Virgo Sillamaa, Director at Music Estonia

Virgo Sillamaa.jpg

Director at Music Estonia, the Estonian music export office and industry development center. Owner and co-founder of Avarus, a boutique creative music agency and consultancy based in Tallinn Estonia.

At Music Estonia I work with all parts of the Estonian music scene - artists, companies and organisations of various sorts - towards making Estonian music heard all over the world. I'm a board member at EMEE (European Music Exporters Exchange) network and a member of the council at Baltic Film, Media, Arts and Communication School (Tallinn University).

Avarus is a creative consultancy, initiating, organising and consulting creative projects - mostly in music, but also increasingly in other fields.

I've had a moderately long career of playing guitar in various styles and formats, mostly in improvised music and I've been active in music education - as the founding member and first chairman of the Estonian Rhythmic Music Education Society, author of a music theory handbook and a teacher in several Estonian music schools. I speak at conferences, panels and talks, mostly related to music export topics.


What is your favourite part about your job?

Meeting new people, building great ideas into doable programs, organisations, collaborations - achieving change!

What is the biggest challenge you face in your job?

Figuring out what really works. Delivering long term developmental impact is complex and validation takes for ages. Convincing others, most importantly funders, that what we do today will have an impact over the years ahead.

What was your first job in the music industry?

I was a jazz guitarist for 13 years to start with.

Favourite musical genre(s)?

Impossible to say. Loving music does not come in genres. I'v recently discovered Estonian rap music, though :)

Favourite non-music-related pastime?

Reading books.

What artists are you excited about for 2019?

From Estonia: NOËP, Erki Pärnoja, Púr Múdd, Mari Kalkun

Rachel Weldon