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SONG CELEBRATIONS DURING THE FIRST REPUBLIC OF ESTONIA

1923– the firstCelebration in independent Estonia on a permanent stage in Tallinn, that couldfit 12 000 singers. The first aerial photograph and the first film of thecelebration were shot.

1928 – the firstCelebration on today’s Song Festival Grounds in Tallinn – the new stage byarchitect Karl Burman fitted 15 000 singers.

1933– Femalechoirs participated for the first time, the first radio broadcast from thecelebration.

1938– GustavErnesaks conducted at the Song Celebration for the first time, his music wasperformed. In 1944 he wrote the music to “Mu isamaa on minu arm” to the lyricsof Lydia Koidula while deported to Russia. Five days later Soviet army bombedTallinn and destroyed “Estonia” opera house, national broadcasting andconservatory among many other buildings. In 1944 more than 70 000 Estoniansfled the country to the West, among them many well-known musicians. In 1946first larger Estonian Song Celebrations were held in Germany, later in Sweden,USA, Canada, Australia, UK.