Liis Viira (Jürgens)
b. April 7, 1983, Tallinn
Member of the Estonian Composers' Union since 2006
Liis Viira is a composer, harpist and improviser. Figurative thinking and translating visuality into music are characteristic of her work.
Liis Viira graduated from the classes of composition (with Alo Põldmäe) and harp (with Eda Peäske) at the Tallinn Music High School in 2002. The same year, she became a student of the Estonian Academy of Music where she studied composition with Helena Tulve and harp with Eda Peäske and worked with Margo Kõlar at EAM Electronic Music Studio. 2005/2006 Liis Viira studied harp as an exchange student at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna under Professor Adelheid Blovsky-Miller. In 2009 she completed her master studies in harp with Eda Peäske in Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. She has studied free improvisation under the tutelage of Taavi Kerikmäe and Anto Pett.
In 2004 and 2006, Liis Viira attended the International Workshop for Young Composers in Dundaga, Latvia and in 2004 Workshop of Music Composition "Music and creative act", held by Salvatore Sciarrino in Rome. In 2005, Viira´s choral work Lullaby reached the final of the composition contest held by Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir. The same year, Liis Viira participated in the competition and workshops of SoundTrack_Cologne 2.0. Book of Sand Grit for large ensemble was awarded the Composer Prize at the Estonian Music Days Festival 2012. Solo song "Mu tuba täis on väikeseid ingleid" (My Room Is Full of Little Angels) won the 1st prize at the competition "New Song" in Suure-Jaani (2014).
Viira´s works have been presented at the festival of new music "Arena" in Riga (Latvia), International New Music Festival NYYD in Tallinn, the Estonian Music Days Festival and the Autumn Festival of the Estonian Academy of Music. Her works have been performed by Estonian Philharmonic Chamebr Choir, Esbjerg Ensemble, Una Corda, Pärnu City Orchestra, Vanemuine Symphony Orchestra, Iris Oja, Mihkel Poll, Kaisa Roose, Risto Joost, Paul Mägi and many others, also by young composer herself as a harpist and pianist.
Liis Viira is active as a freelance composer, plays harp in the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and ensemble Una Corda. Additionally she is involved in Meelis Vind’s group VindProject, Sven Grünberg’s ensemble and performs free imrpovisation (solo project Liz Wirestring). From the year 2012 she is developing her skills in the animation department of the Estonian Academy of Arts, moving towards the binding of visual arts and music.
"As a child I imagined that music, the work of great composers like Bach perpetually has existed in the world, like leaves, flowers, light and water. Later I realised that many of the sound complexes have been created by people. Imitating composers that I had listened to became the most exiting doing for me. Since today, I have a fancy for finding connections between likely sound combinations being met in various works. Everything is influenced by everything, it is not a secret. My music is simply an assemblage of impressions. It reflects and comprises everything I have undergone, heard, seen, learned, and thought about, would it be an everyday life or metaphysical experience. And at most, the present while."
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Updated in November 2017
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