Photo: Mattias Ahlm

Mirjam Tally

Mirjam Tally, who hails from Estonia, has lived and worked at the island of Gotland in Sweden since 2006. Sounds and timbres are central in her music, which abounds with playful contrasts.

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Her composing is characterized by a modernist open mind, sometimes including elements of jazz, folk and pop music, and she readily combines more “unusual” and “exotic” instruments such as electric guitar, Estonian kannel, digeridoo, Tanpura, accordion, etc, with the symphony orchestra or chamber ensemble. Besides composing for the contemporary music scene, she is also active as a composer of film music. Her early works are mainly composed for chamber ensemble and electronics, but in recent years the orchestral music has come to play an increasingly important role in her oeuvre. 

Her major breakthrough came during the ISCM World Music Days in 2008 with the orchestral work Turbulence, which was later performed at the Venice Biennial and awarded the Small Christ Johnson Prize. It was also selected amongst the top-ten recommended works at the International Rostrum of Composers in 2009. For the season 2009/2010 Mirjam Tally was appointed Composer-in-Residence with the Swedish Radio Channel P2 (2009/2010) and composed the orchestral work Density for the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra.
In 2014 the city of Umeå will be European Capital of Culture and Mirjam Tally has been commissioned to write a large-scale work for choir and orchestra, From Darkness to Light, set to poems by the Sami poet Paulus Utsi. 

Mirjam Tally graduated from the Estonian Academy of Music in 2000 after studying composition with Lepo Sumera.