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EERO Canada Media Posts


EERO, ERSO and the Pärnu Music Festival

Photo: Odessa Classics Tallinn Opening Concert Author/Source: ERSO TV

A generous Canadian family directed their donation to EERO to support the Tallinn - Odessa Classics Festival, the Pärnu Music Festival in July and the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra (ENSO, but most often called ERSO). As the world transitions from a pandemic to an economy impacted by the war, it is important to support numerous communities. Music is close to the heart and soul of Estonians and musicians have been impacted by these crises. This donation supports the classical music community, in particular Estonian classical music and especially musicians.

This spring Tallinn is hosting the Odessa Classics Festival, which features music by both Estonian and Ukrainian composers and takes place in Tallinn, Tartu and Laulasmaa. The concerts include works by: Mozart, Pärt, Britten, Silvestrov, Bach, Schumann, Kosenko, Revutsky, Skoryk, Beethoven, Piazzolla, Bocchinni, Frank, Mägi and Lauridsen. You can listen to the concerts online during or after the festival at ERSO TV / Odessa Classics.

The Pärnu Music Festival began in 2011, where the world renowned conductor Paavo Järvi decided to create a new kind of orchestra – one which brings together hand-picked top international classical musicians with emerging talent from Estonia. This summer celebrates the reunion of the Järvi family after a three year hiatus. Neeme Järvi returns to Estonia to celebrate his 85th birthday and conducts the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra in the opening concert; Paavo Järvi directs the Estonian Festival Orchestra in four concerts with guest soloists Joshua Bell, Stefan Dohr and Wayne Marshall; and the Baltic Sea Philharmonic under the direction of Kristjan Järvi visits Pärnu for the first time. You can watch past performances online at Pärnu Music Festival / Previous Years and this years festival performances (July 13- July 22) will be available online in July. Those travelling to Estonia in July may wish to see the concerts in person and tickets are already available, but limited due to covid restrictions.

Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2026, ERSO has become a prominent orchestral ambassador of Estonia abroad, powerfully increasing its international scope particularly in recent decades. Since the 2020/21 season, its Chief Conductor and Artistic Director is Olari Elts. Neeme Järvi, the longest-serving chief conductor of ERSO, continues to cooperate with the orchestra as an Honorary Artistic Director for Life and the Artistic Adviser of the orchestra is Paavo Järvi. The orchestra has won several prizes, including a Grammy Award for the recording of cantatas by Sibelius. In 2020, the orchestra launched its own channel –, which you can watch online at ERSO TV . ERSO has had the honour to premiere symphonic pieces by almost every Estonian composer, including Arvo Pärt, Erkki-Sven Tüür, Jüri Reinvere and Eduard Tubin. Perhaps one day we will enjoy an ERSO concert in Canada.

Until then enjoy the music.

Mari Ann Tammark

To date EERO has sent MTÜ Eesti Pagulasabi (Estonian Refugee Council) $320,000 (228,000 €) to support Ukrainian refugees in Estonia.

This has supported the evacuation of refugees safely to Estonia from the Ukrainian border and related expenses, initial consultations, workshops, assistance in obtaining long term housing, education support for children, and mental wellbeing support groups.

To date the education support fund has helped almost 1,500 children. They expect the total number of children to be more than 5,600 children when schools reopen in September. Those children currently not accommodated in Estonian schools participate in online Ukrainian school classes. There are many reasons why not all children have been accommodated yet, but the main reason is overcrowding or lack of space.

There are mental wellbeing support group meetings in Tallinn and there are plans to increase these groups throughout Estonia. Many of the psychologist who facilitate these support groups are also Ukrainian refugees who have the necessary training and educational background. Pagulasabi also provides counselling to refugees in their Tallinn center, runs a counselling hotline phone number, and assists people via e-mail, Viber and other online channels. Counselling services provide assistance on finding housing, finding a job or a school, legal issues, and other concerns.

At the moment the Refugee Council has organized group activities for children in accommodation centers, which will continue in the fall. During the summer, the Estonian Refugee Council also plans to organize three overnight camps and two day- camps for about 100 refugee children this summer. The total budget for Children/Youth activity groups and summer camps is 50,000 euros. Similar camps have been organized by the Refugee Council in both Estonia and the Ukraine in the past, and these refugee camps will be expanded and focus on the mental wellbeing of children and include Ukrainian psychologists. The Estonian school in New York is currently raising money to support 20 children going to summer camp through the Estonian Relief Committee USA (Eesti Abistamiskomitee USAs). EERO may also support this initiative, as it supports other activities for youth and Ukrainian refugees. Those donating in the US can donate at

There are more than 40,000 Ukrainian refugees in Estonia. Refugees can be found in almost all municipalities in Estonia. Most refugees live in Harjumaa. Hence the housing shortage is critical in larger urban centers, and especially in the north. Over the past month, refugees are arriving mainly via Narva from Mariupol, Donetsk and Luhansk regions. These are refugees that Russia (evacuated) or deported to Russia and have somehow made their way to Ivangorod and then crossed the bridge to Narva. Most are en route to other countries. Although the number of refugees seems to have stabilized, it is difficult to determine how long the refugees will remain in Estonia.

Please continue to support the EERO Ukrainian Refugee Fund and visit the website.

Mari Ann Tammark

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