Georg Ots Tallinn Music College students’


for Round Table Estonia 5 Tallinn NORD prize

22nd October 2020, starting 19:00

KUMU Auditorium, Tallinn & LIVE ONLINE broadcast

One of the longest standing supportive & charity tradition in Round Table Estonia and also in Estonian music landscape. Contest-concert for Round Table scholarship, this year for the 25th time!

Young promising musicians have entertained previously with various instruments and styles from A to Z. Saxophone and jazzz, piano, guitar, classical song, rhythm music and bigband, cello, opera and surprisingly even accordion!
This is not a sunday school church choir rehersal but a full length concert, performed by the most passionate and skilled students in Georg Ots Tallinn Music College.

This year for the first time ever – LIVE ONLINE through a professional, specially developed & dedicated platform for music broadcasting by Philly Joe’s Jazz club Tallinn, Estonia.

Don’t miss out to experience something different, something real and from the heart! Come join us on 22nd October 2020 and help us support the dedication and development of young Estonian music offspring, so that they may follow in the footsteps of world-renown artists.

Benefits from tickets go to most successful students’ prize.
Time left until the event:
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Add to My Calendar 2020-10-22 19:00:00 2020-10-22 22:00:00 Europe/Tallinn Georg Ots Tallinn Music College charity contest-concert for Round Table Estonia 5 prize Gather is a responsive event theme with many awesome features including add to my calendar feature. Awesome. huh? KUMU auditoorium, Tallinn Round Table Estonia 5 Tallinn NORD
The Origins

In 1996, a small new tradition began, and none of the initiators would understand the effects at that time, but which has continued to this day and left a positive note in the lives of so many people. It has supported the journey of many young musicians and thus inevitably the development of Estonian music. The Georg Ots Music College charity contest-concert for the Round Table grant will take place for the 25th time  in 2020, and we deepply thank everyone who has contributed to it until now.

An initiative from the active young men association

It all started with Indrek Umberg, a member of the Round Table 5 Tallinn NORD club and teacher at the Georg Ots Music College at the time. The club was organizing the first Euromeeting in Estonia. Round Table by itself is an international organization for young active men who value good company and want to make the world a better place by contributing together. Somewhere during the preparations, the highly challenging financial situation of the school students was discussed – Indrek (for the club brothers Umpa) knew some students whose daily ration consisted of a couple of frankfurter and who were thin as straws. The saying “students go to the cafe, ordering 2 frankfurter and 5 forks” originates from that period.

Under the active leadership of the club, a charity project was started with the aim of supporting the students on their educational journey in the Music college. This particular school was chosen also for another reason. If in the universities there was a possibility for a scholarship, then the Music College was just a vocational school at that time and therefor did not qualify. To participate for Round Table scholarship, the student also had to be with remarkable musical potential, have good grades in school, and that he or she should have considerable material difficulties.

First concert

Not long before the idea became a reality!

The idea was born in April, the teachers then selected the participants, in the autumn everybody gathered in a class at the College, students performed and Round Table brothers voted. The scholarship of 500 EEK was collected within the club for each academic month and that was a of great help since in it was a considerable amount. For the first few years the contest only took place in the classroom, afterwards in the College main hall where other students also came to listen. From there, the event gradually grew more outwards, and also individual donations were added. Indrek Umberg sums up the enthusiasm and spirit of music students with one word – “Crazy! :)”, because the annual school graduation ceremony alone is a musical jam that lasts for 4 hours.

Indrek Umberg currently works at the in Estonian National Male Choir as manager and recalling previous years, has just a few recommendation to the current Music College students : remember how it all started. And remember how times have changed but the spirit Georg Ots Music College students has remained the same. And stay strong!


Hereby we’d like to give a huge thank you for the contribution, time, support, efforts and uplifting emotions of RT-5 Tallinn NORD olds, the current brothers, the Round Table Estonia and Ladies Circle Estonia movement, the students and teachers of Otsa school, and to the practice manager Lauri Sepp, who has helped to organize the event from College side for many many years.

Why does this venture deserve attention and support?

If we look at the current state of Estonian music, on one hand, things seems to be good, because the rating and standards are high and appreciated. We have renowned composers, high-level composition and performers, and compared to the rest of the world, the network of children’s music schools has remained intact and actively producing offsprings.

On the other hand, musical education is unfortunately the most expensive, because most of the lessons require individual lessons. And since the salaries of music school teachers are lower than the already low salaries of teachers in Estonia, many who are able do not take that route. The limited population of Estonia also sets its limits as active audience, and it is also difficult to export musicians – especially pianists, who are taught by million in China at the same time. The singing is also rather weak.

Many top musicians who started their professional career come from Georg Ots Tallinn Music College : Arvo Pärt, Eri Klas, Neeme Järvi, Erkki-Sven Tüür, Raivo Tafenau, Sandra Nurmsalu, Rebecca Kontus, Elina Nechayeva.

These days, there are many opportunities to study all over the world at a high level – if one has the financial capabilities. And thus, there are many potential ways and outputs on how we can support the development of Estonian music.


Thus, we invite you to take part in this story. Come & join us in the contest-concert with the very best students in Georg Ots Tallinn Music College, enjoy some wonderful music and help us support the continuing success stories of young musicians.    

The final contestants of 2020 event will become clear in beginning of October, after the semi-finals on 8th October.

Thoughts and feedback from previous contestants

„If there is one young musician from Estonia that I see making an important contribution to the art form of jazz today, it is Mr. Nikita Korzoun.“

-Holger Marjamaa, renown Eesti pianist and composer.

Saxophonist Nikita Korzoun dreamed of a music career already in his children’s music school time. With his play he tries to bring back traditional jazz and add a bit of modern knowledge and skills to it. Despite his young age, his path has already crossed with many different musicians and ensembles. Without exception, all the people Nikita has performed or collaborated with are among the top performers. He is currently a member of the TalTech BigBand and plays in the Quintet With No Name. Nikita admires foreign artists Kenny Garrett, Michael Brecker and Joshua Redman as his role models. Among Estonian artists, Aleksander Paal and Holger Marjamaa inspire him the most.

How has the Music College and participation in the competition affected your vocational journey?

Graduate school plays a very important role in my life, because this is where I met many musicians I still work with. Here I also met the best teachers I have ever had at and without them my musical path would be very different.
The year of performing at the Round Table competition was my first here at the college and this competition was a challenge for me. Somehow I had to put together a band and at the same time almost all the people were strangers to me. Gaining recognition also played a big role, because after that I was invited to many events for winning the competition where I could introduce myself better.
I am currently studying at the college for 2nd year, performing with different ensembles and working on my jazz trio project. I would very much like to go abroad to study after graduation, and I am particularly interested in the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.

Recommendations to other school students and future musicians.
I highly recommend meeting and interacting with other musicians. For example, it was at jazz jams that I met my current trio companions. You never know who you’re going to meet and how that person can help you or you help them. I definitely recommend taking part in the competition as it is a perfect opportunity to show and promote yourself.

There is no doubt that the singer & soul diva now known as Rita Ray is a rising star whose vocals and songs are impressive. In addition to the powerful timbre, her music is soulful and mature. Just like a soul diva. Rita Ray came out with her debut album at the end of 2019 and won four nominations at the 2020 EMA gala.

How has the Music College and participation in the competition affected your vocational journey?

Graduation greatly influenced my journey. I would not have met the musicians I am working with at the moment. At least not so fast.
In the competition I presented my own written song and for the first time to a wider audience. It also reached my debut album. It is true that at that time this song had a slightly different title than it does now, but in general remained the same. This was undoubtedly the first powerful impetus for me to pursue my own creation. The cherry on the cake, of course, was the received recognition. It also assured me that my songs were liked by more than just me.

I am currently writing my second album, in collaboration with a beloved Estonian musician. I will soon release 2 songs written by him and we will start making a music video for my future single. Well, the school started too, so the activity continues 🙂
My dream is to reach audience outside of Estonia. It’s a dream worth pushing for and we’ll see how it works out. At least there’s no regret later that I didn’t try.

Recommendations to other school students and future musicians.
it is worth the extra effort to stay in the practice room, even if everyone else is going out to spend their free time. It will pay off some day soon.
Recommendations to other school students and future musicians

You can go to great lengths by doing what you like best and what you believe in. Not everyone will like you, but you have to overcome it and be consistent with your own goals.

Mihkel Mäekalle is an accordion player who wants to show the full ability of the accordion and prove that it is not just an instrument played at a campfire on Midsummer’s Day. Mihkel has been mentored by Jaak Lutsoja, who received a lot of attention in the TV show “Norway got talent”
How has the Music College and participation in the competition affected your vocational journey?
I think that in addition to my musical journey, the College has greatly influenced me as a person. The opportunity to develop and learn together with future Estonian musicians motivates me to get better, create new ensembles and opportunities to participate in various projects. All schoolmates, the supportive atmosphere of the school and the available opportunities (also the same opportunity to participate in the Round Table competition) – all inspire and give faith to continue playing music .
For me, the victory of this competition was the best confirmation that the effort put in was well worthwhile and that I must continue the same way. The best thing about it was it being a complete surprise, and usually such surprises are the most significant. I had already put the instrument together after performing, and then it was a challenge to assemble it quickly for re-performance. So it was really very unexpected, but the more I can appreciate this recognition.
Currently, I focus on studying full time at the College and making the most of this great school. I also try to perform as much as possible and there are some plans to write and record my own music.
After graduating, I really want to go to France to study. In today’s world, nothing is certain anymore, but hope and willpower remain last and I will do my best to make this wish come true.
Paula Pajusaar is a young composer who graduated from the Georg Ots Tallinn Music College with a degree in guitar rhythm music and is currently studying music production at the same school. She wrote “Tower Peaks” while studying in the last year. The Supreme Court was looking for a hallmark tune for their jubilee and turned to Otsakool with the wish to give young musicians the opportunity to write a hallmark. As one of Paula’s works had just won an important creative competition, the management of the College decided to entrust the creation of the work to Paula. In close co-operation with Merle Kollom, the only Estonian certified chime specialist, adjustments were made to the piece in order to adapt it to a specific musical instrument and prepare it for a digital performance.
How has the Music College and participation in the competition affected your vocational journey?
The school gave me high-level music education along with confidence, lifelong friends-fellow musicians and warm memories. All in all, it created a desire to engage in music all my life. Participating in the Round Table contest and gaining recognition provided motivation and self-confidence. The financial support was a great help at this stage.
Currently I started studying music production at Viljandi Culture Academy. I perform at events with Guitar Duo Taavi and Paula and write music. I’m moving on to the next musical ventures – I just started a musical project called Poolring and would like to release an album with a guitar duo.
Recommendations to other school students and future musicians
Keep rocking! Learning music at such a good level is a privilege and that time period in Georg Ots Tallinn Music College is definitely one of the best in life. Appreciate it, do your best. The Round Table competition is an appreciative tradition, I participated three times myself and there is a pleasant memory of each time 🙂 From the point of view of the performer, it was exciting to play for people from outside the school.
Recommendations to other school students and future musicians
Do what ignites you the most. And if on some days the fire’s not there, then wait – it will return.

Velle Tamme is a guitarist from Hiiumaa who graduated from Georg Ots Tallinn Music College and cultivates the style of percussive acoustic guitar. He approaches other people’s stories with the principle of keeping them intact as much as possible, while using only one musical instrument as a tool. In his own work, Velle imagines the whole line-up of the band and tries to fit the parts of all the instruments on the acoustic guitar strings and body. Velle brings his listeners no a musical journey that take them through different eras from flamenco to DnB. Velle’s main idols are Jon Gomm, Antoine Dufour, Andy McKee, Tigran Hamasyan, Bonobo.

Recommendations to other school students and future musicians

The College has had a massive impact on my music journey. There I found my way, that I want to take, and received a great deal of support in doing the things I want to do myself. Receiving the award and recognition at the Round Table competition gave me tremendous faith. Believing that what I’m doing is right and it’s okay to go down the path that is a little out of the curriculum and what is expected of me but is more interesting and ignites me. The modern school system is instructive and supportive, but if it is not personal enough, it can limit creativity. The right thing to do is what comes from an inner impulse, not someone else’s, and inspires you. Thanks to the Round Table, I believe in it more.
I am currently performing with my solo program and putting together a full-length album. I also produce music for other artists and bands, create music videos, am building a studio and teach electronic music. I try to be happy with the music I release.

Do everything as well as you can. Once you have done that, you can be kind to yourself. Don’t worry about things that are out of your control (how is my art regarded?). Keep the focus on what you can control: how to make your creation better? How to make it more relatable to the listener? What aspect do you see in this that could be hidden in the ears of an ordinary listener?
Then everything is well.

How has the Music College and participation in the competition affected your vocational journey?

In the school I got a theoretically and practically complete picture of music and became part of a network of musicians, which allows me to find performances and collaborators.
The biggest impact for me was the year where I participated but did not receive a prize. Most impactful because there from there started my relationship with the person we performed with and with whom we still make music together. Later, receiving the award encouraged my own creation and gave me a boost to change direction from consumer music to art music.

I am currently involved in creating, performing and teaching music, including videography. I want to continue in the same areas but to do more and more art to say something; to create a meditative and deep environment with music in which it is possible to experience something sublime. In addition, I want to move more towards freelance life so that I can engage in creative work regardless of location. The dream is to travel to warmer countries for a few months a year, while producing music and editing videos.

Recommendations to other school students and future musicians
It is a good idea to look at life in the long run, not to be afraid to take on challenges, not to be afraid to share and show your work. The first step is the most difficult, because there is a tendency to live in a world of endless potential and to think that if I just tried, I could go that far. Taking the first step makes the journey real and shows that it is one thing to criticize, quite another to create something yourself.
Recommendations to other school students and future musicians
Experiment and try as many different styles and lineups as possible, but don’t lose or sacrifice yourself for someone else’s opinion.
Elina received a special award for her own electronic song on the HITSA nationwide contest “World Country Estonia”
How has the Music College and participation in the competition affected your vocational journey?

Georg Ots Tallinn Music College opened all the doors for me that I could have dreamed of. In addition to the vast amount of knowledge and experience that the school gave me, I found people with whom I can hopefully create and make music for the rest of my life. Certainly the College also shaped my musical language. While studying there, I tried and tested very different styles to finally find the one that touched me the most.

Participating in the competition and gaining recognition gave me courage and confidence. Positive feedback from other people encouraged me to continue on my path and the grant allowed me to invest in my career. The competition was also a very good way for me to try out lineups and arrangements that had not been possible before. Thank you for organizing such an appreciative event! Such support and recognition can be an important impetus for a successful career as a musician.

This year (2020) I graduated from the College and now I give singing lessons and work actively to write, record and publish my work. I want to be able to talk to people around the world with my music and offer them memorable experiences and emotions.

Along with previously interviewed contestants, nominees for audience favorite and special grants are:
2013 Dmitri Kurs (piano), Hanna Paal (classical song)
2014 Paula Pajusaar (guitar),  Kaspar Tambur (piano), Rauno Laikjõe (guitar)
2015 Velle Tamme (guitar), Karl Reimand (piano)
2016 Kerit Ilves (clarinet), Velle Tamme (guitar), Arina Makarenko (piano)
2017 Karl Reimand (piano), guitar duo Paula Pajusaar- Taavi-Hans Kõlar, Kristi Raias (rhyth music song)
2018 Nikita Korzoun (saxophone), Laura-Retti Laos (classical song), Elina Salumäe (rhyth music song)
2019 Mihkel Mäekalle (accordion), Hannah Tuulas (violin) and Kelly Johannes (guitar)


Finale concert can be joined and enjoyed over an online broadcast on a specially developed platform for music events with a team of top performers in their field

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KUMU Auditorium,

A. Weizenbergi 34 / Valge 1, Tallinn

22nd October 2020 starting 19:00


Round Table Estonia 5 Tallinn NORD




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    Give yourself and your loved one a kind gift. Come & join us on a wonderful cultural event and contribute to the development of young Estonian music offspring, so that they may follow in the footsteps of world-renown artists.