I wanted to be an organist, but Stalin stopped that

Martin Anderson as republished a fascinating interview he recorded with the important Estonian composer Veljo Tormis, who died on Saturday.

First I wanted to be an organist and then later a choir-master. But then in ’48 the organ class was closed on ideological grounds; it was Stalin. Then I had to choose another profession! What could I do in my situation? Then I tried choral conducting, but that didn’t work: there weren’t any churches. Then my choir professor said: ‘It’s not for you – choose another profession”. So composition was the third possibility!’

Read on here.

share this

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on google
  • From the photo one could be forgiven for thinking that this was a story about Arvo Pärt. There are dozens of photos of Veljo Tormis that don’t have Arvo Pärt standing in the foreground.

  • >