ARSIS HANDBELL ENSEMBLE
Who we are?
When we started in 1993, we were the only 12 handbell musicians not only in Estonia, but in the Baltic and Scandinavian countries as well. Today there are eight members in the professional ensemble. We have two handbell schools and several youth concert ensembles. We have given over 1000 concerts, recorded 8 CDs and toured all over the world – Finland, Sweden, Norway, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Portugal, the Netherlands, UK, Ireland, South-Africa, USA, Russia, Canada, China and Lebanon.
Our friends and partners
Estonian composers and arrangers: Tõnu Kõrvits, René Eespere, Arvo Pärt, Peeter Vähi, Vahur Soonberg.
Soloists: Toomas Vavilov (clarinet), Heldur Harry Põlda (boy-soprano), Ivo Posti (countertenor), Rémi Boucher (guitar), Mikk Mäe (pop singer), soloists of the Estonian National Opera – Kristel Pärtna (soprano), Rauno Elp (baritone), Oliver Kuusik (tenor).
Concert agencies: Latvijas Koncerti, Lithuanian National Philharmonic Society, St. Petersburg Philharmonia, Baltic Centre for Culture Management, Eesti Kontsert, Shanghai City Theatre.
Festival organizers: Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Germany, festivals in Ottawa and Hautes-Laurentides in Canada, AGEHR handbell music festivals in the United States, the Al Bustani festival in Lebanon, Baltic Music Festival in China, the Eistedfodd festival in South-Africa, Probaltica festival in Poland, Glasperlenspiel festival in Estonia.
Handbell factory: Malmark Inc.
Aivar Mäe – artistic director of the Arsis Handbell Ensemble
Aivar Mäe studied the clarinet at the Tallinn Secondary Music School and music pedagogy at the Tallinn State Conservatory. He has further educated himself on conducting and music management in 1992 at the Portland University in the USA.
He has been the leader of international choir festivals, also running seminars for choral and handbell music in the USA and Finland. In 2000–2009 he was the general manager of Eesti Kontsert, the national concert institute of Estonia. From 2003 until 2006 he was also the general manager of Theatre Vanemuine in Tartu and in 2007–2008 he was the chairman of the Council of Russian Theater. From 2009 until 2020 he was working as a general manager of Estonian National Opera.
Aivar Mäe has received the Annual Prize of the Endowment for Music of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia (1997, 1998, 2002), the Fifth Class of the Order of the White Star (2003) and in 2012 he was awarded the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Culture Award for heralding Estonia abroad.