Records available

CD canto:). Hortus Musicus

DVD In the Mystical Land of Kaydara. Peeter Vähi

DVD Coppélia. A ballet by Léo Delibes

CD-series Great Maestros. Beethoven, Brahms. Kalle Randalu, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi

CD Quarter of a Century with Friends. Arsis, Rémi Boucher, Oliver Kuusik, Rauno Elp

Super Audio CD Maria Magdalena. Sevara Nazarkhan, Riga Dom Cathedral Boys Choir, State Choir Latvija, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra

CD Jerusalem. Hortus Musicus

LP Contra aut pro? Toomas Velmet, Neeme Järvi, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Arvo Pärt

CD The Soul of Fire. Age Juurikas


International Festival ORIENT
Artistic director − Peeter Vähi
May 31st − June 4th, 2017
Tallinn, Estonia

The first ever concentrated show of oriental music in Estonia, a tradition going back to the year 1992, has brought the most authentic performers from India, Siberia, Middle East, Central Asia, Far East, and South East Asia. It is certainly a leading musical event in the Baltic States where music lovers can enjoy performers like Hariprasad Chaurasia, ensemble Kodō, Ravi Shankar, Anoushka Shankar, Jivan Gasparyan, ensemble Huun-Huur-Tu, Alim Qasimov, Burhan Öçal, Sevara Nazarkhan, Gyuto and Gyume Buddhist monks, Wu Man, etc. Keep a close eye on our website and advertising – the show goes on.


Wed, May 31st at 7 pm
Buddhist monks of the Shingon-shū Buzan-ha sect, Ichitarō

Thu, June 1st at 4 pm
Singing and meditation traditions of Shingon − master class by Japanese Buddhist monks

Thu, June 1st at 7 pm
Lale Begnazarova & ensemble Altõn Menzil

Thu, June 1st at 10 pm
Armen Andranikyan & Averatan

Fri, June 2nd at 7 pm
Latif Bolat, Serap Yilmaz

Fri, June 2nd at 10 pm
Bamdad Music Ensemble

Sat, June 3rd at 4 pm, Kiek in de Kök tower (Komandandi Road 2, Tallinn)
Opening of a photo exhibition في كوكب الخلخال − “Dans la planète du Khlel” from Tunisia

Sat, June 3rd at 6 pm, Kuressaare Culture Centre, Saaremaa island
Latif Bolat, Serap Yilmaz

Sat, June 3rd at 7 pm
Light in Babylon

Sun, June 4th at 7 pm
Abdellatif Ben Belgacem & 5 Étoiles

Exhibition VIBRATIONS OF MOROCCO by Anna Litvinova
Bazaar is open from 3 pm

Wed, May 31st at 7 pm, Vaba Lava (Telliskivi Creative City, Telliskivi Str 60A - C1, Tallinn) Sold out!
Buddhist monks of the Shingon-shū Buzan-ha sect 岩田龍二 (Ryūji Iwata), 熊田秀海 (Hideumi Kumada), 渋谷快阿 (Kaia Shibuya), 舘野敬哉 (Takaya Tateno), featuring 壱太郎 (Ichitarō, taiko-drums / Japan)


Buzan-ha is a sect of Shingon Buddhism founded in the 16th century by the priest Senyo Sōjō. The main Buzan-ha temple is Hase-dera in Sakurai, Nara. Today the Buzan-ha sect has 3000 temples, 5000 priests and two million followers. Its largest chapters outside Japan are located in Hong Kong and Vietnam.
四智梵語 − Shichibongo − Oṃ vajrasattvasaṃgrahād vajraratnam anuttaram, vajradharmagāyanaiś ca vajrakarmakaro bhava; shōmyō
風の太鼓 − Kaze no taiko (‘wind drum’)
常住 − Jōju (‘everlasting life’); shōmyō; 阿字の子が阿字のふるさと立ち出でて、また立ち返る阿字のふるさと, Akaji no ko ga akaji no furusato tachide dete, mata tachikaeru akaji no furusato, lyrics by Kōbō-Daishi (774−835), the founder of Shingon sect
弾 − Dan
登山囃子 – Tozan-bayashi, traditional song
散華 − Sange (‘offering of flowers’), shōmyō
燦 − San (‘bright light')
阿弥陀如来大讃響 − Amida Nyōrai daisankyō; mantra
Om amirita teizei karaun dedicated to Amida Nyōrai

Thu, June 1st at 4 pm
Singing and meditation traditions of Shingon − master class by Japanese Buddhist monks

AltonMenzil295 Thu, June 1st at 7 pm, Vaba Lava (Telliskivi Creative City, Telliskivi Str 60A, Tallinn)
Lale Begnazarova & ensemble Altõn Menzil (Turkmenistan)

Turkmenian musicians take the Orient festival stage for the first time. The star of the concert is the excellent singer and dutar virtuoso Lale Beganazarova. At the prestigious international festival Sharq Taronalari she was awarded with the Grand Prix. The program is based on Turkmenian traditional mughams.
Downoad high-resolution photo of Lale Begnazarova & ensemble Altõn Menzil (jpg, 300 dpi, 10 MB)


Thu, June 1st at 10 pm, Vaba Lava (Telliskivi Creative City, Telliskivi Str 60A - C1, Tallinn)
Armen Andranikyan & Averatan (Armenia)

壱太郎 / Ichitarō
(taiko-drums / Japan)

Armenian ensemble Avetaran, led by its artistic director and singer Armen Andranikyan specializes in performing early and sacred music of Armenian classical tradition. The roots of this music origin from the pre-Chistian period. Some of the songs are still used in the liturgy for the Armenian Church.
The trio is made up by Vardan Harutyunyan, who plays wind instrument duduk (indigenous to Armenia) and Arman Nasibyan on dhol (percussion instrument).
Since January 2017, Avetaran is on a European tour, performing in Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius, Helsinki, Saint Petersburg and London.
Download high-resolution photo of Armen Andranikyan (jpg, 300 dpi, 6 MB)

ArmenAndranikyan    Ichitaro  

Japanese taiko drummer Ichitarō is an attractive and virtuosic performer who is inspired by Japanese traditional music. In 1990, he joined Japanese drummers group Ondekoza and gave more than 2000 performances alongside them in Europe and Asia. His mentor Den Tagayasu, the founder of Ondekoza, gave him the stage name of Ichitarō, wishing that he would become the best Wadaiko drummer in the world (ichi means ‘one’ in Japanese). In 2004, he debuted as a solo drummer. Ichitarō is also known for his compositions, which include not only traditional instruments but also more modern musical styles.

Watch Ichitaro on YouTube


Fri, June 2nd at 7 pm, Vaba Lava (Telliskivi Creative City, Telliskivi Str 60A - C1)

Latif Bolat (vocal, bağlama), Serap Yilmaz (Sufi whirling dervish / Turkey)

LatifBolat SerapYilmaz

Turkish singer, bağlama-player and scholar of Turkish music and folklore Latif Bolat is a native of the Mediterranean town of Mersin. After receiving his degree in folklore and music at Gazi University in Ankara, Turkey, he taught traditional music throughout the country. He has also received further degrees in Turkish History and Middle East Religion and Politics from Ankara University and an MBA from San Francisco State University.
Bolat possesses a vast repertoire, ranging from Sufi devotional songs and Turkish folk music to classical pieces. He has presented his music all across America, Canada, India, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Singapore, Bulgaria, Turkey, Philippines, England and many other international locations. In addition to his Carnegie Hall concerts and lectures, he has recorded four successful CDs, made many TV and radio appearances and composed music for television. He is also the co-author of a Turkish Sufi poetry book titled Quarreling with God.
player Latif Bolat, Gul, fragment, 1 min 59 sec, mp3, 128 Kbps


Fri, June 2nd at 10 pm, Vaba Lava (Telliskivi Creative City, Telliskivi Str 60A - C1)
Bamdad Music Ensemble (Iran)


Iranian traditional music band Bamdad Music Ensemble was formed in 2001. The main goal of the group is to introduce the rich Iranian culture to the outside world and to form a more serious attitude towards Iranian art. The ensemble is comprised of traditional iranian instruments, such as tar, setar, santour, ney and so on. The number of members varies depending on the performance, usually it is around 10. They often use the texts of great Muslim poets, such as Ḩāfez̧, Saadi and Rūmī, as song lyrics.
Bamdad Music Ensemble is currently based in the city of Mashhad.
Watch Bamdad Music Ensemble on YouTube.

Sat, June 3rd at 4 pm, Kiek in de Kök tower (Komandandi Road 2, Tallinn)

Opening of a photo exhibition of Tunisia في كوكب الخلخال − Dans la planète du Khlel by Abdessalam Abdelbasset,
Fathi Ben Mohammed Ben Amor El Bey and Thea Karin; featuring bedouin artists from Douz, Southern Tunisia


“I would never have thought that this yellow light and the constant change in date palms would grow on me − coming from the Nordic coolness by the Baltic Sea − as much. Several visits to southern Tunisia in different seasons, participating in various events, everyday errands, the souk's or markets as we know them, bedouin wedding night celebrations and meeting with the locals is captured in my photographs.″ (Thea Karin)

Thea Karin started venturing out into the world during her university years in Germany and Austria. Today, she is a travel journalist, whose photo exhibitions, films, radio broadcasts and articles have appeared in several different places. She never lets go of her camera, whether it is on the back of a camel or underwater. She constantly remembers the advice given by her art history professor, “Be curious and courageous. If you feel that you are not welcome in a situation, that is the moment when you have discovered something new.″

Sat, June 3rd at 6 pm, Kuressare Culture Centre, Saaremaa island
Latif Bolat, Serap Yilmaz (traditional Sufi Whirling Dervish / Turkey)

 Sat, June 3rd at 7 pm, Vaba Lava (Telliskivi Creative City)
Light in Babylon (Middle East)
Broadcasting and live recording by Klassikaraadio (Classic Radio) of Estonian Public Broadcasting

Light in Babylon is a fusion of different ethnicities and cultures and they cooperate with musicians from different origin as well. With the strength and openness of their youth and the various musical influences the members of the group have, Light in Babylon is a colourful blend of their inner voices. The band is an excellent example of the multicultural and alternative scene in the Middle East - the different musical flavors will take the imagination on a travel trough the Middle East and beyond.
The core trio of the band met in 2010 in Istanbul. Michal Elia Kamal wrote lyrics and compositions and arrangements were created together with santur-player Metehan Çifçi and guitarist Julien Demarque.

LightInBabylon LightOfBabylon2

Light in Babylon has toured all around the world, including Turkey, Cyprus, Germany, Switzerland, France, Hungary, Greece, Finland and India. Their first album “Life sometimes doesn’t give you space” was released in 2012 and the second CD “Yeni Dunya” (which means ‘new world′ in Turkish) was released in 2016.
Light in Babylon gives through music all the love that it carries in his heart to inspire individual healing with the wish that every human will follow the vision of a world full of diversity, freedom, peace and light.
player Light in Babylon, fragment, 2 min 21 sec, mp3, 320 Kbps

 Sun, June 4th at 7 pm, Vaba Lava (Telliskivi Creative City, Telliskivi Str 60A - C1)
Epi (morin khuur, overtone singing / Mongolia)
Abdellatif Belgacem (poetry / Tunisia) & 5 Étoiles (folklore group of the Sahara bedouins)
Live streaming − live.erpmusic.com

Mongolian musician Dandarvaanchig Enkhjargal, also known by his artistic name Epi was born in Ulaanbaatar, but grew up in the small village of Altanbulag. He was a nomad on the taiga with his family and their herd of horses before talent scouts discovered his gift for music and directed him to further studies. Epi studied music at the Ulaanbaatar Conservatory with professor Jamjan, the best morin khuur player in Mongolia. In addition to playing the traditional Mongolian horsehead fiddle – morin khuur – he also studied throat singing. Nowadays, Epi is well-known all over the world and often performs with other world-musicians.

AbdellatifBelgacemTunisian poet Abdellatif Ben Belgacem comes from a family of poets of the Marazig tribe. He has received more than 300 awards in and outside of Tunisia. He has also taken part in numerous festivals in the Arab countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Libya, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan and others.
Abdellatif Ben Belgacem is the chairman of the poetry committee of the International Festival of the Sahara − an annual desert festival held in Douz. The poetry contest run by him is considered to be the central event of the festival. In addition to the desert festival, he has been linked to his hometown in other ways as well − Abdellatif Ben Belgacem worked as an advisor to the municipality of Douz in 1990−1995. He has been the director of the Douz Sahara Museum twice, first in 1988−1998 and secondly in 20122015. He is the founding member of the Arab popular literature union and a similar association of the Maghreb region. He is also a member of the worldwide assembly dedicated to preserving the camel.
In his poetry, Abdellatif Ben Belgacem perpetuates the oral tradition of “popular poetry″ in the South of Tunisia. This is in the form of declamation, syncopated like the trotting of camels, and sounding a bit like rap. Praise of the Bedouin life, love poetry, moped breakdowns − every aspect of Saharan life today is present in these verses.


Folklore group of the Sahara bedouins 5 Étoiles was brought to life in 2007 by Abdedhaher Hedi. The group is dedicated to following their ancestry and presenting the heritage of the Marazig tribe. 5 Étoiles is a welcomed guest in numerous festivals and belongs to the core group of performers of the International Festival of the Sahara. They are irreplaceable when it comes to performing the traditional dances that are a part of the bedouin wedding ceremony. 5 Étoiles performs in traditional costumes, which notably include light blue pleated skirts and red waistcoats, to the sound of traditional instruments.






MoroccoAnnaLitvinovaExhibition VIBRATIONS OF MOROCCO by Anna Litvinova 

“My visits to Morocco have become a tradition − I have been there ten times by now. I am attracted to the local combinations of colours, that I discover again and again when I’m painting. There is a special flavour in the air, consisting of a tremendous amount of different smells. I have a direct contact to the everyday life when I’m creating − I paint on the streets, in the markets, at harbors and in the small villages. My style has become sort of a reportage, where the original material is recorded by brushes and paints, translated into the language of spots of colour and lines.″

Anna Litvinova was born in 1976 in Saint Petersburg, Russia and has been living in Tallinn, Estonia since 1986. Anna graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts as a fine art and painting major. Her works have been exhibited at numerous galleries in group and solo shows. Anna is an intense painter who has a great sense of color, and with her bold brush strokes, creates a vivid, exciting world for us on a blank canvas whether it be a landscape or a human figure. She is constantly evolving as an artist to reach the next level of creativity.





Video-clip of Orient 2015 on YouTube

Press resonance:

Открылся фестиваль «Посланием Будды» − программой японских буддистских монахов экзотической секты Shingonshū Buzan-ha, основанной в XVI веке одним из местных священников. Это уникальное действо поющих барабанщиков: сначала его участники в ярких национальных одеждах восхваляют Будду на санскрите, концентрируясь на едином звуке, который затем плавно сдвигается вверх до определенной высоты и чуть расщепляется в вибрациях. Точно рассчитанные glissandi, фантастически слитные унисоны, простая пентатоника, предельная строгость, аскетизм, сосредоточенность... Когда выходит на сцену Ичитаро (он не монах, а профессиональный барабанщик, успешно обучающий своих коллег по ансамблю), вступают, перебивая друг друга, разнокалиберные барабаны тайко с архаичными колокольцами. Постепенно раскручивается некая воображаемая пружина: Ичитаро становится все более яростным и неистовым. Временами он барабанит так, будто это не игра на музыкальных инструментах, а боевое искусство, восточное единоборство. Он как бы намагничен, его движения приковывают внимание. (Irina Severina, Da Capo al Fine, 7−8, 2017, Russia, whole article)

Peeter Vähi − artistic director
Tiina Jokinen − management director
Thea Karin − producer (North African project)
Taimi Paves − manager (Far East projects)
Inna Kivi − assistant producer
Kaisa Luik − booklet editor
Kadri Kiis − accountant
Olavi Sööt − logistics
Daniel Nash (USA), Liisa Tali (AudioMaja) − sound engineering
Mart Kivisild − design
Johannes Vähi − webcast / live streaming
Reno Hekkonens − marketing

See also: Festival Orient, Orient 2015, Orient 2013, Orient 2011, Orient presents in 2010, Orient 2009, Orient presents in 2008, Orient 2007, Orient presents in 2006, Orient 2005, Festival archives Orient in Palmyra (Voices from the Stars Above the Desert), The Path to the Heart of Asia (CD recorded with featuring musicians of Orient 1992)

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Special thanks: Toyota Baltic AS, Urmas Sõõrumaa, Kaupo Kiis, Maarja Sõõrumaa, Hedi Palipea, Moonika Tartu, Vaba Lava, Kaisa Paluoja, Loitsukeller, Riina Klemet, Inna Kivi, Daniel Nash, Effie Trian, Bruno Baumann