Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre


The idea of founding an Estonian establishment of musical education emerged on the eve of World War I. It began in the form of a mixed choir of the Estonian Society Musical Department (EMD). The assembly of the Estonia Society then decided on November 17, 1918, to create the Tallinn Higher Music School, the opening ceremony of which took place on September 28, 1919, in the Estonia Concert Hall. From 1919–1923 the Principal of the school was Mihkel Lüdig.

In 1923 the educational institution was renamed Tallinn Conservatoire. In 1925 the school’s administrators adopted new bylaws, and in keeping with these changes the school elected an official slate of professors: R. Bööcke, A. Kapp, J. Paulsen, P. Ramul and A. Topman. Together with A. and Th. Lemba and J. Tamm, who had previously received their professorships from the St. Petersburg Conservatoire, the Tallinn Conservatoire now had 8 professors. The numbers would later increase. The first class of young music artists graduated in 1925, a total of ten students. Although the conditions were not favourable for studying, the academic level of the Conservatoire can be considered as relatively high, as many of its students participated in international competitions in the 1930s. The most successful of them was Tiit Kuusik, who was awarded the first prize in the Vienna Competition in 1938.

Originally a private institution, the Conservatoire became nationalised in 1935. In 1938 the State Drama School was opened.

The Soviet occupation, which began in 1940, did not fail to influence the Conservatoire. The aim was to bring the musical education system into line with the prevailing views of the Soviet Union. Curricular reorganisation were felt almost immediately. An example of this change was the elimination of church music as a specialisation; moreover, the teaching of political subjects commenced.

Following the arrival of German occupation powers, the Conservatoire struggled to restore its earlier teaching activities. J. Aavik, who had returned to the post of Principal, sought to gather together as many former academic instructors as possible. However, the realities of war hampered the teaching work considerably. During the March 9, 1944 air raid, the building of the Conservatoire, as well as most of its equipment, was almost completely destroyed. In November 1944, following another change of power, the Conservatoire was reopened. A house at 3 Kaarli Avenue was chosen to serve as the Conservatoire’s temporary home. In 1950 the Estonian Communist Party Central Committee VIII plenary meeting took place. The outcome of this meeting proved devastating for the staff of the Conservatoire. For ideological reasons many remarkable lecturers were forced to leave; three of them – A. Karindi, R. Päts, and T. Vettik – were arrested and sent to a labour camp.

The Conservatoire’s creative environment began to see revival in the mid-1950s. Several lecturers who had been “temporarily away” returned. In 1957 the Drama Faculty was opened in the Conservatoire, and Voldemar Panso became its first head. The Drama Faculty began to use a pair of rooms in the former Toomkool building in Toompea. During the 1970s the organ class, which had been terminated in 1950, was reopened. In 1971, a programme to train music educators for work in the comprehensive school system was resumed. The number of students attending the Conservatoire increased considerably. Venno Laul, who was appointed rector in 1982, raised again the idea of building a new school facility. He went on to oversee the design phase of the project; actual construction work became the responsibility of the next rector.

In 1989, just prior to the 70th anniversary of the school, its former name – the “Tallinn Conservatoire” – was restored. But just four years later the school was renamed the “Estonian Academy of Music” (Eesti Muusikaakadeemia). This change was deemed desirable because throughout Europe, ”conservatoire” usually refers to an institution that gears itself more towards secondary musical education.

During the years 1987–1993 extensive renovation and reconstruction took place in the building of the Drama Faculty. The faculty began using the entire two-story building. In 1995 the Drama Faculty was renamed the Higher Theatre School.

In 1992 Peep Lassmann was elected rector. An extensive reform of teaching activities was instituted, followed by structural reforms. The school adopted a subject-based study system. A new system of degree studies was introduced: graduates of a four-year programme would receive a bachelor’s degree. In 1993, a two-year master´s degree programme was added. In 1996 a four-year doctoral programme was introduced in the specialisation of musicology. In 1997 Tartu Branch of EAM was founded.

In 1999 the Estonian Academy of Music was granted what it had been awaiting for the past 55 years – its own building in the centre of Tallinn. As of now, it is one of the best and most modern conservatoire buildings in the world, especially with respect to its functionality and technological solutions. The new building will probably meet the demands of Estonian music education for decades to come. Nevertheless, this does not mean that EAM has resolved all of its problems in relation to rooms. The Higher Theatre School remains housed in its building on Toompea.

In the new building of EAM there are 7 500 square meters of usable space designed and built especially for the higher musical educational establishment. There are 60 classrooms plus 14 rehearsal rooms where classes can be held. Special mention should be made of EAM’s chamber hall, which seats 130–200, a choir class combined with a big auditorium for 77 students, an audition room for 40 persons with a new baroque organ, opera studio, electronic music lab, recording studio, library with all music listening and computer facilities, and dining room. The number of pianos and grand pianos total up to 95. The building meets the highest acoustical requirements for its soundproof rooms, and the option exists with removable wall panels to adjust a given room’s acoustic. To sum up, it is among the most modern educational music buildings in the world.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

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Master Degree in Contemporary Performance and Composition (CoPeCo)

Campus Full time 2 years September 2017 Estonia Tallinn

Masters in Contemporary Performance and Composition (CoPeCo) is a joint masters programme for educating performers and composers used to creative interaction during the preparation and presentation of new music and having a high proficiency in working across disciplines and with new technologies. [+]

Master Degree in Contemporary Performance and Composition (CoPeCo) Masters in Contemporary Performance and Composition (CoPeCo) is a joint masters programme for educating performers and composers used to creative interaction during the preparation and presentation of new music and having a high proficiency in working across disciplines and with new technologies. The programme is designed for 2 years (4 semesters) of studies. Each institution is responsible for organizing, carrying out and ensuring quality of academic work during one semester. The responsibility shall be divided as follows: Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (1st semester); Royal College of Music in Stockholm (2nd semester); National Superior Conservatory of Music and Dance in Lyon (3rd semester); Hamburg University of Music and Theatre ( 4th semester). Organisation of Semesters The CoPeCo Masters Programme is a full-time joint programme (120 ECTS) divided into four semesters of study (30 ECTS each). You will spend each semester in a different institution and country, as follows: 1st semester: Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Estonia... [-]

Master Degree in Cultural Management

Campus Full time Part time 2 - 4 years September 2017 Estonia Tallinn + 1 more

The objective of the Cultural Management Master`s Programme is to educate professional managers of arts organizations with creative leadership skills and vision; [+]

Master Degree in Cultural Management The objective of the Cultural Management Master`s Programme is to educate professional managers of arts organizations with creative leadership skills and vision; entrepreneurs promoting Estonian cultural industries in an international context; administrators and decision-makers in the field of cultural policy and creative industries strategies, who are able to work in and understand the working mechanisms of different cultural fields. The two-year full-time Master Programme in Cultural Management is a joint initiative with Estonian Business School and Estonian Academy of Arts. The programme is international, interdisciplinary and flexible with an emphasis on management of culture and creative industries. The MA programme is intended for those interested in managing cultural institutions and organizing projects - ideal for anyone with experience in the field or deeper interest in culture. Through active learning methods and lively discussion, the course offers students a chance to engage in cultural discourse, learn about creative industries and cultural entrepreneurship while also providing access to creative networks. The latest curricular development will provide a special module on managing creative projects with a societal impact. Piloting the brand new concept and courses based on international cooperation will take place 2014-2015. Lectures are delivered in English and international topics are taught by guest lecturers from the UK, USA, Austria, Serbia, Netherlands, Sweden, Germany and Finland. Courses in management and entrepreneurship are offered by Estonian Business School to provide relevant knowledge on effective management, leadership and entrepreneurship. In addition to lecturers and professors from Estonian Business School, the programme also brings the experience of local experts and top-managers in the field. Courses related to arts and design are provided by the Estonian Academy of Arts. Our balanced approach to practical and theoretical aspects treats all the fields of culture equally. As a student of the joint MA in Cultural Management programme you will experience the diversity of cultural life in Tallinn and study in the very heart of the city alongside the creative talents of students in the performing and visual arts. You will also have an opportunity to study or carry out an internship abroad. Organisation of studies Studies for the next group will commence in September 2014. Classes take place in the centre of Tallinn, and the schedule will be sent to new students by e-mail in July. Studies are organized as a combination of obligatory and elective courses that are delivered either as weekly lectures that run throughout the semester or intensive blocks over 3 to 5 days. This means students can benefit from a flexible programme to balance studies with work and other commitments. The first three semesters have quite full schedules, while apart from a couple of seminars the fourth semester is free for you to work on your MA thesis.
 As part of our individual approach to all students, you may be eligible for advanced standing in recognition of previous studies and work (VÕTA programme). International students may also apply for a DORA scholarship. Further information on these programmes will be given to foreign students after admission. [-]

Master Degree in Music

Campus Full time Part time 2 - 4 years August 2017 Estonia Tallinn + 1 more

A Master's Degree generally takes 2 years to complete. After completing a Master's Degree the student may take a 4-year Doctoral Degree programme. [+]

Master Degree in Music A Master's Degree generally takes 2 years to complete. After completing a Master's Degree the student may take a 4-year Doctoral Degree programme. A student candidate may apply for studies in up to two specialties. If a candidate meets the admission criteria in both specialties, the candidate shall notify the Secretary of Admission of his or her preference by the end of the admission period at the latest. Student candidates shall not be matriculated simultaneously in two specialties. Curricula with English as the study language shall be subject to a tuition fee according to the rates established by the Academic Council. Specialization in Music: piano, harpsichord, organ, violin, viola, cello, double bass, harp, classical guitar, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, french horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, percussion, accordion, estonian harp, voice, choral conducting, orchestral conducting, accompaniment class, chamber ensemble, contemporary improvisation, jazz music, classical composition, electro-acoustic composition, musicology [-]