About us


Ott Maaten

Director General

Ott Maaten graduated from Tallinn State Conservatory (current Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre) in 1989. In 1986–1989, he worked in the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. He continued his studies in the Gnessins Russian Academy of Music in 1989–1990 and in the Paris Conservatory in 1990–1992. In 1990–1993, he lived and worked as a professional musician in France.

In 1994, he launched a successful timber company operating between France and the UK, being its Chief Executive until 2003. Since 2003, he was the Financial and Administrative Director of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. He has lead the renovation of the Drama School of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre as well as the building of the new Concert House of the Academy, finished in 2019.

Ott Maaten was born on July 5, 1967 in Viljandi. He has actively participated in sport aviation: he won the Estonian Championships of Paramotor sport in 2014 and achieved the 14th position at the 2012 World Championships in Paramotor sports. Ott Maaten is also an active hobby ornithologist. He is fluent in French, Russian, English, Finnish and German. He is married and has two children.

Arvo Volmer

Artistic Director

Arvo Volmer is one of the most acclaimed opera and orchestra conductors in Estonia whose career is hemmed by numerous renowned recordings.

He made his conducting debut in the 1980s with two of the most important Estonian music ensembles in his career: Estonian National Opera in 1985 and the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra in 1987. His successful participation in the International Nicolai Malko Competition for Young Conductors in Copenhagen (1989) launched his international career. From 1989 he was engaged by the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra (ENSO) and held the position of the Chief Conductor and Artistic Director in 1993–2001. The core of this artistic partnership was the complete edition of Eduard Tubin’s symphonies (Alba Records) that was awarded the Estonia State Cultural Award (2002). In 1994–2005 he was the Chief Conductor of the Oulu City Orchestra (the current Oulu Sinfonia). Together with the Oulu City Orchestra he recorded Leevi Madetoja’s complete orchestral works (Alba Records) and Cyrillus Kreek’s “Requiem” together with the Chorus and Orchestra of the Estonian National Opera and the Ellerhein Girls’Choir.

The highlight of his work with the Estonian National Opera is the mounting of Erkki-Sven Tüür’s opera “Wallenberg” on the EstNO stage that brought the team and the composer the Annual Estonian Theatre Award (2007). A DVD was recorded the following year. The performing of Wagner’s operas “Tristan und Isolde” and “Parsifal” were acknowledged with the Annual Estonian Theatre Award (2008) and the Estonia State Cultural Award (2011).

In addition, Arvo Volmer received the 4th class Order of the White Star in 2002. In 2004–2013, Arvo Volmer was the Music Director and the Chief Conductor of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and since 2013 he is the orchestra’s Chief Guest Conductor and Artistic Counsellor. This prolific period is lined by the complete recording of Sibelius’ symphonies (ABC Classics) as well as the performing of all symphonies by Mahler.

Arvo Volmer has been the Chief Conductor of the Orchestra Haydn di Bolzano e Trento. In addition to all bigger Finnish and Scandinavian orchestras, he has regularly performed with the BBC Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Hamburg NDR Symphony Orchestra (also on tour in South-America), Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre National de France, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo among others.

He has also worked with the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre Symphony Orchestra and been a member of the faculty. As an opera conductor, he regularly cooperates with the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow and with the Sydney Opera House.

Arvo Volmer studied at the Tallinn State Conservatory (the current Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre) with Professor Olev Oja and Professor Roman Matsov (1980–1985) and at the Saint Petersburg State Conservatory with Professor Ravil Martynov (1985–1990). He participated in the master classes of Helmuth Rilling in the U.S.

Linnar Looris

Artistic Director of the Estonian National Ballet

Linnar Looris graduated from the Tallinn Ballet School in 2001. During his graduation years (2000, 2001) he was chosen to represent Estonia at the European Dance Festival (France), where he had the opportunity to get additional coaching from Vladimir Vasiliev and Monique Loudieres. At the European Dance Festival he performed leading roles and toured around France, Italy and Switzerland before joining the Estonian National Ballet in 2001. In 2002, Mr. Looris received Philip Morris Young Dancer of the Year Award and in 2003 became a Principal Dancer with the Estonian National Ballet, receiving Foundation of Culture Scholarship Awards in 2004 and 2006. Mr. Looris performed all the leading roles in the company’s classical and contemporary repertoire and toured to Finland, Sweden, Ukraine, Russia and USA.

Some of his most notable roles include Karenin (Shchedrin/Smoriginas’ “Anna Karenina”), Mercutio (Prokofjev/Härm’s “Romeo and Juliet”), Prince (Tchaikovsky/Murdmaa’s “The Nutcracker”), Prince Siegfried and pas de trois (Tchaikovsky/Härm’s “Swan Lake”), Prince and Blue Bird (Tchaikovsky/Suve’s “The Sleeping Beauty”), Count Albrecht (Adam/Härm’s “Giselle”), Nathanael’s friend (Delibes/Bigonzetti’s “Coppélia”), Enea and Paride (Cannito/Schiavoni’s “Cassandra”), soloist (Balanchine’s “Allegro Brillante”, McKneely’s “New York–New York”, Suve’s “Theme With Variations”, Elo’s “Red With Me”, Härm’s “La valse”), Kylián’s “Songs Of A Wayfarer”, among others.

In 2006, he joined Birmingham Royal Ballet as a soloist, where his principal roles included Romeo and Paris in MacMillan’s “Romeo and Juliet”, Prince in Wright’s “The Nutcracker”, Apollo in Balanchine’s “Apollo” and soloist roles in Balanchine’s “That’s Life”, and Tharp’s “Nine Sinatra Songs”.

He joined Houston Ballet in 2007, and since then has danced a variety of leading roles, including Prince in “The Nutcracker” and “The Sleeping Beauty” (by Ben Stevenson), the title role in Cranko’s “Onegin”, Petruchio (Cranko’s “Taming of the Shrew”), Danilo (Hynd’s “The Merry Widow”), Prospero (Bintley’s “The Tempest”), Captain Hook (McIntyre’s “Peter Pan”), Demetrius (Neumeier’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”), Solor in “La Bayadère”, Pinkerton and Sharpless in “Madame Butterfly”, Prince Siegfried in “Swan Lake” (all by Stanton Welch). He has also been featured in the principal couple roles in Wheeldon’s “Carousel”, Tudor’s “The Leaves are Fading”, MacMillan’s “Song of the Earth”, Balanchine’s “Serenade” and “Emeralds”, Forsythe’s “Artifact Suite”, Kudelka’s “Little Dancer”, Kylian’s “Songs of a Wayfarer”, Tharp’s “The Brahms-Haydn Variations”, Robbins’ “In the Night” and “The Concert”, van Manen’s “Grosse Fuge”, Ashton’s “Les Patineurs” etc. Twyla Tharp has also created roles for him in his world premiere ballets “Tapestry”, “The Core” and “Marie”.