARJA HELSTEIN became the new head conductor, having previously worked as the assistant conductor.
  • 2013 The beginning of a new self-created concert series
  • 2014 1 Silver and 2 Golden Diplomas at the Tonen2000 International Choir Biennial in Naaldwijk (The Netherlands), which is one III and two II prizes.
  • 2015 IV place at Tallinn 2015 International Choir Festival in the chamber choir categoryt; Continuing of the concert series
  • 2016 VI place at the International Baltic Sea Choir Competition.
  • 2017 V prize in the chamber choir category at Tallinn 2017 International Choir Festival; Silver Diploma and the Award for Best Conductor at the Ave Verum International Choir Competition in Austria; Concert “Eesti muld ja Eesti RUJA” (Estonian Soul and Estonian RUJA), featuring ensemble Ruja.
  • 2018 VI place at the City of Derry International Choir Festival.
  • 2019 The premiere and recording of Mariliis Valkonen's “Lendutõus”

Conductors and assistant conductors throughout the years:

August Lüüs, Peeter Perens sen., Maie Kivita, Ene Üleoja, Merike Toro, Aime Pärisalu, Lauri Sirp, Aivar Leštšinski, Raul Talmar, Janne Fridolin, Kristiina Poska, Susan Lahesalu, Eveliin Öövel, Jana Perens, Maarja Helstein, Markus Leppoja, Hendrik Ojasaar, Taavi Hark.

Voice coaches:

Ludmilla Issakova, Anja Riska, Uku Joller, Kalev Keeroja.

Repertoire:

The repertoire of mixed choir Noorus has always had a place for vocal-instrumental masterpieces, such as “Magnificat” by Johan Sebastian Bach, “Gloria” by Antonio Vivaldi, “Te Deum” and “Messe de minuit” by Marc-Antoine Charpentier, ”Messiah” by Georg Friedrich Händel, “Requiem” by Maurice Durufle, “In Principio” by Arvo Pärt, “Amores” by Eino Tamberg, “Näärioratoorium” ("New Year's Oratorio") and "Missa nr 2" ("Mass no 2") by Urmas Sisask, cantata “Ilus maa” ("Beautiful land") by Rein Rannap, risotorios “Roheline muna” ("Green egg"), and “Näärmed” ("Glands") by Alo Mattiisen as well as many others.

Traditionally, popular music has also been a part of Noorus' repertoire. Thus, the setting of Raimond Valgre's songs by A.Männik, potpourri of the music of ABBA, and the interpretations of Beatles' music by the vocal group King Singers have long been a part of the choir's concert programs. Songbooks titled 'Noorus laulab' ( 'Noorus sings') and 'Noorus laulab II' ('Noorus sings vol.2 ') containing the choir's favourite songs, have been published by the choir.

Throughout the last ten years, Noorus has largely focused its attention to performing contemporary music and lots of choral pieces have been commissioned from young Estonian composers. Some of these are included on the new CD. In 2013 a new concert series calles 'Poets in Estonian Music' was created. Thus far it has included concerts featuring the poetry of Ernst Enno, Marie Under and Hendrik Visnapuu.

Cd-s:

First CD in 1990, “Jõulumuusika” 1997, “Roheline Muna. Näärmed” 2000, “Salanaine” 2005, “Lapsemeelsed jõulud” 2007, “Läbilõige” 2009.

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