musicians from across europe – music without borders

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mihkel kerem

Since graduating from the Royal College of Music in 2006, Mihkel Kerem has been in great demand as a violinist, composer and arranger. He has appeared Live on BBC radio 3 and his performances have been broadcast on national radios in Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Latvia. Mihkel is the leader of Brandenburg Sinfonia (London), a section principal in Camerata Nordica (Sweden) and member of New European Ensemble. His music and arrangements are played by ensembles and orchestras all over the world. He regularly performs with the London Chamber orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the John Wilson Orchestra.

 

As a recitalist and soloist Mihkel has appeared around the world performing with many orchestras including the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Estonian Opera Orchestra, Brandenburg Sinfonia, Bardi Symphony Orchestra and Southbank Sinfonia, performing all the major concertos as well as some lesser known works, such as Trandafilovski’s violin concerto (of which Mihkel gave the London premiere in 2004).

 

Mihkel has worked closely with Bernard Haitink, Sir Roger Norrington, Christopher Warren-Green, Gordan Nikolic and Terje Tønnesen to name but a few great musicians. He has been the leader of Southbank Sinfonia, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and Bardi Orchestra. He has also lead and directed Camerata Nordica and been a section principal in the John Wilson Orchestra as well as appearing with Amsterdam Sinfonietta, English Chamber Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

 

His compositions to date include 3 Symphonies, 3 Concertos (violin, viola and two cellos), and 10 other works for orchestra. Chamber compositions include 9 String Quartets, a String Sextet, a String Octet, 3 Sonatas for Violin and Piano, 2 Wind Quintets and several pieces for piano.

 

Mihkel’s works have been performed in the USA, Russia, UK, Germany, Holland, and many other European countries. He has been composer in residence at the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival in Germany and the Aurora Chamber Music Festival in Sweden. Performers have included the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra with Neeme Järvi, the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Oulu Sinfonia, Joensuu City Orchestra, Camerata Nordica and the Chilingirian String Quartet: several concerts have been dedicated solely to his music.

 

In 2012, Toccata Classics released a CD of his 4 Violin Sonatas. A second CD of Symphony No. 3, Lamento for Viola and Strings and the String Sextet was issued in 2013.

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Mihkel’s non classical choice

Theme Tune Trailer Park boys

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questions & amswers

Which pieces got you interested in new music?

Where does one draw the line? What constitutes as new music? I remember my god father saying, music that has been played more than once, is a classic. Does this mean that a work by a composer that died a hundred years ago, but has never been played is new music? Having started writing music myself at the age of 9, I guess what really got me into contemporary music, was my own music.

 

What makes playing new music in the New European Ensemble satisfying and worthwhile?

There is a lot of pretension attached to music making. The NEuE as a collective seems to avoid all that and get straight to the point with maximum fun. This kind of keeps one on their toes as well as one will always be found out by the other members of the ensemble if they are not sincere in their performance.

 

which non-classical music do you like?

The Theme tune to the Canadian sitcom series "Trailer Park Boys" always raises my spirits.

New European Ensemble is supported by Fonds Podiumkunsten (from 2017) and the city of The Hague