b. August 2, 1961 Tallinn
Member of the Estonian Piano Teachers Association
Lauri Väinmaa graduated from Tallinn Music High School with Ruuta Taras and Bruno Lukk in 1979. After that he continued his studies at the Tallinn State Conservatory with Bruno Lukk till the year 1982. In 1982–1985, Väinmaa studied at the Moscow Conservatory under the guidance of Lev Vlassenko and Mikhail Pletnev. In 1990–1991, Väinmaa improved his skilles at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Christopher Elton and he obtained his Master’s Degree from the Estonian Academy of Music in 1997.
In 1976, Lauri Väinmaa won the second prize at the international pianists’ competition in Ústí nad Labem. In 1980, he won the first prize at the Competition of Estonian Pianists in Tallinn as well as at the Soviet Union interstate competition in Minsk. In 1990, Väinmaa was given the special prize at the Scottish International Piano Competition in Glasgow and the Martha B. Boucher Special Prize at the William Kapell International Piano Competition in Maryland (U.S.).
From 1985 to 1995, Lauri Väinmaa worked as a piano teacher at Tallinn Music High School. Since 1987 he has taught piano at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (1996 the associate professor) and since 2000 at the Ammattikorkeakoulu in Tampere, Finland. His most renowned students are Ralf Taal and Mati Mikalai. Lauri Väinmaa has also conducted master courses in Estonia, Finland, Italy, Great Britain etc.
Many times he has been a jury member at various national and international competitions of chamber ensembles and pianists.
Since 1981, Lauri Väinmaa has performed as a solo pianist in Estonia, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia and Sweden. He has collaborated with the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Tapiola Sinfonietta, the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, the Latvian Radio Symphony Orchestra et al. He has co-worked with conductors Andrey Boreiko, Nikolay Alexeev, Mats Liljefors, Roman Matsov, Arvo Volmer, Paul Mägi, Jüri Alperten, cellists Henry-David Varema, Aare Tammesalu, Manuel Fischer-Dieskau, Teet Järvi, violinists Krysia Osostowiczi, Christoph Poppen, Arvo Leibur, Andrus Haav at al.
Lauri Väinmaa has played in a piano duo with Piret Väinmaa since 2001.
Lauri Väinmaa’s repertoire includes all the piano and orchestral works by Beethoven as well as music from Johann Sebastian Bach to Schnittke, with preference to Liszt, Brahms and Prokofiev. He has performed all piano works of the Second Viennese School, the piano etudes of György Ligeti and all piano compositions of Arvo Pärt and Alfred Schnittke. His major concert projects in Estonia have been 32 piano sonatas of Beethoven (1993–1994) in Tallinn and Tartu, concert series “The Bridges of Future” (the 20th century piano music, 1994–1995) in Tallinn and Tartu and all of Beethoven’s piano concerti (2001) in Pärnu.
Väinmaa has performed works of Estonian composers on numerous occasions and recorded them for Estonian Radio. He has been the premier performer of Peeter Vähi’s Piano Concerto, Urmas Sisask’s Starry Sky Cycle, piano pieces of Ester Mägi, Erkki-Sven Tüür and Eino Tamberg.
In 1991–1992, Väinmaa was the artistic director of Eesti Kontsert. He is the founder and artistic director of the biannual international pianists’ festival The Piano in Tallinn.
In 1995, Lauri Väinmaa won the Annual Award of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.
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