Jaan-Eik Tulve

About Jaan-Eik Tulve

The Estonian conductor Jaan-Eik Tulve has specialized in early polyphony and, especially and unusually, Gregorian chant. As conductor and artistic director of the ensemble Vox Clamantis, he has also led performances of contemporary music and played an important role in Estonia's holy minimalist musical movement.
Tulve was born in Tallinn, in what was then Soviet Estonia, on September 30, 1967. As a youth he was interested in punk rock, telling Jaan J. Leppik of Muusika that "[i]n the 1980s, Estonia was a time when people could not express themselves. Punk bands gave young people an opportunity. It was extremely enriching for their thinking." Tulve attended the Tallinn State Conservatory, studying choral conducting and graduating in 1991, the year of Estonia's independence from the Soviet Union. That gave him the opportunity to move to Paris for studies at the National Conservatory of Music and Dance, working with Louis-Marie Vigne. While studying there, he began to apply his special interest in chant, becoming the conductor of Le Choeur Grégorien de Paris, establishing its female branch, and touring with the group as far afield as Lebanon and Morocco. He also worked with various monastery groups in France, including the famed Benedictines of Solesmes and the Monastery of Sant'Antimo in Italy. Tulve also established the ensemble Lac et Miel in Paris, specializing in medieval polyphony.
Back in Tallinn, he founded Vox Clamantis, a choral-instrumental group that has performed the music of Arvo Pärt and other contemporary Baltic composers as well as early music. He has also sung Gregorian chant himself in Estonia. Tulve has led Vox Clamantis in recordings for the ECM and Mirare labels, issuing the collection Sacrum Convivium on the latter imprint in 2018. He has offered workshops in Gregorian chant singing across Western Europe as well as in Estonia and as far away as the Faroe Islands. ~ James Manheim

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