Mi-kyung Lee – Violin

The violinist Mi-kyung Lee came to Europe in 1975 and studied in Gstaad, Switzerland with Alberto Lysy, in Colone with Igor Ozim, at the Mozarteum in Salzburg with Sandor Vegh and privately with Ana Chumachenko. Her major awards included the first prize at the whole German music university (Hochschule) Competition in 1982, the silver medal at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussel (1985) and she won at the ARD Competition in Munich (1988). As a soloist she has performed among others, Symphony orchestra of the bavarian Radio Symphony, Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Württemberg Chamber Orchestra, Camerata Academica Salzburg, Radio Orchestra and Philharmonic Orchestra in Helsinki, English Chamber Orchestra, BBC Scotland, KBS, Korean Chamber Orchestra. As a soloist and chamber musician she has played at the Berlin, Casals, Salzburg, Napoli, Aldeburgh, Kuhmo, Helsinki and Menuhin Festival. From 1994 to 2003 Mi-kyung Lee was the artistic director of the Lemi-Lappeenranta Music Festival in Finland. She gave master classes in many european countries, including England, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, France, Finland, Sweden as well as in Korea. Mi-kyung has been teaching as a guest professor in Udk, Berlin and had a Professorship in Sibelius Academy Helsinki. She was appointed professor of violin at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich in 2005.

Arvo Leibur

Concert master of the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra from 2001

Arvo Leibur is a renowned violin soloist, chamber musician and leader of orchestras. He was awarded the Estonian Music Council’s Interpretation Prize for his input into shaping ENSO’s sonority and his outstanding work as a soloist (2005), the Orange-Nassau Order of The Kingdom of the Netherlands (2008), and the Annual Prize from the Cultural Endowment of Estonia for Music for his significant contribution to musical life and the development of string playing in Estonia (2015). Arvo Leibur has performed as a soloist with Estonia’s leading orchestras, encompassing almost 30 appearances with ENSO that include a performance at the Europamusicale festival in Munich in 1993, regular appearances with the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra including a 2005 tour of Japan, as well as appearances with the Vanemuine Symphony Orchestra, Haapsalu Chamber Orchestra, Hortus Musicus Academic Orchestra and various orchestras in Holland and Finland. In 1995 he became the leader of the Holland Symfonia and in 2001 the leader of ENSO. He has been invited to be a guest leader of The Hague Residentie Orkest, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Tallinn Chamber Orchestra. Arvo Leibur has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout all of Europe. He has recorded a solo CD album entitled “European Virtuosi” with music by Corelli, Paganini, Khandoshkin, Kuulberg, Bull and Wieniawski. Together with the pianist Vardo Rumessen, he recorded an album of Tubin’s violin compositions on the BIS label. Furthermore, he recorded several CDs (“Viva España”, “Tango King Astor Piazzolla”, “Drama”) in collaboration with Terje Terasmaa and Heiki Mätlik. Arvo Leibur graduated from Tartu Children’s Music School as a violin student of Virve Vääri, Tallinn Music High School as a student of Jüri Gerretz and Moscow Conservatory (1989) as a student of Irina Bochkova. He is also Head of String Department at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre.


Aet Ratassepp

Finnish National Opera Orchestra

Aet Ratassepp studied in Tallinn with Ivi Tivik and Mari Tampere, as well as in Moscow Conservatory with Igor Bezrodny. In 1991 she took part in the summer course of Boston Symphony Orchestra in Tanglewood (USA), where she was taught by Louis Crasner. In 1997-2001 she continued her studies with Mi-kyung Lee and Ralf Gothóni in Sibelius Academy, Helsinki. During 2002-2004 she taught in Estonian Academy of Music, later as a private teacher. She has worked in Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Nieuw Sinfonietta Amsterdam, Estonian Festival Orchestra and since 1991, Finnish National Opera orchestra. Aet Ratassepp is the price winner of numerous national and international competitions. She has performed as a soloist with Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Turku PO, and as a chamber musician in Estonia, Finland, Russia and USA. In 1999-2018 she organized Hiiumaa Chamber Music Days together with Mart Ernesaks.

Kaido Välja

1st Principal of Estonian National Symphony Orchestra/ Tallinn Music High School

Kaido Välja has been a violin teacher in Tallinn Music High School from 1992 until today (in 2018 he received a master-teacher title, level 8). Besides teaching, Kaido has played in Estonia’s leading orchestras and is an active chamber musician. From 1993 to 2009 he worked in Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, from 1996 as a 2nd violin principal.  From 2010 until today he is 2nd violin principal in Estonian National Symphony Orchestra (ENSO). He has performed in many European countries, as well as in Japan, Russia and USA. Kaido has played in different baroque music ensembles and orchestras. He has also performed as soloist in front of ENSO in baroque music programs. From 2014 he is the president of Estonian String Teachers Association. Kaido has organized a summer course in Värska for young string players and this summer 2019 it will take place for the 22nd time. He has also given mentoring lecture-workshops for string teachers in Estonia. As a teacher Kaido has given masterclasses in Estonia and abroad – last year in Birštonas, 7th Birštonas Summer Academy  (LIETUVOS MUZIKŲ SĄJUNGA).