We regret to report the death, early today, of Eri Klas, one of the best known conductors around the Baltic region and an influential teacher at the Sibelius Academy and Estonian Academy.
Eri, born in Talinn in 1939, had been music director of the Estonian National Opera (1975-95), of the Royal Opera in Stockholm (1985-90) and of the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1996-2003.
He made his US debut in 1991 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, followed by appearances with the Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Boston, Minnesota, San Francisco and many more.
He gave the world premiere of two major works by Alfred Schnittke, Peer Gynt and the 1st cello concerto.
Read a soloist’s tribute here.
Not many know: he started out as a barbershop singer.