Eri Klas

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Eri Klas (7 June 1939 – 26 February 2016) was an Estonian conductor. He was born in Tallinn.[1]

Klas mainly worked in the Nordic scene since[when?], but might be best known for his work leading the defunct Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra. He premiered Alfred Schnittke's 1st Cello Concerto (Munich Philharmonic, 1986) and Peer Gynt ballet (Hamburg State Opera, 1989), and worked on the diffusion of the Estonian symphonic repertory. He was also active as a pedagogue, holding professorships at the Sibelius Academy (1993–97) and the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (1997 until his death), where he received an honorary doctorate.

Klas was decorated with the Order of the Lion of Finland (1992, on the occasion of Finland's 75th Independence Day) and the Order of the White Star. He was a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. In 1986, he was named a People's Artist of the USSR. An Estonian lightweight junior boxing champion, he was also a member of the Estonian Olympic Committee.


  1. Eesti Entsüklopeedia, vol. 14, p. 167. (Tallinn, 2000.)

External links

Cultural offices
Preceded by
Norman Del Mar
Chief Conductor, Aarhus Symphony Orchestra
Succeeded by
James Loughran
Preceded by
Kees Bakels
Chief Conductor, Netherlands Radio Symphony
Succeeded by
Hans Vonk
Preceded by
Tuomas Ollila
Chief Conductor, Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra
Succeeded by
John Storgårds