The sun is shining and the musicians are gearing up for this year’s Pärnu Music Festival. But for those who are unable to travel to Estonia this summer, the good news is that all main 8 events will be available to watch online. The new streaming platform gives access to live concerts and a replay for a further 30 days. Ticket price per concert is 7 euros.

This summer celebrates the 10th anniversary of both the Pärnu Music Festival and the Estonian Festival Orchestra. It also looks back at 50 long years of music-making in Pärnu, as begun in the 1970’s under the baton of Neeme Järvi. Although Neeme Järvi will not be able to join the celebrations this summer, Paavo and Kristjan Järvi will be leading the festivities.

Paavo Järvi opens the festival with the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra (16 July) and goes on to lead the Estonian Festival Orchestra in three concerts (19, 22 and 23 July). Due to current limitations, the EFO will perform with less musicians than usual, but joining them will be Florian Donderer, the orchestra’s founding concert master, and 20 international musicians who return to Pärnu to be reunited with their Estonian colleagues.

There are five Estonian composers featured on this year’s programme with music spanning from 1977 to the present day. The festival opens with Arvo Pärt’s Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten and pays tribute to Lepo Sumera in the 70th anniversary of his birth, with performances of both his Symphony No.3 (1988) and Cello Concerto (1998/99). Jüri Reinvere’s Double concerto for two flutes, string orchestra and percussion, premiered at the Pärnu Music Festival in 2016, makes a welcome return as a highlight of this year’s anniversary gala and Erkki-Sven Tüür’s Violin Concerto No.2 (2017) is the focus of the first Järvi Academy concert. Bringing us to the present day is Tõnu KõrvitsTo the Moonlight, which will be premiered by the Estonian Festival Orchestra and Paavo Järvi on 19 July.