Gennadi Taniel

July 29, 1940 Tallinn – February 23, 2015
Member of the Estonian Composers' Union since 1977

Gennadi Taniel has composed works in a variety of music genres – from small pieces to solo instrument to large-scale works. The body of his oeuvre is formed by over 400 popular songs (composed between 1965–1978). The most popular of these are „Home Village, Homeland“, „Song About Blood Flowers“, „Looking for You“ and others. Gennadi Taniel has mainly used in his songs texts by Estonian poets (Hando Runnel, Juhan Smuul, Arvi Siig, Juhan Viiding) including texts written by composer himself. His song has belonged to the repertoire of many acknowledged Estonian pop music singers, e. g. Heli Lääts, Vello Orumets, Els Himma, Marju Kuut, Jaak Joala and Tõnis Mägi, his songs has been recorded by Estonian Radio and on several compilation CDs.

Next to popular songs, Gennadi Taniel has also composed works for different orchestras, solo instruments with orchestra (e. g. first concerto for kannel in Estonian music), large-scale vocal works (e. g. cantatas and oratorio), choral music, solo songs and chamber music (e. g. 4 wind quintets and 3 string quartets) and music for films and stage. Many of his vocal works have been written on his own texts. Taniel’s works (mainly solo, choral and popular songs) have won all together 51 prizes at different composition competitions. Mezzo soprano Urve Tauts, bass Teo Maiste, Estonian National Male Choir and many others have performed his music.

Gennadi Taniel graduated from Tallinn Music School in bassoon with Sergei Prokhorov and Rein Olspert in 1960 and Tallinn State Conservatory in composition under the supervision of Eugen Kapp in 1966.

Taniel has been the artistic director and director of Light Music Orchestra of Estonian SSR State Philharmonic Society (1967–1971) and has worked as editor in Light Music Department of Estonian SSR State Philharmonic Society, director of Estonian Composers’ Union, pedagogue and sound engineer. Since 1971, Taniel is a freelance composer.

Gennadi Taniel has played saxophone in Light Music Orchestra of Tallinn Society of Firemen (conducted by Rein Ploom), experimental ensemble of Tallinn Music School (lead by Uno Naissoo), bigband Mickeys and ensembles Elektron and Ekspromt 5. Additionally, he has been active as a musician in different music groups with Emil Laansoo, Peeter Saul, Tiit Varts and others (in restaurants Gloria and Pirita).

Gennadi Taniel has received Literature and Art Award of the Estonian Soviet Communist Youth Organisation (1978).

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