During the season 2019/2020, our choir is managed by:

Triin Koch - conductor
Kaisa Kuslapuu - chorus master
Vivian Kallaste - vocal coach


Triin Koch

Triin Koch (b. 1975) is the chief conductor of the Academic Women’s Choir of the University of Tartu (in Estonian TÜAN). She studied conducting in Vaike Uibopuu's class at Heino Eller Tartu Music School and graduated in 1997. From 1997 to 2001 she continued her studies under Prof. Kuno Areng at the Estonian Academy Of Music And Theatre. Her final recital Gloria by Antonio Vivaldi featured the Academic Women’s Choir of the University of Tartu. In 2001, she continued with her Master studies and conducted Giovanni Pergoles’ Stabat Mater in 2004 as a her final Master’s conducting recital. One of the performer was the Academic Women’s Choir of the University of Tartu.

Triin's heart belongs to the Estonian choral music from the (national-)romantical era. This is the music which in comparison to other styles, she likes to conduct most of all. Her favourite composer is Mart Saar, but her great favourites are also Cyrillius Kreek and Veljo Tormis. In recent times, Triin has been working on Estonian contemporary choral music with the Female Choir of the University of Tartu. She considers it an interesting experience for both the choir and herself. Contemporary music creates new experimental methods of voice production for the female choir, new norms for sound and form. TÜAN released a record of Estonian contemporary choral music called "Võrsed" ("Seedlings") in 2015.
In her choirs, Triin conducts the works of these Estonian composers : G. Ernesaks, G. Grigorjeva, C. Kreek, T. Kõrvits, A. Lemba, R.-E. Maimets, E. Mägi, A. Pärt, A. Ratassepp, A. Ritsing, M. Saar, E. Seppar, E. Tamberg, J. Tarm, V. Tormis, E. Tubin, E.-S. Tüür, P. Uusberg, M. Valkonen, etc.
Triin also conducts the works of these non-Estonian composers : J. Brahms, W. Buchenberg, P. Cornelius, M. Duruflé, J. Gallus, P. Kostiainen, M. Lauridsen, J. Linkkola, K. Nystedt, G. P. da Palestrina, F. Poulenc, E. Rautavaara, A. Schnittke, C. V. Stanford, G. Verdi, E. Whitacre, etc.

The programmes of Triin's concerts are known to be well composed and well-balanced sets that have repeatedly earned the praise at choir competitions and festivals both home and abroad. As a conductor, the favourite stage of work for Triin is the end phase - the finer "handiwork" on the lyrics and nuances. Looking for different colours and timbres is what she loves most about her job. Transforming the notes from sheet music into spirited and elaborate music is her bread and butter.

Triin is in tight co-operation with the board and other singers of the choir to keep the choir developing both musically and organizationally. The choir supports our conductor in her work through having strong boardmembers, project managers and visionaries.



GUEST CONDUCTOR (2016/2017 autumn semester) Benjamin Kirk

During his Bachelor's and Master's studies, Benjamin Kirk (1992) has been the student of Tõnu Kaljuste; his Principal Study Professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London, England was Patrick Russill. Kirk has been the chorus master of the Estonian National Male Choir as well as the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, cooperating, among others, with Mikk Üleoja, Kaspars Putniņš and Pasi Hyökki. He has participated in numerous master classes, for example, with the Berlin Radio Choir (Simon Halsey, Gijs Leenaars), BBC Singers (David Hill), Yale Schola Cantorum (David Hill), R.A.M.C.C (Jeremy Summerly), and others.

Kirk is hard-working, straightforward, has a good sense of humour and he is, above all, a Passionate and Demanding music lover. An a cappella piece "To Autumn", which was written by Benjamin and dedicated to the Academic Women's Choir of the University of Tartu, can be heard this autumn. His CV can be found HERE.



Vaike Uibopuu

Vaike Uibopuu (b. 1940) graduated from Tallinn National Conservatory in 1962 with a diploma in choral conducting and became young conductor of the Academic Women’s Choir of the University of Tartu in 1963. She has been a longtime conducting lecturer in Heino Eller Tartu Music School.

She founded the Tartu University Chamber Choir and the Alumni Choir of TÜAN. Vaike Uibopuu was the first female conductor in front of the united choir at the Estonian Song and Dance Festival (first festival was held in 1869). She has also been the general conductor of the Baltic Students’ Song and Dance Festival “Gaudeamus”.

Vaike Uibopuu was the conductor of the Academic Women’s Choir of the University of Tartu from 1963 until 2005. During this time she always demanded her singers to excel and go beyond a standard for the sake of Music. In Estonia, Vaike Uibopuu is a legendary conductor and very dear to the choir until today.



Richard Ritsing

Richard Ritsing was the founder of the choir. He was born in 1903 and remained closely connected to the town of Tartu through his whole life. He was a productive interpret and an advocate of music. He studied music theory and composition, violin, piano, singing, the work of a choir and an orchestra, he improved himself (mostly in conducting) abroad and obtained the music teacher’s profession.

Richard Ritsing started his work as a conductor in Tartu in 1920. He conducted TÜAN from 1945 until 1963. In addition this choir, he has also conducted the Tartu Academic Malechoir, the Mixed Choir of Vanemuine and other choirs and orchestras.

Richard Ritsing has created choral and solo songs, instrumental music for soloists, ensembles and orchestras. He has published articles and researches. Many of his songs are still the choir’s favourites.



Chorus Master Ene Ahven

Ene Ahven worked as our choir’s chorus-master from 1971 til 2015. In November 2012, the choir celebrated 40 years on her job. She has also worked as a music teacher in Tartu Tamme Gymnaasium for 40 years, and has conducted Tartu Youth Choir and been the chorus master of the Estonian Children’s Choir.
Being a chorus master is a very demanding job and Ene Ahven’s critical mind and cheerfulness have always made very valuable contributions to the choir.



Vocal coach Vivian Kallaste

Vivian Kallaste is a lector and the head of the classical singing department at Heino Eller Tartu Music School. Viviane Kallaste was long-time opera soloist in Vanemuine Theatre. Since 2003, she working with the Academic Women’s Choir of the University of Tartu




Conductors, chorus masters, vocal coaches and concertmasters of TÜAN:


2017-... Kaisa Kuslapuu (chorus master)
2016-2017 Jaanus Karlson (chorus master)
2016-2017 Benjamin Kirk (guest conductor)
2015-2016 Siim Kornel (chorus master)
2005-... Triin Koch (conductor)
2003-... Vivian Kallaste (vocal coach)
1989-1993 Mare Puusepp (vocal coach)
1988-2005 Epp Hansberg (concertmaster)
1983-1985 Taisto Noor (vocal coach)
1978-1983 Aino Kõiv (vocal coach)
1976-1986 Kadri Leppoja (concertmaster, chorus master)
1971-2015 >Ene Ahven (chorus master)
1971-1973 Tiiu Otsus (chorus master)
1964-1970 Linda Laasmäe (end. Taal) (conductor)
1963-2005 Vaike Uibopuu (conductor)
1963-1964 Roland Laasmäe, Valve Lepik (temporary conductors)
1956-1978 Rudolf Jõks (vocal coach)
1952-1975 Vaike Klaar (concertmaster)
1945-1963 Richard Ritsing (conductor)

Richard Ritsing, Agnes Treier, and Alma Kurtna preceeded Rudolf Jõks as vocal coaches. In the 50's, Eleonora Voites worked as a chorus master for a couple of semesters.