“The orchestra is making international waves – including an impressive debut at the BBC Proms last summer – but to hear them on their own turf in front of its adoring home audience gave the perfect introduction to this festival’s ethos.”, Mark Pullinger, 19 July 2019

“Here there are no egos, but truly passionate people in making and listening to the best music.”
El Pais, Pablo Rodriguez, 23 July 2019

“Above all there is the Estonian Festival Orchestra, the backbone of this music week and which has long proved itself internationally on tour! The latest, great baby of the great educator Paavo Järvi … And year after year you can see and hear the artists evolve, open up, listen to each other.”
Brugs Klassiker, Manuel Brug, 19 July 2019

“Paavo Järvi brings together his Estonian Festival Orchestra which he composes ad hoc, of handpicked musicians. Immediately sensitive, the complicity between instrumentalist and conductor allowed a remarkable economy of rehearsals and injected the concert with a truly breathtaking energy and virtuosity.”
Diapason, Paul de Louit, 7 August 2019

“Some journalists have compared the EFO to the Lucerne ensemble founded by Claudio Abbado … Measured by musicality, interpretive skills, technique, respect for each other and a warm relationship with the conductor, this must surely be true.”
Harmonie Magazine, Alena Sojková, 13 September 2019

“… The tour de force came after the interval, with Paavo Jarvi’s irresistibly driven interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s Second Symphony … the finale’s high-kicking variations virtually lifted us out of our seats. No more exciting official ending to a festival could possibly be imagined … this is definitely one of the world’s great orchestras, and it’s here to stay., David Nice, 14 August 2019

“The orchestra literally bites into the most beautiful horn soli and swaying folklore, jagged marching rhythms and to the finale into the Great Gate of Kiev, which also curves and opens up to the soundscapes of a Tchaikovsky exhibition. Paavo Järvi has the best handle on this, drives, holds back. It may also be glaring, but the matted harmony of the ensemble is always to be felt. This eventually explodes in an apotheosis of the sheet metal, Tchaikovsky orgasm pure.”
Brugs Klassiker, Manuel Brug, 22 July 2019