Eri Klas

Estonian Jewish conductor Eri Klas was born in Tallinn on 7 June 1939.

Outside of the Nordic music scene, he was probably best known as chief conductor of the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1996 until 2003. Other significant appointments were with the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra (1991-6), the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra (1998-2006), Estonian National Opera (1975-95) and Danish Royal Opera (1985-90).

He was a professor at the Sibelius Academy (1993-7) and at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (1997-2016).

He was active in promoting Estonian composers, including Arvo Pärt, and gave the first performances of two works by Alfred Schnittke.

In addition to his musical activities, he was an Estonian lightweight junior boxing champion and a member of the Estonian Olympic Committee.

Eri Klas died in Tallinn on 26 February 2016, aged seventy-six.