Greetings from Mimi Daitz, New York
Veljo Tormis and Mimi Daitz at the Estonian Radio on 1/17/1994
Mimi Daitz, the author of the book “Veljo Tormis. Ancient Song Recovered” wrote on August 7, 2020:
Greetings from New York City on this 90th anniversary of Veljo Tormis’ birthday.
Estonians honor Tormis for his extraordinary music, but also for the special role he played in bringing back to this nation its ancient cultural heritage.
For non-Estonians it is his music that speaks to them, even though they most likely do not understand a word of Estonian or other Balto-Finnic languages.
Indeed, by many in the choral world he is considered the most important choral composer of the latter part of the 20th century.
One bit of evidence of his standing in the USA and UK: between the years 2006 and 2017 five doctoral dissertations about his music were accepted at various universities.
For other statistics we await the much needed online archives of the Veljo Tormise Virtuaalkeskus, whose creation has been announced today.
My work on the 2nd edition of my book, “Ancient Song Recovered: The Life and Music of Veljo Tormis,” now being published by Tartu University Press, would have been greatly facilitated had it existed a few years ago, but future scholars, journalists, choir- theater- and film-directors and administrators, as well as non-professional devotees of Tormis’s music will benefit from it in the future.
Sorry I can’t be with you today to honor Veljo Tormis’s 90th birthday and celebrate the opening of the Tormis Virtual Centre.