Siiri Siimer is the creator of the festival KRATT and its project manager. She generates the bold ideas and is a very decisive, persistent and principled person. And this is also how she organises this festival.
Siiri graduated from Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre as a pianist and her entire life has been about music: she has been the director of Old Town Educational College music school, long-time manager of contemporary music ensemble NYYD, musical advisor on Estonian Ministry of Culture and is currently the agent of early music ensemble Vox Clamantis.
Siiri’s interests a varied: she has studied international relations in Tallinn University of Technology, has written theatre music and children’s songs. She is also a mother to an 11-year-old cellist.
Young people, music and young people’s music education have always been important for Siiri and, after many experiences with various music and musicians, she feels that now it is time to focus her efforts on helping young musicians on their journey.
Logistics, Planning, Communication
Aet Bergmann grew up in Germany, graduated Helsinki German School and studied violin in Helsinki Concervatoire. She then got a law degree from University of Tartu. Aet has been working as a lawyer from 1998. Presently she is the managing partner in Estonian law firm of bnt attorneys in CEE.
Aet is also a mother of a 12-year old violinist. Music and children’s musical education are important for her and therefore she is glad to help with texts, the communication and the legal aspects of the festival KRATT.
Social Media and Marketing
Margit Lahevee has studied piano at the Tallinn Music High School, but graduated from the Faculty of Law of the University of Tartu and has now worked as a sworn attorney for many years. However, her love of music is deep and unwavering, which is why she devotes much of her free time to singing in the chamber choir Collegium Musicale. For several years, Margit was also singer at the chamber choir Voces Tallinn and responsible for the marketing of the choir, including the organization of concerts. In addition, she is a member of the board of the Association of Estonian Chamber Choirs.
Margit has an 11-year-old daughter studying cello, who will hopefully continue to have the same passion and love for music. Margit believes that on the long journey towards becoming a musician the KRATT Festival is an invaluable companion.
Finances and Sponsoring Projects
Eva Kaitsa has been living in the numbers’ world almost all her life, her music studies were limited to one year of piano lessons long time ago. She has studied economics at Tallinn School of Economics and Tallinn Technical University and used this knowledge in various ventures.
Eva is the mother of an 8-year-old violinist and singing girl. She joined the KRATT team for her love for classical music and her desire to support young people developing with music and instruments.
Eva says: it is really interesting and educating to participate in a process that is not designed for profit, but for direct support of our future as a nation and for the continuation of high culture.
Pianist Jana Peäske is a valued chamber musician, piano accompanist and teacher. Her impressive repertoire consists of both classical and contemporary music.
In 1985, Jana Peäske graduated from Tallinn Music High School as a pianist with Enn Seep and Bruno Lukk (from 1980). She continued studying piano in 1985-1990 at Tallinn Conservatory with Bruno Lukk and since 1989 with Ivo Sillamaa. 1991-1993 she studied organ in the class of Hugo Lepnurm. She earned Master’s in Music degree in 2000 at the Estonian Academy of Music (with Marje Lohuaru).
In 1995-1999, Jana Peäske studied chamber music at the University of Music Karlsruhe (Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe) with Michael Uhde, where she received Master’s degree in 1997 and finished her PhD studies in 1999.
In 1992, Jana Peäske and Mihkel Peäske won the Favourite of the Audience Award at the piano festival Con Brio. In 1996, Jana Peäske and Kersten McCall took part in F. Mendelssohn Bartholdy Competition in Berlin where Peäske won the best accompanist prize.
Since 1988, she has been working at Tallinn Music High School and since 1990, at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre as a teacher and a piano accompanist.
Andres Siitan is a long time concert organiser and music manager on the Estonian music scene. 1999-2010 he was the Managing Director of the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and before that the concertmaster of oboe section. At the moment he is managing the Estonian Festival Orchestra and organizing their tours abroad. He also plays recorder in the early music studio Cantores Vagantes.
Andres Siitan has studied in Vilar Institute for Arts Management in Washington, he also studied business management in University of Tartu and before that he studied oboe in Tallinn Conservatoire. He has performed as a soloist with Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and been a long-time participant in the work of NYYD Ensemble. He has also played in many orchestras and chamber ensembles.
His 12-year old daughter plays violin, and his 10-year old son plays cello.
Curator of Harju County and foreign players
Jaan Ots is a pianist and conductor born in Tallinn.
Jaan graduated from Tallinn Music High School with a degree in piano and trumpet and obtained a bachelor’s degree in piano from the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. Jaan obtained his master’s degree at the Sibelius Academy, studying orchestral conducting in the conducting class of Leif Segerstam and Atso Almila. During his studies, he continued his studies as an exchange student at the Paris Conservatory (CNSM) and participated in the master classes of Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Mikko Franck, David Zinman, Thomas Sanderling and Järvi Academy.
He has participated in many competitions, winning prizes in more than twenty competitions in Estonia and abroad, including the 1st prize in the “Steinway & Sons” competition for young pianists in Hamburg (2003) and the 2nd prize and the EMCY special prize in the “Step towards mastery” competition in St. Petersburg (2005).
He has conducted the Jyväskylä Symphony, the Lahti Symphony, the Hamburger Camerata, ERSO, the Pärnu City Orchestra, the Narva City Orchestra and the Glass Pearl Symphony. In December 2017, he made his debut at the Finnish National Opera with performances of the Tchaikovsky Ballet “The Nutcracker”.
Jaan was the chief conductor of the 2020 KRATT festival and will shoulder it again in 2021, this time as the coordinator of orchestras in Harju County and the Baltic States, and as the conductor of regional rehearsals.
Curator of Southern Estonia
Kristel was born in Tallinn, but has been living in Tartu since 1998.
After graduating from the violin class of Tiiu Peäske at the Tallinn Music High School, she immediately started working at the same school and continued her studies at the Tallinn Conservatory with Prof. Jüri Gerretz. For many years, Kristel divided herself between various orchestras (TKO, PLO and Vanemuine Theatre Orchestra) and her work as a teacher (TMKK and Heino Eller Music School), but since 2013 she has been fully dedicated to teaching at the Heino Eller Music School.
In addition to teaching, Kristel also likes organizing events. For example, she has started a competition for string players in Livonian music schools and a summer school for pianists and violinists in Livonia. Thanks to this, she knows young musicians from almost all of South Estonia and works closely with their teachers.
If Kristel were not a violin teacher, she would be a gardener. But this teaching profession is also a bit reminiscent of gardening, although it takes more time to gain fruits.
Curator of Virumaa
Pärt Tarvas was born in Tallinn, graduated from the Tallinn Georg Ots Music School and the Tallinn Conservatory. He has studied under the guidance of the Amadeus Quartet (London), Frans Helmerson, Manuel Fischer-Dieskau, Daniil Šafran and Natalja Gutman. From 1992 he worked at ERSO, from 1995 to 2017 as a concertmaster of the cello group.
Pärt Tarvas has performed as a soloist with ERSO, Pärnu City Orchestra and Vanemuine Symphony Orchestra and played in the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra. He has been active as a chamber musician, playing in the Jazz Quartet Night Musicians, participating in the Borodini String Quartet and working in various chamber ensembles and projects. Since 2004 he is the director of the cello quartet C-Jam and since 2012 the artistic director of the children’s cello festival “C-Jam cellofest” in Türi.
Pärt is currently the director of the music school of Viru-Nigula municipality.
Margit Raag – Coordinator in Virumaa
Curator of Läänemaa
Heli Sommer graduated from the cello class of Peeter Paemurru of the Estonian Academy of Music.
She was a founding member of the Pärnu City Orchestra in 1994 and is currently a cellist of the orchestra. Heli has organized the Republican Cello Festival in Pärnu and is currently working at three music schools – in Pärnu, Viljandi and Sindi. At the Pärnu Music School, she also works with the children’s orchestra, being responsible for the cello group. Heli is also active in various chamber ensembles.
Knowing how much children enjoy playing in ensembles, Heli has often formed cello trios and -quartets of students in her classes.
Heli Sommer has three children, all of them have become musicians.