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Ants Soots Biography

Ants Soots

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Ants Soots graduated from Heino Eller Tartu Music School under the guidance of Alo Ritsing in 1978. In 1983 Soots graduated from Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (former Tallinn State Conservatory) under the guidance of prof. Ants Üleoja.

In 1982-1990 Ants Soots was singer of Mixed Choir of Television and Radio, where he also took part of preparing choral programs as a choirmaster and conductor. In 1982-1986 Ants Soots was choir conductong pedagogue at Georg Ots Tallinn Music School and 1986-1989 at Tallinn University (former Tallinn Pedagogical Institute). Since 1988 Ants Soots is choir conducting pedagogue at Estonia Academy of Music and Theatre (in 1991-1995 head of choir conducting department, since 2004 professor). His students include among others Jaan-Eik Tulve, Mihkel Kutson, Heli Jurgenson, Juri-Ruut Kangur, Darja Selivanova, Maarja Helstein, Merle Liblik, Ave Sopp, Tiiu Sinipalu ect.

Ants Soots has been conductor of several choirs as male choir Forestalia (1976-1991), The Academic Male Choir of Tallinn University of Technology (1981-1986), Male Choir of the Estonian Academy of Sciences (1986-1991), Female Choir of the Estonian Academy of Sciences (1990-1991) and Estonian National Male Choir (1991-2005, since 1994 principal conductor), also 2008-2011 artistic director of the choir. He has performed with Estonian National Male Choir both in Estonia and abroad including Israel, Canada, Poland, France, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Hungary and USA. He has prepared with the choir 45 vocal-symphonic works and over 70 a cappella programs with remarkable amount of Estonian composers works and premiers including released CD-s as Veljo Tormis' Vision of Estonia I-III (Alba Records 2001, 2004), Visions Beyond Estonia and Vision of Kalevala (Alba Records 2007, 2008), author's CD-s by Eduard Tubin (Forte 1998) and Ester Magi (Tree of Song, Alba Records 2005) and and Peeter Vahi's Planet Cantata on CD Planetentone vol 2 (Polygram/Polymedia Record 2002). In 2003 Ants Soots participated as a choirmaster at recording of CD Sibelius. Cantatas performed by Estonian National Male Choir, Girls' Choir Ellerhein and Estonian National Symphony Orchestra (conductor Paavo Jarvi), which won Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance in 2004. In addition Ants Soots has cooperated as a guest conductor with choirs as Nagoyas Tohkai Male Choir in Japan (2004, 2006, 2008).

Ants Soots has been principal conductor of Estonian Song Celebrations as XXII Song Celebration in 1994 and XXIV Song Celebration "Alati teel" („Always on the Road") in 2004. He has been artistic director of XXIII Song Celebration in 1999 and XXV Song Selebration „Üheshingamine" („To Breathe as One") in 2009, also festivals as Nordic-Baltic Choral Festival (1997, 2002) , „Parnu 2002" and „Tallinn 2007".

Ants Soots has led seminars and master courses in Estonia, Japan, Lithuania, Sweden, Israel, Finland and Spain (including colloquium of Estonian choral music at international choir music conference in Altea, 2000). In 1996-2000 Soots was chairman of the Estonian Choral Association. Ants Soots has been awarded Gustav Ernesaks Scholarship (1999), Order of the White Star, 5th class (2002), Annual Prizes of the Estonian Cultural Endowment for both Music and Folk Art (2004). In 2006 Soots was elected honorary conductor of the Estonian National Male Choir. In 2008 Ants Soots was given Estonia's State Cultural Award.

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Estonian National Male Choir

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