Veronika Portsmuth – artistic director and chief conductor

VeronikaP
Veronika Portsmuth is a renowned conductor and multifaceted musician who acquired her doctoral degree in Estonian Academy  of Music and Theatre (in 2014,  supervised by professor Tõnu Kaljuste, docent Kerri Kotta and docent Allan Vurma). In addition to creative directing and conducting of several choirs Veronika Portsmuth is also making a significant contibution to the development of choral and temporary music as a mentor and academic. She coordinates the work of various choral music organisations and associations as well as produces and carries out vocal solo projects.
In addition to doctoral studies, Veronika Portsmuth also completed the Music Education Program in Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, graduated from Georg Ots Tallinn Music School in classical singing (2004, teacher Mare Jõgeva) and finished a one-year postgraduate program in choral conducting in Royal Swedish Academy of Music (2009, led by Anders Eby). She has attended Jüri Alperten`s, Cecilia Rydinger Alini`s and Michael Bartoch`s orchestral conducting classes and participated in Eri Klas`, Filippo Maria Bressani`s , Bo Johansson`s and Frieder Bernius` masterclasses.
Veronika Portsmuth has been working as a lecturer in the choral conducting department of Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (EAMT) since 2010 and she has also been a creative director and conductor of  EAMT choirs in different projects.Veronika Portsmuth also worked as a chorus-master at Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir (2002–2005, chief conductor Paul Hillier) and as a teacher in the conducting department of Tallinn Music High School (2005–2007).
Veronika Portsmuth is the chief conductor and creative director of The Mixed Choir of the European Capital of Culture, female chamber choir Miina and female choir Vero Vocale. She has also conducted The State Concert Institute Choir, Estonian Academy of Sciences Female Choir, Tallinn Chamber Choir, The Chamber Choir of Tallinn University of Technology, Nargen Opera Choir, Tallinn Music High School Chamber Choir and Boys` Choir and many others. Veronika Portsmuth is keen on promoting contemporary Scandinavian culture and music in Estonia, which is why she started the Cooperation Project of Scandinavian Cultural Figures in 2008 and organised Concert Series of Scandinavian Music (2003–2012). She also brought on stage Helena Tulve`s chamber opera „It Is Getting So Dark” in 2014, which was nominated for Musical Production Award at Estonian Theatre Awards the same year.
Veronika Portsmuth has been involved in organising and coordinating song celebrations since 2005, she also conducted choirs at the youth song celebration “Ilmapuu” in 2007 and at the national song celebration “Üheshingamine” in 2009. Veronika Portsmuth`s artistic project (in collaboration with Märt Agu) was chosen for Youth Song and Dance Celebration in 2011 and she was appointed the creative director of the song celebration “Maa ja ilm”. She also conducted mixed and united choirs at the event. In addition to national song celebrations, Veronika Portsmuth has conducted choirs at song festivals that celebrate different music styles, such as Estonian Punk Song Festival and  Tartu Pop Choir Festival.
Veronika Portsmuth has been the Board Chairperson of Estonian Mixed Choirs` Association since 2013 (member of board since 2007). She was the president of Estonian Choral Association between 2012–2013. Veronika Portsmuth is currently a mentor at Estonian Choral Association, teaching conductors and singers about various music-related topics all over Estonia. She has been a member of judging panels at different competitions a number of times.  Working for Estonian Mixed Choirs`Association, Veronika Portsmuth has organised trainings abroad in collaboration with several lecturers (Copenhagen in 2015, Stockholm in 2014, etc.).
Veronika Portsmuth has performed at numerous conferences and trainings (including some abroad) to introduce Estonian choral music and music field in general to wider audiences. She created a unique choral-karaoke program „Singing Saturdays” for Estonian Pavilion at Shanghai EXPO  in  2010, which enabled the visitors to participate as one of the singers in a virtual choir. The pavilion was visited by hundreds of thousands of people all over the world.
As a professional singer, Veronika Portsmuth  worked for Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir (2002–2005, chief conductor Paul Hillier) and performed as a soloist at numerous concerts.
Her first solo album „Kõikide järvede kuu” was released in summer of 2011, the album presents Lembit Veevo`s choir songs in jazz arrangement for a soloist and ensemble.
Her second solo album „Fääri lauluraamat/Faroese Songbook” was released in summer of 2016, it consists of her own music written in Faroe islands in 2007.
Veronika Portsmuth was awarded The Foreign Ministry`s cultural stipend and annual award of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia for song celebration “Maa ja ilm”.
She also received the grant of Estonian National Culture Foundation in 2011 for the biggest contribution to Estonian music.