This year the Republic of Estonia is celebrating its centenary in style. The Baltic nation will host thousands of events throughout 2018 and we’ve picked the ones worth travelling for.
Tallinn Music Week, April 2 – 8
Estonia’s capital will welcome 200 regional headliners, as well as up-and-coming and international artists for a week of concerts at some of its most famous venues.
Jazzkaar, April 20 – 29
Now in its 28th year, the largest jazz festival in the Baltics will welcome 3,000 artists from 60 different countries for a 10-day jazz extravaganza.
Haapsalu Tchaikovsky Festival, June 27 – 30
It’s a little known fact but famous Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky (The Nutcracker, Swan Lake) loved visiting Haapsalu. Each year the seaside resort honours the great musician with a programme of classical music and ballet.
Pärnu Music Festival, July 16 – 22
Now in its eighth year, the week-long Pärnu festival takes place in various locations throughout the seaside town, with a focus on orchestral music played by the world-class Pärnu Festival orchestra.
Saaremaa Opera Days, July 19 – 28
Watch the opera from inside the courtyard of a 13th-century castle on the wild and enchanting island of Saaremaa, which each summer hosts 10 days of classical performances.
Leigo Lake Music Festival, August 3 – 4
Taking place on Leigo’s small willow-fringed island, there will be concerts showcasing music from classical to rock. The summer’s evening culminates in a Leigo-style display of fireworks – both traditional and floating tea lights.
Europa Cantat, July 27 – August 5
Over 100 different concerts will be held across Estonia, bringing together more than 4,000 international singers, conductors and composers.
Estonian National Opera 2018 season, from August 15
The Estonian National Opera (founded in 1865) celebrates its 112th anniversary with performances of Jerry Bock’s popular musical Fiddler on the Roof.
Birgitta Festival, August 9 – 18
Every August, the imposing medieval Pirita monastery ruins are turned into a modern opera house with performances of classical opera, ballet, contemporary dance and musical comedy.
PÖFF, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, December 2018
Each year around 80,000 people attend one of Northern Europe’s biggest film festivals. With around 250 feature films and more than 300 shorts and animations, there’s plenty keep movie lovers entertained. Also check out the Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival in April and the open air Tartu Love Film Festival during summer.
To get you in the mood for Estonia’s centenary celebrations, check out one of these events in London.
The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir at Barbican –
London’s Brutalist icon welcomes the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir who will perform the music of Arvo Pärt, one of the most successful Estonian composers in music history.
Estonian contemporary art exhibitions, March 1 – October 31
The Estonian Contemporary Art Development Centre (ECADC) will host Democracy to Come – an international exhibition speculating on future possibilities for democracy (also showing at Whitechapel Gallery). The historic Regent Street Cinema will screen documentary @katjanovi, telling the story of Estonian installation artist and rising star Katja Novitskova.