Estonian TV Girls’ Choir is a credited choir both in Estonia and abroad. The choir, conducted since its birth by Aarne Saluveer, has grown out from the Children’s Television Music Studio that was founded in 1990 alongside the Estonian Television Children’s Programme department. Today the choir is comprised of about 35 singers aged 13-20, most of whom have a musical education and earlier choir-singing experience.
The choir’s repertoire includes spiritual and secular music of different ages, folk music (with corepgraphy) and a modern program of pop and jazz.
The choir has collaborated with many renowned Estonian composers, such as Arvo Pärt, Veljo Tormis, Urmas Sisask, Tõnis Mägi and Tõnu Kõrvits and appeared at a number on international conferences, symposiums, festivals (La Fabbrica del Canto in Italy, Polyfollia in France, Sympaatti in Finland). Under the conducting of Aarne Saluveer, Arvo Pärt’s breathtaking piece „Peace Upon You, Jerusalem“ (written for the ETV Girls’ Choir) was performed in 2002 in New York as a world premiere and in 2010 Pärt’s III symphony, titled „Our Garden“ („Meie aed“), was performed as part of the Nargen festival to celebrate the composer’s birthday. In 2008 when The Republic of Estonia celebrated its 90th anniversary, Estonian TV Girls’ Choir was chosen to bring one of Estonia’s musical gifts (U. Sisask’s piece “Veni Creator Spiritus”) to Great Britain and performed it in London, in the same year the choir went on a thorough tour of Europe dedicated to the anniversary of their home country, giving over 20 concerts and introducing Estonian music with the programme „Wake Up, My Heart“. Written especially for the ETV Girls’ Choir, Tõnu Kõrvits’s magical piece „For Music“ was first performed in 2011 during a concert trip to Argentina. In celebration of the 100. anniversary of the building of the theatre Estonia (2013), ETV Girls’ Choir collaborated with local composer and singer Vaiko Eplik to bring to life his newest creation „The Great Painter“(lyrics by Ellen Niit), accompanied by an animated film.
In addition to Estonian composers, the ETV Girls’ Choir has also worked with foreign talents, for example contemporary British composer Roxanna Panufnik, who created a modern mass in honour of the city of Tallinn when it was the cultural capital of Europe in 2011. In May 2013 the long piece was recorded with two choirs, soloists and an orchestra. ETV Girls’ Choir has also had the pleasure of working with world-renowned composer and conductor Eric Whitacre (August 2013).
In 2001 Estonian TV Girls’ Choir performed successfully in international Competition of Choral Music in Gorizia – the title of the best female choir and the best choir in all categories. In 2005 the choir won 1th prize in the youth category of EBU International Choir Competition Let The Peoples Sing. The girls also participated of the Eurovision Song Contest of 2002 in Tallinn.
Concert tours have taken girls to almost all of Europe (for example Great Britain, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, France, Andorra, Portugal, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Latvia), but also farther away (Israel, Russia, China) and even across the ocean (USA, Argentina).
In the summer of 2011 the ETV Girls’ Choir performed (as the first Estonian choir) in the IX World Choral Music Symposionin Puerto Madryn (Argentina), where their conductor Aarne Saluveer had been invited to lead one of the four masters’ courses that took place there, in addition the choir had over 11 concerts in different cities over the country. In the beginning of 2012, the choir performed in the Reverb festival in London (England) with Imogen Heap, Ana Silvera and the Holst Singers. In August 2012 the girls headed to Arezzo (Italy) to accept the Guido d’Arezzo Foundation Guidoneum Award 2012, given to the conductor and choir for years of high-quality diverse musical activity. In spring 2013, a long concert tour took the Girls’ Choir to the Shanghai International Music Festival (China). The same year also included performances at the Estonian-German summit conference „Klang/Sounds of Europe“ in Berlin and at the Choir Festival Polyfollia in Normandy (France).