Conductor

Olari Elts

Biography – about the artist.

Music Director and Chief Conductor Estonian National Symphony Orchestra,
Artistic Advisor Kymi Sinfonietta

Olari Elts’ passion for distinctive programming rich with invention has earned him much praise on the international music scene. He began his tenure as Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra in 2020. Since 2018, he is also Artistic Advisor of the Kymi Sinfonietta.

Olari Elts has appeared as a guest conductor with orchestras such as Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Finnish Radio Symphony, Danish National Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre National de Lyon, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Soloists with whom he collaborates include Daniel Lozakovich, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Gautier and Renaud Capuçon, Brett Dean, Isabelle Faust, Alban Gerhardt, Martin Grubinger, Martin Helmchen, Stephen Hough, Lucas & Arthur Jussen, Kari Kriikku, Karita Mattila, Alexander Melnikov, Baiba Skride, Simon Trpčeski, and Antoine Tamestit.



In the 2022/23 season, Elts leads the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra on tour to Germany and France in cities including Munich and Paris, along with violinist Daniel Lozakovich. He guest conducts orchestras such as the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, the Hamburg and Dusseldorf Symphony orchestras, Tapiola Sinfonietta, the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra, and returns to Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música for the world premiere of a new piece by Erkki-Sven Tüür. This season marks his return to Asia for his debut with the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan and in Norway he records with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra a new album with music by award-winning composer Øyvind Torvund. Elts finishes off the season with a grand tour of the UK with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, whilst maintaining his close collaboration with the Kymi Sinfonietta. 

As a champion of contemporary Baltic composers such as Erkki-Sven Tüür and Heino Eller, Elts has released recordings of Heino Eller’s Symphonic Poems, as well as Eller’s violin concerto with Baiba Skride and the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. Also widely celebrated by critics are his Ondine recordings of Erkki-Sven Tüür works with Tapiola Sinfonietta, including the viola concerto with Lawrence Power, Tüür’s Symphony No. 5 for electric guitar, orchestra, big band and the accordion concerto Prophecy with the Helsinki Philharmonic. His 2016 recording of Brahms’ arrangements (Glanert, Berio) with Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra also received high praise. Elts’ discography includes the Borgström and Shostakovich violin concertos with Eldbjørg Hemsing and the Wiener Symphoniker under the BIS label, and Poul Ruders Symphony No.5 with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra by Bridge Records. His recently released an album with music by Kalevi Aho, recorded with the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra.

Elts also made his mark in the opera field, having conducted titles such as Eugene Onegin, Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Idomeneo and Berlioz’s La Damnation du Faust. Crossing genres, Elts toured to the Konzerthaus Berlin with the theatre-concert production which combined Mendelssohn and Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” with the Tallinn-based theatre company NO99. For Bernstein’s 100th anniversary, Elts conducted the film “On the Waterfront” with Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg. 

Elts was Principal Guest Conductor of the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra from 2007-2020 and held the same position at Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra from 2011-2014. He was Artistic Advisor of the Orchestre de Bretagne from 2006-2011, Principal Guest Conductor of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra from 2007-2010 and Chief Conductor of the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra from 2001-2006. Born in Tallinn in 1971, Elts is founder of his contemporary music ensemble, NYYD Ensemble.
 

Season 2022/2023


Orchestra.

Estonian National Symphony Orchestra

The unique position in the intersection of cultures brings together Nordic, Western and Eastern musical traditions. Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2026, the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra has become the most…

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The next dates:

28.11.2022

Viimsi Artium

Harju maakond

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29.11.2022

Estonia Concert Hall

Tallinn

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01.12.2022

Meistersingerhalle Nürnberg

Nürnberg

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02.12.2022

La Seine Musicale

Boulogne-Billancourt

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04.12.2022

Isarphilharmonie

München

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15.12.2022

Romanian Athenaeum (Ateneul Român) Bukarest

Bucuresti

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16.12.2022

Romanian Athenaeum (Ateneul Român) Bukarest

Bucuresti

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23.12.2022

Estonia Concert Hall

Tallinn

04.02.2023

Vidzeme Concert Hall Cesis

C?sis

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23.02.2023

Kuopio Music Centre

Kuopio

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20.04.2023

Uppsala Konsert & Kongress

Uppsala

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Your contact persons:

General Management:

Andreas Flohr

+44 20 7395 09-30

andreas.flohr@kdschmid.co.uk

General Management:

Spiros Chatziangelou

+44 20 7395 09-17

spiros.chatziangelou@kdschmid.co.uk

Alexandre Lenne

Artist Coordinator

+44 20 7395 09-10

alexandre.lenne@kdschmid.co.uk

Listen, See & feel the music.

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Alexandre Lenne

Artist Coordinator

+44 20 7395 09-10

alexandre.lenne@kdschmid.co.uk

Discography.

Kalevi Aho

Double and Triple Concertos

12.2021, BIS Records, CD

> Amazon > iTunes

Heino Eller: Symphonic Poems

10.2019, Ondine, CD

> Amazon > iTunes

Heino Eller

11.2018, Ondine, CD

> Amazon > iTunes

Borgstrom, Shostakovich & Hemsing

04.2018, Bis, CD

> Amazon > iTunes

Erkki-Sven Tüür

02.2018, Ondine, CD

> Amazon > iTunes

News.

5th Symphony Concert in Weimar

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Olari Elts: Kalevi Aho – Double and Triple Concertos

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Press.

„“The conductor Olari Elts clearly has the measure of them, and most obviously an ear for how best to draw out the detail of the intriguing colours Tüür manages to extract from both soloists and orchestra.”“

By Richard Hanlon, MusicWeb International, 01.04.2018

„Themes and ideas, interconnections and contrasts, ricocheted across Estonian conductor Olari Elts’s cleverly constructed concert with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. […] Elts’s Rautavaara was a slow-burn, vivid with carefully etched detail and drawing intensely on the SCO players’ soloistic skills […] Elts’s Respighi was no less vivid, with an exquisite sparkle to its impeccably balanced textures – refined, but with a mischievous glint in its eye all the same. […] Elts’s Copland, too, felt intimate and introspective rather than monumental and expansive, offering a very fresh, human perspective on this well-loved classic of Americana.“

The Scotsman, David Kettle, 07.11.2017

„“Conducting without a baton, Estonian Olari Elts’ precise, restrained approach conjured a touching austere beauty from the players. […] It was fascinating to follow Vasks’ composition for the orchestra, each individual section receiving a share of the limelight, carefully guided by Elts, breathing as one with the music. […] Bright woodwinds brought colour to the moderate duo before the piccolo and clarinet led the dancing with Elts keeping everything light and sprightly before the variations on Simple Gifts and bringing a calm and flowing beauty right to the delicate raindrops at the end.”“

By David Smythe, bachtrack, 03.11.2017

„Elts’ conducting can be flamboyant at the same time as being meticulously precise. [...] The result in Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances had intensity and color, decisiveness and vigor, allied with the same sensitivity which pervaded the Rhapsody, plus fine work from the alto saxophone in the first movement.“

The SunBreak, Philippa Kiraly, 17.04.2017

„There’s an irresistible energy and joy in Elts’ conducting style; he leaps about the podium, sweeping his arms and hands in enthusiastic but exquisitely clear, focused gestures. His gift for revealing inner structures gave the symphony a fresh, living dimensionality.“

Artsfile Ottawa, Natasha Gauthier, 30.03.2017