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Aivo Välja was born in 1968 in Tallinn, Estonia. In 1994 he graduated from the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre majoring in choral conducting, studying at the same time also symphony orchestra conducting with professor Roman Matsov. In 1998 he obtained another diploma of the same Academy, this time in symphony orchestra conducting which he had studied under Paul Mägi.

In 1996-1998 he studied symphony orchestra and opera conducting at the

St Petersburg State Conservatory. He has developed his professional skills also in Hamburg with Claus-Peter Seibel and in Vienna with Professor Karl Österreicher. He has participated in several master classes by Neeme Järvi, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jorma Panula, Prof. Ilja Musin.


He first came into professional contact with Estonian National Symphony Orchestra in 1993 and with Estonian National Opera in 1994.


During his study period Aivo Välja extensively engaged in contemporary music, conducted new productions and made several recordings with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. He was involved in baroque music a great deal while conducting the Estonian Baroque Orchestra and Choir and examining a lot of repertoire from baroque to classical music.


From 1997 he regularly conducts at the Estonian National Opera. In 2001-2007 he worked as regular conductor, having more than 70 performances (operas, ballets and concerts) per season. His repertoire comprises operas like Boris Godunov, Aida, Othello, Don Carlo, La Traviata, Don Giovanni, Carmen, etc., and ballets like Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, Petrushka, Anna Karenina, etc.

Aivo Välja has also conducted world premieres of several original Estonian operas and ballets.

In 2009 he was engaged in Schleswig-Holstein Landestheater as  main-conductor.

In 2011 he was invited to conduct at the Finnish National Opera ( repremiere of Don Quijote)


Aivo Välja has also conducted Maribor Opera Orchestra, Malmö Opera Orchestra, Tampere Filharmoniker, Glinka Kapella in St Petersburg,  Maikop City Orchestra, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Pärnu City Orchestra, Narva City Orchestra, Theatre Vanemuine Orchestra, etc.


In 1993 Aivo Välja won the orchestra conducting competition in Estonia.

In 1996 he was awarded a diploma for a successful performance at the Prokofiev Competition in St Petersburg.

In 2003 Aivo Välja was awarded the Richard Wagner scholarship for the Bayreuth Festival.