Udo Kasemets (1919-2014) has jokingly been referred to as the most famous unknown composer from Estonia. Every respected music dictionary contains at least one article concerning him. In Canada, where he spent the main part of his creative life, he was named "the most uncompromising musician in the history of Canadian music". His influence on musical life, especially in Toronto, played a significant role in the development of experimental and contemporary music. In particular, Kasemets introduced theories inspired by John Cage, Marshall McLuhan, and Buckminster Fuller to the Canadian musical sphere. The influence he has held on following generations is hard to over-estimate. However, in Estonia Kasemets' music has been played very little and the knowledge concerning his activities is not wide spread.

To fill this gap, as well as to celebrate Udo Kasemets' 100th birthday (November 16, 2019), ensemble U: in collaboration with The Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre is organizing the conference "Explaining Universe – Systems, Humans and Arts”. During the conference we will introduce Kasemets’ music, ideas, and background. In connection with the conference, two concerts will take place in Kanuti Gildi SAAL and The Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre.


Udo Kasemets


Conference "Explaining universe – systems, humans and arts. Dedicated to 100th anniversary of Udo Kasemets"

November 16.-17, 2019
Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Organ Hall (A-404)
Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts


The working language of the conference is English


Registration is open until November, 7. Please register HERE


This event has been supported by the project EMTASTRA (European Regional Development Fund)

EL struktuuritoetuste fondi logo



L 16.11.19 (A404)

10.30 Welcome coffee
11.00 Immo Mihkelson – “Globally-thinking musician and a human being with Estonian origin: Udo Kasemets as part of broader Estonian musicscape”
11.45-13.00 Jeremy Strachan (Canada) – ““Whence Cometh He?”: Udo Kasemets and the Experimental Tradition in Toronto”


14.00 Theodore Parker – “Udo Kasemets in the Context of North American Experimental Music”
14.40 Tze Yeung Ho – “Tracing the Footsteps of a Diaspora Composer: Udo Kasemets in Canada”
15.20-16.00 Taavi Kerikmäe – "Problematics of interpreting open scores"


19:30 Concert of Ensemble U: in Kanuti Gildi SAAL

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1526) “Tu es Petrus” a 6 (1572)
Udo Kasemets (1919-2014) “Sound, Smell, Taste, Touch, or How to Take a Trip Without LSD” (1965)
Udo Kasemets “4’33” Fractals” for any number of performers (2000)
Udo Kasemets “Trigon”for 1, 3, 9 or 27 performers (1963)
Udo Kasemets “Future is past … is …  now” for four or more performers(1996)
Entrance 5/3 €

Su 17.11.19 (A404)

10.30 Greeting coffee

11.00 Giovanni Albini – "A ‘mechanical duologue’: science and systems in the art of Udo Kasemets”
11.40-12.40 Ragne Kõuts-Klemm – On Marshall McLuhan


13.-00-13.40 Andres Kurg – On the reception of Buckminster Fuller's theories in the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1970s.

14.00  Concert of New Music Ensemble of EAMT and Estonian Ensemble of Electronic Instruments (Chamber hall C-405)

Elma Miller
"udok asem ets" (1988)
Udo Kasemets
"Primeku"  (2004)
Udo Kasemets "Tt - tribute to Buckminster Fuller, Marshall McLuhan, John Cage" (1968)
Udo Kasemets "Lun(h)armonics" (1969)

Entrance: free


16.00 Mani Mazinani - “Oracle: Udo Kasemets Speaking”
16.40-17.40 Round Table