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Juhan Aavik papers

Identifier: IHRC588


Biographical materials, newspaper clippings, correspondence, and sheet music.


  • Creation: undated

Language of Materials

Estonian, English


Open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room.


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29.01.1884 Holstre parish, Paistu, Viljandimaa, Estonia – 26.11. 1982 Stockholm, Sweden Estonian composer and conductor. Juhan Aavik graduated from the St. Petersburg Conservatory in 1907 in trumpet performance under W. Wurm, and in 1911 in music theory and composition under A. Ljadov, N. Soloviov, J. Vitols and A. Glazunov. One of the leaders Estonian musical life. 1911 – 1914 musical director of theatre “Vanemuine” and 1925 – 1933 musical director of theatre “Estonia”. 1919 – 1925, director of Tartu Higher School of Music, 1925 –1928 faculty member and 1928 – 1933 professor at the Tallinn Conservatory. 1933 – 1940 and 1941 – 1944 Director of the Tallinn Conservatory. Has directed several choirs (choruses) and symphony orchestras, has been principal conductor of several song celebrations. Has published several song books. One of the founders of the Academic Society of Estonian Musicians (Eesti Akadeemiline Helikunstnike Selts), chairman of the Estonian Singers Union (Eesti Lauljate Liit), editor of magazin “Muusikaleht” ("Music paper"). From 1923 member of Estonian Students Society “Veljesto”. Composed mostly organ music, chamber music and songs for children and choirs. Often uses folk music elements. Best known choral work "Hoia, Jumal, Eestit!" ("God, protect Estonia!") Published two books -- memoir “Muusika radadelt I" ("From the Paths of Music I", Toronto,1959) ja “Eesti muusika ajalugu" I-II (“Estonian Musical History" I – II, Stockholm, 1965) and III-IV (Stockholm, 1969). Emigrated to Stockholm, Sweden in 1944. Wife Alma Aavik (born Paalmann 20.10.1885 Rasina parish, Võnnu, Tartu county, Estonia – 2.12.1977 Stockholm, Sweden) was a teacher in Tapa, Petersburg and Tartu. Married to J. Aavik since 1912. Juhan Aavik´s father Andres Aavik was a school teacher and choir and wind band conductor. About him: Kuusk, P. “Juhan Aavik - “Estonia” lauluteatri rajajaid” Tallinn, 1981.


5 linear inches


Collection transferred to the IHRC from the Estonian Archives in the U.S.A. (EAU) in 2003-2005. It was processed as part of a collaborative project between the Estonian Archives in the USA (Lakewood, New Jersey), the National Archives of Estonia (NAE), and the IHRC in March 2009. Gristel Ramler and Birgit Nurme of the National Archives in Tallinn, Estonia, worked with IHRC staff on the project.


Personal collection in Estonian Theatre and Music Museum, M22. Several photos from this collection housed in the Estonian Archives in the USA, Lakewood, NJ. (09.03.2009)

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Finding Aid in English

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