The cultural contacts between Estonia and Ireland are lively. In the early 1990s close ties between our musicians and writers evolved. In recent years at least a couple of major events introducing Estonian culture, have taken place in different parts of Ireland. The University of Tartu has good cooperation with the oldest university in Ireland – the Trinity College. The EU Erasmus program helps to maintain tight relations between the Universities. In 2016, at the initiative of the Estonian Embassy in Dublin and in cooperation with the Latvian and Lithuanian embassies, the annual Baltic Day festival was launched.
Over the years several Estonian classical music choirs have participated in Cork Choral Festival. The world famous Estonian conductors like Eri Klas, Paul Mägi, Tõnu Kaljuste and Kristjan Järvi have worked with several Irish orchestras. On the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the Republic of Estonia on the last day of January 2018 the Estonian National Philharmonic Chamber Choir performed at the National Concert Hall in Dublin. Estonian folk musicians often perform in Ireland. At the stages of the Baltic Day festival Estonian folk bands like “Torupilli Jussi Trio” and duo “Suits ja Kool” have been preforming to Irish audience. Well known Estonian folk musicians “The Johansons” are annual guests in Ireland. In the autumn of 2018, the performance by folk bank Trad.Attack! was enjoyed by many Estonians in Dublin. Maarja Nuut’s performance at “Bray Jazz” in 2017 was recorded by Irish National Broadcasting Company. In the fall of 2017, the clarinetist Selvadore Rähni performed on the stages in Dublin and Galway.
In recent years Estonian films have found the way to Irish audience. Several Estonian films have screened at film festivals in Ireland. In 2017 at the Dublin Film Festival Vallo Toomet’s “The Pretenders” was screened and at Cork Film Festival and Rainer Sarnet’s “November” was shown. There is a close cooperation between Estonian and Irish animators. In 2018 the Estonian-Irish animation “Captain Morten and the Spider Queen” premiered at the Galway Film Festival. The author of the film is Estonian Kaspar Jancis. Another recent joint project is an anime “Overcoat” based on N. Gogol’s narrative and directed by Meelis Arulepp. In February 2019 Moonika Siimets’ “The little comrade” will be screened at the Dublin Film Festival.
Many well-known works by Irish writers have been translated into Estonian, including Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, Maeve Binchy, John Banville and others. Doris Kareva has translated poems by Irish women poets published in the anthology “Rogha Danta”. Kristiina Ehin’s poetry “The Ultimate Going of Lume” and “Poems: Burning Darkness” and Andres Ehin’s “Haiku” have been translated into Irish.