Klaudia Taev

"In 1982 popular and beloved operetta singer Asta Vihandi wrote to Klaudia Taev: 'Believe: Your pupils will never forget you!' There is no Taev or Vihandi anymore but the pupil's words to her teacher were true."
Toomas Kuter – Pärnu Postimees, April 7, 2006

Klaudia Taev (1906-1985) was not the most famous vocal teacher in Estonia, but her uniqueness is understood by all those who ever had contact with her for any reason. Many received their first singing lessons from her; several have grown into acclaimed singers; and to many she was the beacon of culture in a small town in Europe.

Klaudia Taev was born on April 13th, 1906 into a teacher's family in Saaremaa. She became interested in singing and music in her childhood home. Later on she studied the art of singing at the Tallinn Conservatory and was taught by the first Estonian professional singer, later named honorary professor, Aino Tamm. She was also taught by well-known pedagogues such as Varvara Malam, Amanda Abbat and Aleksander Arder.

Although she seemed destined for a long and succesful singing career, fate took its toll, and her career proved a short one. She lost her voice due to illness. Thereafter, she devoted her life to teaching others.

During World War II, Taev worked as a vocal coach and singing teacher in the Estonian SSR National Art's Ensembles in Yaroslav, where Georg Ots also took lessons from her. After returning to Estonia she moved to Pärnu where she began her far-reaching life's work. She was the Endla Theatre operetta troupe's vocal teacher from 1944-1950, and taught at the Pärnu Music School until 1954. After dissolving the singing class, she started giving private lessons, worked in different cultural centers teaching soloists and ensembles, and was a vocal coach for different choirs.

The fruits of Klaudia Taev's work stood out in quality as well as quantity. No one knows the exact number of her pupils, because foreign vacationers spending their summers in Pärnu and their children also took lessons from her. The list of her pupils includes Estonian singers Urve Tauts, Silvia Vestman, Viktor Gurjev, Hans Miilberg, Asta Vihandi etc.

Klaudia Taev's energetic and purpose-driven life ended on June 7th, 1985 due to illness. Her competition is an hommage to all those first singing teachers that nobody can do without.