Urban SymphonySix beautiful and talented girls from Estonia are representing the tiny Baltic country this year. They want to give a breathtaking show and think 'it doesn't matter whether to sing for your grandmother or on the stage of the Eurovision Song Contest'.
Urban Symphony - combining electronic sounds with acoustic instruments
Urban Symphony was formed two years ago, when singer Sandra Nurmsalu took part in Estonian Television’s most popular young soloist competition Kaks Takti Ette, which included a bands' round. That was what sparked the idea to combine modern electronic music with acoustic instruments to find new and sometimes surprising resonance and colour.
Urban Symphony comprises of the singer and violinist Sandra Nurmsalu, cellists Johanna Mängel and Mari Möldre and viola player Mann Helstein, all of whom have been deeply involved in music since childhood. For performing their Eurovision Song Contest entry, Marilin Kongo and Mirjam Mesak joined the group to sing back vocals.
Urban Symphony girls, who between them have over 40 years of experience in playing musical instruments, admit that as they are young they grant themselves the right to reconsider things, to start their quest all over again or to alter course completely. They are interested in beauty in its purest meaning. The music of Urban Symphony should have a fairy-tale-like effect on listeners – simple, sincere and dreamy.
Urban Symphony’ singer is Sandra Nurmsalu. 20-year-old Sandra 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 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, Johanna has thanks to her inherent curiosity played 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, Johanna is interested in composing, fashion and film, and she also writes critical reviews of various music events for music magazines.
The baby of the band is the 16-year-old Mari Möldre, who started practicing 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 – even Australia! When she has time left over from school and music activities, Mari takes an interest in architecture and drawing.
Mann Helstein is Urban Symphony’s viola player. She started her studies at the age of ten, learning to play 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.
Back vocal singer Marilin Kongo is 22. She got introduced to music through dancing, which she has been practicing since the age of five. In addition to dancing and singing, she is very closely engaged in a multitude of musical projects.
The 18-year-old Mirjam Mesak is also singing back vocals. She has been actively involved in music for ten years and at the moment she is studying classic song besides preparing to finish secondary school. Mirjam first appeared on the Eurovision Song Contest stage at the age of twelve, when she was part of an interval act at the Eurovision Song Contest held in Tallinn in 2002. In Helsinki in 2006, Mirjam sang back vocals to Gerli Padar in the Estonian entry Partners In Crime.