Composer Riho Esko Maimets (b. 1988), who has also worked as a church organist, seeks to provide spiritual nourishment to his listeners. His music has been described as "enchantingly beautiful" and having a "unique emotional and communicative impact." In the past year alone his compositions have enjoyed increasing exposure in North America and Europe with over 50 public performances in 7 countries.
In April 2012 Riho Maimets won the Villiers Quartet Competition in the UK. His award was based on an audience vote for Sanctus, his five-movement string quartet. Sanctus has since received several performances in Canada by the Ton Beau Quartet and in Estonia in November 2012 by the Insomnia String Quartet on their debut tour. Sanctus will be recorded and released by the Villiers Quartet in the
summer of 2013. In 2011 Mr. Maimets was awarded the high SCORE Prize in Pavia, Italy and the Karen Kieser Prize in Canadian Music for iil, a work for 2 flutes, cello and piano. In addition, he was selected to be one of four Canadian composers under the age of 35 to take part in the Génération 2012 project, for which he composed Beatitude for violin soloist Véronique Mathieu and the Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal. Véronique Mathieu and the Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal presented this work in an 8 city tour across Canada in November 2012. Beatitude has also received an Audience Choice Award.
Mr. Maimets has composed a significant amount of choral music that has been performed in Estonia by the Tartu Academic Women's Choir, the Tallinn Chamber Choir and the vocal ensemble Heinavanker ("Haywain"). He has been commissioned to write a work for chamber choir and percussion quartet to be performed by the Larkin Singers and the TorQ Percussion Quartet in Toronto in April 2013. He has also composed music for young performers, including Threshing Game, a piece for violin and piano, commissioned by the Noor Muusik „Young Musician“ 2011 as compulsory repertoire for violinists under the age of 10.
Riho Maimets music for guitar has been garnering increased recognition lately. His solo guitar piece Aftermath is the title track of a CD released in Italy in 2012. His guitar duo Prayer of Quiet was performed throughout Estonia in late 2011. And most recently, he received a commission from the Free Library of Philadelphia within the framework of the One Book One City project for a work for guitar and string quartet to celebrate the novel The Buddha in the Attic by award-winning Japanese-American author Julie Otsuka,
Over the years Mr. Maimets has benefitted from master classes and private meetings with a number of established composers: Arvo Pärt, Giya Kancheli, Krzysztof Penderecki, Louis Andriessen, Matthias Pintscher, Steven Stucky and Anders Hillborg.
Riho Esko Maimets was born in Toronto, Canada and started composing at the age of 15 under the instruction of Alan Torok while enrolled in the Claude Watson Arts Program at Earl Haig Secondary School. He completed his undergraduate studies in composition at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre in Tallinn, Estonia, as a pupil of Helena Tulve and René Eespere. His time spent in Estonia also allowed him to form a deeper connection with his Estonian heritage. Recently, Mr. Maimets completed his Master's degree at the University of Toronto under Christos Hatzis. While at the University of Toronto, he received an Ontario Graduate Scholarship and the prestigious Tecumseh Sherman Rogers Graduating Award. Currently, Riho Maimets studies with David Ludwig as a professional diploma student at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
Works in Paramirabo's repertoire