A new edition of Mimi S. Daitz's book has been published

28 Feb 2023


This new edition extends the composer’s biography from 2000 to 2017, considers his influence on other composers, updates the bibliography, provides access to its sound examples via the internet, and corrects the typographical errors of the 1st edition.

First published as: Mimi S. Daitz. Ancient Song Recovered: The Life and Music of Veljo Tormis. Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon Press, 2004. The present revised and augmented edition is the first edition published by the University of Tartu Press.

From reviews of the 1st edition (Pendragon Press, 2004):

“Bravo! to Mimi Daitz for this exhaustive volume on one of the major composers for chorus in our time.”Harriet Simons in Choral Journal
(Vol. 48, No. 2, 66–67, August 2007)

“Tormis’s music now features on a generous number of recordings but…writing on Tormis in English seems largely to have been limited to CD reviews…In this musicological desert Mimi S. Daitz’s…study…is especially welcome. Daitz, whose understanding of Tormis’s music benefits both from her training as a musicologist and from hands-on experience as a choral director, adopts an eminently sensible modus operandi. Assuming that not many of her readers will be acquainted with Estonian history… she first documents the 3,000-year rough ride of this ancient people to their recently won freedom, considering especially the oppressive effect of aggressive Soviet Russification on Estonian culture – although she postpones a detailed examination of Tormis’s relations with the Communist Party until she can do so through discussion of his music.”

“Comparing [Tormis] with someone like Lassus would be misleading: Lassus hardly had any choice but to write for the human voice. Tormis made that choice deliberately, making his humanism all the more immediate. When the dust settles, his position as one of the most important choral composers of all time will surely become clear.”

Martin Anderson in Tempo
(Vol. 59, No. 232, 60–62, April 2005), Cambridge University Press

Fotod Veljo Tormise Virtuaalkeskuse fotoarhiivist. Reprod: Tõnu Tormis..