Estonian countertenor Martin Karu is an exciting young musician whose artistry can be seen and heard on many international stages.
Even though currently studying at the Guildhall School Of Music and Drama in London he is already an active member of the Estonian music society. Since 2020, when Karu started at the GSMD his teacher has been countertenor Andrew Watts. Karu began taking opera singing lessons in Estonia at the Georg Ots Tallinn Music College in 2015. His teachers were conductor Risto Joost and soprano Eha Pärg.
Karu is an emerging artist whose list of repertoire expands every day. Starting with the compositions of the Early Renaissance era and ending with contemporary, experimental classical music, he has done everything in-between. Baroque operas, oratorios, songs, music from the 19th-21st century are all in his portfolio. Karu has performed compositions by Arvo Pärt, J. Dove, Bernstein, Britten, Quilter, Wolf, Pergolesi, Handel, Vivaldi, Bach, Purcell, Dowland, etc. In addition to singing in Italian, German and English on daily basis, he has sung in Hebrew, Latin, Russian, French and Estonian.
Karu's first solo concert happened in 2018 at the Viljandi Early Music Festival with viola da gamba consort väikerinG where they performed music from the Renaissance era and religious folksong arrangements by Cyrillus Kreek. At the end of the year, Karu debuted as a soloist in G. F. Handel's oratorio Messiah. Since then Martin has participated numeral times at the Early Music Festival Tallinn feat Reval and has performed on several occasions with the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Tallinn Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra and Tallinn Baroque Orchestra conducted by Tõnu Kaljuste. In 2021 countertenor Martin Karu shared the stage with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Risto Joost.
The same year Karu made his first public appearance in England at the JAM on the Marsh multi-art festival in Kent, where he performed Chichester Psalms by Leonard Bernstein. The following year he sang the role of Hamor in G. F. Händel's oratorio Jephtha with the Dorking Choral Society and took part in the Music at Oxford festival's concert called Da Pacem Domine where Karu performed "My Heart's in the Highlands" by Arvo Pärt.
Karu is the semi-finalist in the Handel Singing Competition (2022, London).
Currently residing in London.