28 June – 1 July 2017

The time is ripe to announce: we here in small Estonia and the even smaller Haapsalu have an impressive musical story to tell!
Once upon a time when Pyotr Tchaikovsky spent an ordinary summer vacation with his fellow compatriots in the Haapsalu resort, no one realised to attribute a special importance to it. It was, after all, quite ordinary for the Russian and especially the upper crust of St. Petersburg to spend their summer holidays in Estonian resorts. Today, we are used to seeing Tchaikovsky’s Bench in the Haapsalu Promenade, we are proud of the Estonian folk melody that sounds in the famous Sixth Symphony — we take it all for granted. Hopefully, the classical music summer event Haapsalu Tchaikovsky Festival will become as natural.

The first festival is before you: come and listen to the classical concerts by the leading Russian theatre Moscow Novaya Opera in the Haapsalu Castle Yard, experience the chamber concerts, the thematic walks in Tchaikovsky’s paths, the children’s concerts and, of course, the Estonian National Ballet’s grand open air performance “Swans” on the lake Väike Viik in Haapsalu.
Haapsalu and Tchaikovsky go together like the sea and the wind!

Wed, 28 June at 8 p.m. Haapsalu Resort Hall

“Russian Romances and the Poetry of Pushkin”
Elina Netchaeva (soprano)
Johan Randvere (piano)

Russian romance is a blend of wonderful music and exquisite poetry. Unrequited love, inner loneliness, dreams and the joy of long-awaited rendezvous — Russian romance embodies the Russian soul. It laments and regrets, rejoices and suffers, aches for the world and relishes the pain. Yet the music never feels overblown or unconvincing, on the contrary, it is remarkably sincere and suggestive. Between the romances, we hear the timeless verses of Pushkin.

Thu, 29 June at 8 p.m. St. John’s Church
“Musical Letters”
Moscow Baroque Soloists Iris Oja (mezzo-soprano) and Kirill Ogorodnikov (guitar).

The leader of the Moscow Baroque Soloists and oboist Deniss Golubjov with his band have collaborated with Estonian musicians over the years both in Moscow and Estonia. At this concert, they present a selection of music from the contemporaries of Tchaikovsky. The wonderful voice of Iris Oja sounds at home in Russian music.

Fri, 30 June at 4 p.m. Läänemaa Co-Educational Gymnasium assembly hall

Tchaikovsky’s romances, arias and duets
Soloists of Novaya Opera and Dmitri Sibirtsev (piano)

Fortunately for us, the wonderful singers of Novaya Opera showcase their wonderful vocal artistry at the Haapsalu Tchaikovsky Festival more than just at the orchestral performance of the opera “Iolanta”. Theatre director and pianist Dmitri Sibirtsev with the soloists of Novaya Opera perform arias and duets from Russian operas in the assembly hall of the historical Wiedemann Gymnasium (today, Läänemaa Co-Educational Gymnasium), where the atmosphere perfectly supports the spirit of the concert.

Fri, 30 June at 8 p.m. Haapsalu Episcopal Castle
The Symphonic Orchestra of the Moscow Novaya Opera
Kalle Randalu (piano)
Conductor: Jan Latham-Koenig (United Kingdom)
Tchaikovsky. Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor and Symphony No. 6 in H minor

The first peak of Haapsalu Tchaikovsky Festival! Kalle Randalu, Estonia’s only Tchaikovsky Contest laureate so far! And his rendition of Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto, which he has not performed in years. In the second part of the concert, we will hear the composer’s most recognised, Sixth Symphony, “Pathetique”. The artist’s creative testament, the work that Tchaikovsky is claimed to have taken the most pride in.

Fri, 30 June at 11 p.m. lake Väike Viik in Haapsalu

Open air performance “Swans”.
Estonian National Ballet
Stage director: Toomas Edur
Estonian National Ballet presents to the audience an arrangement of the famous themes of Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” on the lake Väike Viik in Haapsalu. Toomas Edur brought the revised performance to the stage with the Estonian National Ballet less than a year ago. The Haapsalu performance takes place on a water stage built on the lake Väike Viik. The show is free of charge for the audience. We expect all the spectators to bring their own blankets and chairs and, of course, to dress according to the weather. If it rains, the performance will be held in the Haapsalu Cultural Center.

Sat, 1 July at 12 p.m. Haapsalu Cultural Center

Children’s concert “Four Kind Fairies”
Diana Liiv (piano) and instrumental soloists
Text read by Liina Olmaru

Performed by young talented musicians and dancers from the Tallinn Ballet School and the Tallinn Music High School.
Diana Liiv has written the book “Four Kind Fairies” based on Tchaikovsky’s “The Seasons”, in which the familiar “Seasons” appear in distinctive instrumental arrangements with introductions to the fairy tale and the orchestral instruments. The pictures in the book and the concert illustrations are drawn by artist Reti Saks.
The concert is an exciting audio-visual experience for both children and their parents.

Sat, 1 July at 4 p.m. Haapsalu Dome Church

The String Orchestra of the Moscow Novaya Opera
Kalle Randalu (piano)
Tchaikovsky. “Souvenir de Hapsal” op. 2; Serenade for Strings in C major op. 48

The beloved pianist Kalle Randalu opens the concert with Tchaikovsky’s “Souvenir de Hapsal” — a piece that could be the motto of the festival and that has truly come from the composer’s emotions relating to his time in Haapsalu.
Belonging to the golden string music repertoire, Tchaikovsky’s mighty serenade for the string instruments sounds exactly as the composer had envisioned — with the largest possible string ensemble, powerful and infinitely nuanced.

Sat, 1 July at 8 p.m. Haapsalu Episcopal Castle
The Symphony Orchestra of the Moscow Novaya Opera and soloists
Conductor: Jan Latham-Koenig
Tchaikovsky. Concert performance of the opera “Iolanta”

Concert performance of the rarely performed opera “Iolanta” in the Haapsalu Castle is an exceptional event. The tragic story of a young blind maiden slightly resembles the story of the White Lady, which has been performed by the Dome Church for decades.
“Wonderful taste and sense of completeness”, “enchanting, breathtakingly beautiful orchestral sound”, “true world class professionals” — these are some of the reviews for the Novaya Opera Theatre Orchestra.

Sat, 1 July at 11 p.m. Bandstand of the Haapsalu Promenade

“Tchaikovsky in jazz”
Antti Sarpila (clarinet)
Estonian Dream Big Band
Music from “The Swan Lake”, “Nutcracker” and “The Sleeping Beauty”

The melodies of Tchaikovsky are beautiful and unforgettable. Hopefully they will echo in our ears for a long time. The festival closes with a modern jazzy rendition of this timeless music by one of the world’s best jazz clarinettists Antti Sarpila and the best jazz orchestra in Estonia. It would not be superfluous to wear a hat to the swinging Tchaikovsky evening concert in the wonderful Promenade Bandstand.