© Harri Rospu

Tatjana Kozlova-Johannes is an Estonian composer of Russian origin, born on 08.01.1977. She grew up in border towns Narva and Ivangorod, situated at the border between Estonia and Russia. In 1995, she decided to dedicate herself to music studies in Estonia, at Georg Ots Tallinn Music School. In 1999, she continued to study composition at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, at first with Jaan Rääts and since her second year with Helena Tulve, obtaining later also a master’s degree under her guidance.
Tatjana Kozlova-Johannes has supplemented herself in various masterclasses, including Bartók Festival (Szombathelys, Hungary), Workshop for Young Composers (Dundaga, Latvia), International Summer Course for New Music in Darmstadt, Germany. In 2003-2004 she studied composition with Fabio Nieder at the Conservatory G. Tartini of Trieste, Italy.

Currently, she teaches composition at Georg Ots Tallinn Music School. In cooperation with Helena Tulve, Kozlova-Johannes carries on masterclasses of „sound objects“ that aim to develop and recover the listening skills.

Her works have been performed by several renown collectives in Estonia and abroad, including Ensemble U:, Resonabilis, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, ICTUS, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Phoenix Basel and Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart.

In 2004, Kozlova-Johannes was awarded a third place in the youth category at the International Composers Rostrum in Paris for the work “Made of Hot Glass”. In 2006, Kozlova-Johannes was awarded the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis – the main award of the International Summer Course for New Music in Darmstadt, and in 2008 the Heino Eller Music Prize. Tatjana Kozlova-Johannes’s works have been voted among the best 10 works in the general category at the International Composers Rostrum: “Disintegration Chain” in 2011 in Vienna and  “Lighting the Fire” in 2018 in Budapest. In 2015, she was awarded the Annual Prize of the Endowment for Music of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.

Extrait du site « Estonian Composers Union » :


" Dark Wings "

For orchestra



The last piece I've written is "Dark wings" for solo percussion and orchestra. I finished it on 31rst of December around 6 o'clock in the evening and it was performed at the end of April by percussionist Vambola Krigul and Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Normunds Šnē. The recording is done by Estonian Classical Radio, sound engineer is Teeth Kehlmann.

The piece is inspired by a poem of Wendell Berry "To know the dark":

To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.

I came across this poem last summer, in August, and knew immediately that this is something to work with. To me this text speaks about my own dark (in this case depressive) side, about the necessity not to seek distraction from it or try to get rid of it or push it away, but stay with it instead, learning to love it, trusting the way inside it, finding its beauty and learning to hear its song.

Tatjana Kozlova-Johannes