Peep Sarapik

September 19, 1949 – December 12, 1994
Buried at Rahumäe Cemetery in Tallinn

Choral conductor and composer Peep Sarapik is foremost known for his song "He Flies Towards the Beehive" (Ta lendab mesipuu poole) that has become one of the Estonian song celebration hymns, but also as a fruitful choral music composer and conductor of ERKI Chamber Choir.

Peep Sarapik studied music theory in Tallinn Music High School and Tallinn Music School, and graduated from the Tallinn Pedaogical Institute in choral conducting under Harald Uibo in 1973.

He worked as a concertmaster in the Music Education Department of the Estonian Academy of Music (1978–1994), conducted Mixed Choir Olevine (1978–1981) and Estonian Teachers’ Male Choir (from 1980, 1990–1994 as a chief conductor).

In 1981, Peep Sarapik started to work with the newly founded ERKI (State Art Institute of Estonia) Chamber Choir which he conducted till the end of his life. Choir became like a creative laboratory to him, his music had a special place in the choir’s repertoire.

Peep Sarapik’s oeuvre mainly consists of choir songs, most of them are written on patriotic poetry of Juhan Liiv and Hando Runnel but also on religious texts. His sound language is characterized by aesthetics of new simplicity, sensitive sense of color, soulful and deep melodies. Sarapik’s most well-known song is "He Flies Towards the Beehive" on Juhan Liiv’s text that was first performed at a youth song celebration in 1993 by mixed choirs, joint choirs have been singing it at the grand finale of all song celebrations since 1999. Also other Sarapik’s songs have been in the programmes of song celebrations – male choir songs "Home Village, Homeland" (Koduküla, kodumaa) and "Spell" (Loits) as well as mixed choir song "Sheafs of Rye on Threashing Floor" (Rukkivihud rehe all). Mass for Mixed Choir and Bells (1994) remained the composer’s last work which was premiered in Tallinn Kaarli Church in 1995 by ERKI Chamber Choir and conductor Tarmo Leintamm.

There are two albums with Peep Sarapik’s music – "Ma lillesideme võtaks..." (ERKI Chamber Choir, 2015) and "Ta lendab mesipuu poole..." (ERKI Chamber Choir, 2010). Edition Talmar & Põhi has published Peep Sarapik’s choral music in two songbooks: "Estonian Songs for Mixed Choir" (1993) and "Songs in Latin and Sacred Songs for Mixed Choir" (1993).

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