An interview with Pille Lill about the behind the scenes world of organizing a music festival

The Tallinn Chamber Music Festival will take place on August 19–30. Festival features performances by foreign guests such as Nordic youth symphony orchestra Orkester Norden, piano trio Teos (Finland/Estonia) and chamber orchestra Baltic Neopolis Virtuosi (Poland) and a great number of Estonian top soloists.

The festival has become a tradition and it is one of the Estonia’s classical music top events. Our beautiful capital’s quality music festival gives the audience a possibility to enjoy an extensive amount of Estonian and foreign top musicians’ performances, beautifying and enriching the cultural scene of Tallinn and of whole Estonia while doing so.

Before the festival begins it is suitable to ask the organizer of the festival, founder of the PLMF Music Trust and an acknowledged Estonian opera singer, Pille Lill, some questions which concern the organizational part of the festival.

How did the idea to organize the Tallinn Chamber Music Festival come to being? Did you see a certain kind of void in the cultural events that were already taking place?

The birth of the festival was a logical continuation of the founding of the Music Trust, which indeed filled a kind of void because Estonia didn’t have an organization which would take care of the well-being of professional musicians. Since one really important factor in enabling the development of the musicians is performing opportunities, then creating the festival was the rightest thing to do.

What have been the biggest ordeals connected to the organizing of the event?

Everything had to be started from scratch – budget, marketing, international cooperation etc. Everything has been a trial and still is.

What have been the biggest joys? What is the one thing that always makes you organize again?

Our musicians and their standard. I am moved to tears every time by their dedication.

What kind of feedback have you gotten from the audience?

Extremely pleasant. During the last few years, we have gotten the best feedback, which is that the concerts of the festival are accompanied by the quality label, which is very true and we enable that with a fairly decent price. This year, two concerts are with a free entrance again. Fantastic!

Which are the concerts that you definitely recommend to the audience?

All concerts are with an extraordinary energy. I have known all the musicians who perform this year already for 15 years or more and I know what they are capable of. Also, the foreign guests are with a high standard: Baltic Neopolis Virtuosi chamber ensemble features concertmasters from Berlin Deutsche Opera and London Royal Opera House. The Nordic young talents’ symphony orchestra is worth to listen and the piano trio Teos, which consists of Finnish-Estonian top musicians, has found recognition in Scandinavian countries.

What are the concerts that you yourself expect the most this year?

I do not wish to make any choices because I am very happy about every performance by our top musicians, who love their specialty and are dedicated to music.

Where to next? What are the plans for the future and who else do you plan to invite to Estonia to perform?

I believe that the festival will come again next year and we already have agreements with many foreign performers, which we will surely soon announce to the concertgoers. Soon to be created PLMF Academia Nova school will enable master classes for young musicians, so there is much to expect!