The new music award “LHV Au-tasu 2021” goes to Rasmus Puur’s Violin Concerto

The new music award “LHV Au-tasu 2021” goes to Rasmus Puur’s Violin Concerto. Puur's composition was chosen from among ten pieces completed in 2020.

Conductor and jury member Kristiina Poska: “The list of candidates for the new music award “LHV Au-tasu” was very versatile and exciting, and consisted of many fascinating and exceptional compositions. I noticed a general tendency to strive for beauty, meaningfulness, spiritualism and harmony, and if we approach contemporary art as a mirror of society, it tells quite a lot about us.”

The jury of the competition included Tiia Teder (Chair of the Jury, Estonian Classical Radio), Helena Tulve (Estonian Music Days, Estonian Composers’ Union), Kerri Kotta (Estonian Musicological Society), Iris Oja (mezzo soprano) and Kristiina Poska (conductor).Although the competition was intense, the winner was decided upon unanimously.

“Rasmus Puur’s Violin Concerto is a very profound composition that demonstrates mastery in writing for the violin as well as for the orchestra, boasts a strong sense of dramaturgy and form and, perhaps most importantly, deeply touches us and sweeps us away with its pure quality. We can be truly proud of this promising young composer and his composition definitely merits international attention”, Poska added.

“The Violin Concerto is a testament to the impressive development Rasmus Puur has undergone as a composer. It is psychologically sensitive; rich and multi-faceted in expressive means, and monumental in form. With his Violin Concerto, Rasmus Puur has taken his first step towards becoming one of the outstanding symphonic composers of Estonia”, Kerri Kotta added.

This year, the “LHV Au-tasu” was issued for the sixth time. According to LHV Bank’s manager Kadri Kiisel, our music transcends national borders. “It is not important to be in a certain location or speak a certain language to understand and appreciate valuable music – it is a part of our culture that does not know national borders. Estonian music has put us on the world map and I am glad that LHV can help introduce our talented composers and contemporary music”, Kadri Kiisel commented.

The purpose of the award is to appreciate active composers and acknowledge a new composition that merits international attention. This year, the award was increased by 1,000 euros. The winner received a scholarship of 6,000 euros and an artwork by glass artist Mare Saare. The award was handed over on April 30 at a virtual concert of the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir at the Estonian & Baltic Music Days 2021.

Earlier winners of the award have been Liisa Hirsch, Toivo Tulev, Erkki-Sven Tüür, Helena Tulve and Märt-Matis Lill. The partners of the competition include the Estonian Composers’ Union, the Estonian Music Information Centre, the Estonian Classical Radio and the Estonian Public Broadcasting.

This year, a record number of 52 compositions by 42 composers participated in the competition, and candidates were proposed by individuals, music collectives as well as music organisations. The winner was chosen in the second round from among ten finalists.

Photo: Rene Jakobson