Urban Symphony

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Urban Symphony Empty Urban Symphony

Post  PeterCrouch on Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:31 pm

Urban Symphony is an Estonian music group. It represented Estonia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2009 with the song "Rändajad", finishing in 6th place with 129 points. This is the best place for Estonia in the contest since 2002.

In autumn 2007, Sandra Nurmsalu took part in the singing talent show called 2 takti ette, biennially held by the Eesti Televisioon and broadcast nationwide. In a week of the contest, the contestants were tasked to form bands each on their own and each to produce a performance with it. Nurmsalu had studied the violin for two years in the Georg Ots Music School and had previously arranged the song "Nothing Else Matters" of Metallica for a string set of the school, she decided to use one again. Nurmsalu turned to her former school, where she was introduced to Mann Helstein playing the viola, Johanna Mängel playing the cello, a female contrabass player and a male keyboardist. The band re-scored the song "Hungry" by Kosheen and were pleased with the resulting televised and video recorded live performance. At the end of the TV series, Nurmsalu, Helstein and Mängel agreed to continue their collaboration. Mängel brought the new cello player Mari Möldre to the band. In the same while, Sven Lõhmus, a music producer invited the group to work with him. The first track the team completed was "Rändajad" for the contest of Eesti laul, the Estonian selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2009.[ The song went on to gain 6th place in the Eurovision final. For this project, Marilin Kongo and Mirjam Mesak joined the group to sing backing vocals.


The singer of Urban Symphony is Sandra Nurmsalu. 20-year-old Nurmsalu has two passions – singing and violin playing and Urban Symphony has given her the chance to combine these. Ten years of violin studies in classic music have also taken her to the roots of Estonian folk music – for seven years, she played and sang in the folk group Pillipiigad giving concerts and performing at festivals all over Estonia and in Europe. For 3 years she has also been part of folk band Virre.

Johanna Mängel is 18 years old and cello studies have been part of her life for twelve years. Outside her classical music studies and owing to her inherent curiosity, Mängel has played the cello not only in various local and international orchestras, but also in rock bands – well-known Estonian bands Aides, Slide-Fifty, Vennaskond. Besides playing musical instruments, Mängel is interested in musical composition, fashion and film, and she also writes critical reviews of various music events for music magazines.

The youngest member of the band is the 16-year-old Mari Möldre, who started practicing the cello already at the age of six. Despite her young age, she has always been dedicated to music, for besides cello playing she has been involved in singing and piano playing, taken part in various projects and been a part of several musical collectives. Numerous performances have taken her to different places in the world, including Australia. When she has time left over from school and music activities, Möldre takes an interest in architecture and drawing.

Mann Helstein is the viola player of Urban Symphony. She started her studies at the age of ten, learning to play the violin. By today, the 21-year-old Mann has as a member of various international orchestras travelled all over Europe. In addition, she is currently studying quality and environmental management.

The producer Sven Lõhmus had previous Eurovision experience by writing the unsuccessful Estonian entry of "Let's Get Loud" for the Eurovision Song Contest 2005, held in Kiev that year. Marilin Kongo was 8th with her entry "Be 1st" in Eurolaul 2006, the Estonian selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2006. The backing singer Mirjam Mesak supported Gerli Padar with backing vocals on stage of Eurovision Song Contest 2007.Urban Symphony 220px-Urban_Symphony


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