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Estonian choral composer Veljo Tormis dies at 86

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Estonian choral composer Veljo Tormis, who authored hundreds of a cappella works inspired by traditional folk songs has died aged 86 after a long illness.

Estonian choral composer Veljo Tormis, who authored hundreds of a cappella works inspired by traditional folk songs has died aged 86 after a long illness.

He died on Saturday, the Estonian Composers’ Union said.

“Tormis has taught us to appreciate folk songs and has proved with his creation the timelessness of folk songs,” former Estonian foreign minister Marina Kaljurand said last year when Tormis received an award from her office.

The prolific composer penned more than 500 choral songs, as well as other vocal and instrumental pieces, 35 film scores and an opera.

Some of his more politically provocative works were censored by the Soviet authorities in the 1970s and 1980s, which only increased their impact after Estonia regained its independence.

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