OPENING CONCERT: Maria Faust Mass of Mary - EJC2021

Wednesday, September 15th
19:00, Niguliste kirik (St. Nicholas' Church and Museum)

MARIA FAUST “Mass of Mary”

Mass of Mary is a sacral musical work by Estonian saxophonist and composer Maria Faust, commissioned by and written for the Estonian chamber choir Collegium Musicale and a small horn ensemble conducted by Endrik Üksvärav. The piece premiered in Tallinn during August of 2020 for a live audience which included Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid and was broadcast live on Estonian National Radio. The year later, Mass of Mary reached many music festivals, amongst the others also Copenhagen Jazz festival.

The composition is dedicated to victims of domestic violence and abuse – problems which affect individuals and families across regions, nationalities, races, genders, and economic and educational statuses. In creating Mass of Mary, Faust employed traditional classical mass compositional forms and techniques as well as sacred texts from liturgical masses, then adding original stories from the perspectives of a Mother, a Child, and Society – the latter acting as a vehicle of social judgement, retraumatising victims as they recount their experiences (original texts by Eero Epner and Maria Faust).

Maria Faust (b. 1979) is an Estonian-born experimental saxophone player and composer. She is known for her unique, identifiable improvisational and compositional voice which has been influenced by classical music, modern jazz, improvised music, and other alternative music styles. Faust is the recipient of several awards and honours including 5 Danish Music Awards, an Estonian Music Award, and the Danish Composers and Song Writer’s Association Award.

Renowned Estonian chamber choir Collegium Musicale has been captivating audiences and listeners since its creation in 2010 by conductor Endrik Üksvärav. Their repertoire extends from renaissance to contemporary music and places a special emphasis on works by Estonian composers. In 2017, Collegium Musicale won the top prizes in two categories at the international EBU/Euroradio Let the Peoples Sing competition. The group has been named Choir of the Year three times by the Estonian Choral Association.

Conductor Endrik Üksvärav (b. 1980) has received B.A. and M.A. degrees in conducting from the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. In 2018, Üksvärav won the Estonian Cultural Endowment award for his promotion and presentation of Estonian choral music in Estonia and abroad. He is the Artistic Director of the Pühalepa Music Festival on the island of Hiiumaa.

Maria Faust – alto saxophone & composer
Indrek Vau – trumpet
Kristjan Kungla – bassoon
Andres Kontus – trombone
Collegium Musicale – choir
Endrik Üksvärav – conductor


Photo: Collegium Musicale by Kaupo Kikkas