Honorary Members

Honorary Members

Honorary members of the Estonian Society for Music Education



Member of the Estonian Composers' Union since 1977
Member of the Estonian Theatre Union since 1977

Olav Ehala is foremost known as a song writer and composer of film and theatre music. His songs (mainly from motion pictures, musicals and theatre productions) have become greatly popular, they are well-known for many generations of Estonians, reached to the repertoire of national song celebrations and belong to the Estonian treasury of music. Music for children forms a considerable part of his output. In Ehala’s songs, equal importance is given to melody rich in embellishments, recognisable and idiosyncratic harmony and demanding rhythms. His music is written unexceptionally on texts in Estonian language, furthest on the poetry of Leelo Tungal and Juhan Viiding.

Olav Ehala graduated from Tallinn Music School in 1969 and Tallinn State Conservatoire in composition with Eugen Kapp in 1974. 1970-1973, Ehala was a leader of ESSR State Philhramony variety ensemble. He has worked in State Youth Theatre as a musician (1970-1975) and music director (1975-1991). From 1991, Olav Ehala is a pedagogue in Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (1998 docent, 2004 professor) and from 2001, chairman of Estonian Composers’ Union.

He has written music nearly for 50 plays and 60 films. Great part of theatre music was created for State Youth Theatre where the collaboration with reknown Russian director Adolf Shapiro began. In the film sphere, the most fruitful has been cooperation with Priit Pärn – Ehala has written music for almost all Pärn’s animated films which have been awarded international prizes.

In addition, Ehala performs as a pianist and belongs to several ensembles. Closer collaboration binds him with ensemble Kiigelaulukuuik by whom he is active as a composer, pianist and arranger since 1989.
For his diverse activity, Olav Ehala has been given many awards: Estonian annual prize for music (1992), Estonian cultural prize Suur Vanker (1997), Annual Prize of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia in the artistic team of animated film “Lotte” (2000), Riho Päts School Music Foundation Stipendium (2002), Estonian Music Council’s Music Prize for his music that connects generations, tastes and hearts (2005), Estonian Radio Musician of the Year (2005), Estonian Music Award for the contribution to Estonian music (2007), National Culture Award for creative accomplishments in 2010 (2011). He is a honorary member of Estonian Music Teachers’ Union. Olav Ehala has 6 author-CDs.

© EMIK 2008



Studied the clarinet at the Tallinn Secondary Music School from 1976–1979 (Enno Mattisen’s class) and music pedagogy at the Tallinn State Conservatory from 1979–1985 (Ants Sööt’s class). He has further educated himself on conducting and music management in 1991 at the Portland University in the USA (tutor Bruce Browne). In 1978–1979, he played in the Pärnu Orchestra and in 1982–1985 in Tapa Orchestra, and has worked as a senior educationalist at the Scientific Methodological Centre of Folklore and Cultural Work in 1982 and in 1987–1989 as the director of the pop music sector, in 1985–1987 as the soloist of the State Philharmonic Ensemble “Vitamiin” of the ESSR. In 1989–1992, Aivar Mäe worked as the manager of the music department at the Folk Culture Development Centre. He has been the Deputy Manager of Eesti Kontsert in 1993–1998 and the General Manager since 1999 and in 2003–2006 also the General Manager of Vanemuine. He has been in charge of the renovation of the concert halls of Estonia (1997) and Vanemuine (1998) and Jõhvi Concert Hall (2005) as well as the establishment of the Pärnu Concert Hall (2002). Aivar Mäe has received the Annual Prize of the Endowment for Music of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia (1997, 1998, 2002), Man of the Year title in Pärnu in 2002 for diversifying Pärnu cultural life and creating new possibilities, the Fifth Class of the Order of the White Star (2003), medal of the city of Tartu (2006) and the title of a real estate guru (2006).

In 1990 he established the chamber choir “Arsis” (active until 1997), in 1993 an eponymous handbell ensemble and in 1996 a children’s hand-bell ensemble, and he is the conductor and artistic director of the groups of “Arsis”. He has won prizes at international competitions with the chamber choir, including in Tours (France, 1991), in Arezzo (Italy, 1992), in Llangullen (Wales 1994) and the third prize in Eisteddfod (Republic of South Africa, 1997) and in Cantonigròs (Catalonia, 1994), the first place in Cork (Ireland, 1996) and in the folk song category in Eisteddfod (1997). At the latter competition he also won the first prize with the handbell ensemble. He has conducted magna opera including “Christmas Cantata” by Honegger and Pinham, Requiem by Rutter and Fauré , Mass by Poulenc and Martin, oratory Judas Maccabaeus by Händel and Handbell Symphony by Peeter Vähi. With his group he has performed in several foreign countries, including in the USA on seven occasions between 1991–2002, several times in Canada, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Finland, etc. He has recorded 4 CDs: “Arsis“ (1994, with the chamber choir), “In Dies” (2000) and “Awake, My Heart” (2003, both with the handbell ensemble), “Lõbus kellamäng” (2000, with the children’s handbell ensemble). He conducted the mixed choir “Olevine” in 1984–90.

• Marital status: married, three children

• 1979–1985 Tallinn State Conservatory, music pedagogy
• 1976–1979 Tallinn Secondary Music School, clarinet

• 2009– Estonian National Opera, General Manager
• 2000–2009 Eesti Kontsert, General Manager
• 2004–2006 Vanemuine, General Manager
• 2003–2004 Vanemuine, Assistant General Manager
• 1999–2000 Eesti Kontsert, Assistant General Manager
• 1993–1998 Eesti Kontsert, Deputy General Manager
• 1992–1993 Estonian Music Association, Manager of the Choir Department, Executive Secretary
• 1989–1992 Folk Culture Development Centre, Manager of the Music Department
• 1987–1989 Scientific Methodological Centre of Folklore and Cultural Work, Manager of the Pop Music Sector
• 1985–1987 State Philharmonics, artist
• 1982–1985 Tapa consumers’ cooperative, member of orchestra
• 1982–1982 Scientific Methodological Centre of Folklore and Cultural Work, Senior Educationalist

• Arsis Handbell Ensemble

Keys to success
• We draw upon our experience, the experience teaches us.
• An organization must engage in its main activity.
• Plan your time so that you have time to be everywhere.



TOOMAS SIITAN  graduated from the Estonian Academy of Music (Tallinn State Conservatoire) in 1981 as a composer. He received his PhD in musicology from the University of Lund. Since 1986 he has taught music history at the Estonian Academy of Music (since 2004 as a professor) and published articles in various European academic journals. He is the chair of the board of the Estonian Musicological Society and vice chairman of the board of the Estonian Music Council. He is the initiator and artistic director of the Haapsalu Early Music Festival, held since 1994.

In 1976–1988 Toomas Siitan sang in Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir (cond. Tõnu Kaljuste). Since 1990 he has been active as a conductor, leading collectives like the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, the Estonian National Male Choir, Haapsalu Festival Choir, the Estonian Radio Choir, the Chamber Choir of Estonian Choral Society, international choir Vox Europae and Tallinn Baroque Orchestra. In 1994 he founded the ensemble Studio Vocale. His repertoire consists mainly of music from 16th to 18th centuries, including large-scale vocal works like B Minor Mass, passions and cantatas by Bach and oratorios by Handel (Jephtha, Theodora, Joshua, Messiah, Alexander’s Feast et al.). In 2011 he was the musical director and conductor of the Johann Valentin Meder’s opera Die beständige Argenia.




Member of the Estonian Association of Professional Musicians since 1998

Peep Lassmann is one of the most outstanding pianists in Estonia, valued as a soloist and ensemble partner. He has achieved recognition for his interpretation of Olivier Messiaen’s piano music, he gave the Estonian premiere of the grand cycles „Vingt regards sur l’ enfant Jesus” and „Catalogue d’Oiseau”. Lassmann is also pedagogue and an active figure in Estonian musical life.

Lassmann began his musical studies at the Tallinn Music High School with Professor Heljo Sepp, whose supervision he remained under until graduating from the Tallinn State Conservatoire in 1971. He continued with Emil Gilels in Moscow Conservatoire (1971-1973).

Already during his university years, Lassmann was awarded with many prizes at the piano competition, the most valuable is the second prize at the competition for pianists of the whole former Soviet Union in 1969.
After graduation Lassmann started to teach at the Tallinn Conservatoire in 1973 (Associate Professor since 1985, Professor since 1992), Head of Piano Department since 1987 and since 1992 he has been the Rector of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. Among his pupils there are Mati Mikalai, Kai Ratassepp, Marrit Gerretz-Traksmann, Ralf Taal, Marko Martin, Diana Liiv, Age Juurikas.

In spite of strenuous work at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Lassmann is an active concert pianist, giving solo recitals and performing with chamber ensembles. Concert trips have taken Lassmann in many countries of Europe, North America, Cuba and Asia. He has performed together with such conductors as Paavo Berglund, Neeme Järvi, Eri Klas, Nikolai Rabinovich, Nikolai Alexeev, Peeter Lilje, Arvo Volmer, Vello Pähn, Paul Mägi, Jüri Alperten, Andres Mustonen, Toomas Vavilov, Juozas Domarkas, Imants Resnis and many orchestras such as Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and Moscow Philhramonic Orchestra.

Being an excellent accompanist and valued ensemble partner, Lassmann has had numerous musical collaborations with singers Mati Palm, Tiit Kuusik, Ivo Kuusk, Hans Georg Ahrens, Hendrik Krumm, Yolanda Hernandez, Lionelle Lhote and instrumentalists Aaron Rosand, Marianne Boettcher, David Grimal, Jüri Gerretz, Jaak Sepp, Edith Peinemann, Jossif Feigelson, Peeter Paemurru, Teet Järvi, Henry-David Varema, Michel Lethiec, Hannes Altrov, Toomas Vavilov.

For more than ten years Lassmann was also active as the concert master of the Estonian National Male Choir (1975-1986). He has participated in many international competition juries as well as given master courses in many European countries.

Being an acitve figure in Estonian musical life, Lassmann is related to many musical institutions: he is a chairman of the board of Estonian Piano Teachers Association (since 1991), the president of Estonian Music Council (since 1995), the vicepresident of Association of Baltic Academies of Music (since 2002), the councillor of Estonian National Opera (since 1998) and the chairman of the board of Estonian Ornithological Society (since 2003). Lassmann has been the member of the board of The European Association of Conservatoires (2000–2006) and The Academic Council of The President of the Republic of Estonia (2002–2006). He was also a foundation member of Association of Estonian Professional Musicians and has been its first chairman (1998–2002).

Lassmann was given the honorary title of ESSR Honoured Worker in Arts (1987), Estonian Radio selected him as The Musician of the Year 1989, he has been awarded the Annual Prize of the Endowment for Music of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia in 1999 and in 2009 and Estonian Republic’s IV Class Order of the White Star in 2001.

Lassmann has recorded piano music for Estonian Radio, also for Moscow and Sweden radio. He has a solo CD „Estonian piano music” (Eres, 1994) and CD „Mati Palm sings Estonian and Italian songs” together with bass Mati Palm (Kuldklassika, 2002). He also plays in several compilation CDs, e.g. 24 Estonian Preludes, Op. 80 by Jaan Rääts on CD „24 Marginals for Two Pianos, Op. 68; 24 Estonian Preludes, Op. 80” (Antes, 1996).

© EMIC 2008



Ene Kangron graduated from the Estonian Academy of Music as a choral conductor and music teacher.

She has worked as a music teacher at Westholm Gymnasium in Tallinn.

Ene Kangron graduated from the Estonian Academy of Music as a choral conductor and music teacher.
She has worked as a music teacher at Westholm Gymnasium in Tallinn.
Since 1986 she is teaching permanently at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre.
1991-1994 - Head of the music education department.
1995-1999 – Deputy president of the Estonian Music Council
Since 2000 - Head of the Continuing Education Centre of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre.
1996-2002 – President of the Estonian Society for Music Education, since 2003 member of the board.
Since 2002 – Leader of the organizing team of the Estonian Music Olympiads for secondary school students.
Since 2003 – the European Association for Music in Schools (EAS) National Coordinator for Estonia, 2008 – 2015 the EAS board member, leader of the National Coordinators Network


She has been a music education expert in the working group of the National Curriculum of Estonia.

Since 2016 – Leader of the International Music Olympiad Commitee (ImuOC).

A prize winner of several international choral competitions conducting the Student Choir of the Estonian Academy of Music: 1991 Greece - Karditsa, 1992 Italy –Arezzo, 1994 Wales - Llangollen and with the Tallinn Technical University Choir in 1993 in Budapest). With the Türnpu Male Choir in 1995 in Bern and in 2008 in Barcelona.




Education and Professional ActivitiesWilfried Gruhn

Wilfried Gruhn, Dr.Phil., professor emeritus of music education, University of Music (Musikhochschule) Freiburg, Germany. Studies in music education, musicology, psychology and German literature at the universities in Mainz and Saarbrücken (Germany), doctorate in musicology.

After holding positions as violinist in orchestras and chamber music ensembles and as music teacher in high schools, he became lecturer and professor of music education at the Universities of Music (Musikhochschulen) in Saarbrücken, Essen, and Freiburg. He is a member of several national and international societies for research and music education, was co-editor of of the European Music Journal, national representative and board member of ISME (2000 – 2004), president of the International Research Alliance of Institutes for Music Education (RAIME) 1996 – 1998.

2003 - 2009 director of the Gordon-Institute for Early Childhood Music Learning (GIfM) in Freiburg, Germany;  2009- 2012 president of the International Leo Kestenberg Society, Berlin, and editor of the Kestenberg Gesamtausgabe (Complete Works). Visiting professorships in Rochester, N.Y. (Eastman School of Music), Kuala Lumpur (UiTM Shah Alam), Tallinn (Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre). Gastkurse und Lehraufträge in der Schweiz (HdK Bern), in Spanien (Universidad Internacional de Andalucia, Sevilla) und Österreich (Austria) (Kunstuniversität, Graz).

Professor Gruhn's research areas are mainly related to music learning theory (brain research, neurobiology), early childhood education, music perception and cognition, contemporary music, semiotics, and the history of music education.

Music Education in the world has been influenced by his outstanding scientific work and   by his activities in  different organizations.

For the Estonian Society for Music Education he has been a person, who helped to orient in the wide landscape of the music education in the world.  Today we can say that it has been a well guided journey -  Prof Gruhn has been a person supporting our activities at  international level. And  even more – he helped us to discover the values of our own, Estonian music education.

In recognition of his outstanding work and support for the development of music education in Estonia, we hereby award Professor Emeritus Wilfried Gruhn the title Honorary Member of the Estonian Society for Music Education.