Roots, Olav, Papers

Finding Aid


IHRC Archives

Immigration History Research Center Archives, University of Minnesota

Descriptive summary

Dates: 1946-1987
Abstract: Olav Roots' letters to family Kalam, Endel Kalam's correspondence concerning the activities of Estonian artists' troupe in Germany, programs, newspaper clippings.
Quantity: 5 linear in.
Language: Estonian, English, German, Spanish, Swedish, Latvian
Collection ID: IHRC3691


Collection transferred to the IHRC from the Estonian Archives in the U.S.A. (EAU) in 2003-2005. It was processed as part of a collaborative project between the Estonian Archives in the USA (Lakewood, New Jersey), the National Archives of Estonia (NAE), and the IHRC in March 2012. Gristel Ramler and Tiina Trumberg of the National Archives in Tallinn, Estonia, worked with IHRC staff on the project.


Feb. 26. 1910 Uderna, Tartumaa county, Estonia - Jan. 30.1974 Bogota, Colombia

Estonian conductor. Born as a schoolteacher's son. Started his piano studies in Pärnu, Estonia, later studied in Tartu Music School (Tartu Kõrgem Muusikakool) under Adele Hippius. Also studied composition under Heino Eller. After graduating from Tartu Music School, took exams to graduate from Tallinn Conservatory (Tallinna Konservatoorium), specializing in piano and composing. 1931-1935 worked in Tartu Music School as a piano and theory teacher, from 1935 was the head of conductor and chamber music class. Made his conductor debut as a conductor of „Vanemuise“ summer choir, he was 19 at the time. Also studied in Vienna, Salzburg and Paris as the Estonian Culture Capital grantee. 1939 went to work in Tallinn, became the conductor of the Estonian Broadcasting symphony orchestra. 1944 emigrated to Sweden, where he was a music teacher in Sigtuna Estonian School. In 1952, Roots was invited to Colombia, where he became the conductor of „Orquesta Sinfonica de Colombia“. He worked in Colombia for the rest of his life, making the Bogota orchestra one of the best in South America. Made guest appearances with his orchestra in Chile, Peru and Venezuela, also introducing the music of such Estonian composers as Heino Eller, Eduard Tubin, Mart Saar and Kaljo Raid.

Wife: Astrid Son: Jaan (Oct. 15 1956)

Awards: Award of merit from the president of Colombia for his contributions to Colombia's musical life.



Archive consists of 5 folders.


The Roots, Olav collection is available for public research.


The Roots, Olav collection is the physical property of the Immigration History Research Center Archives, University of Minnesota.

For further information regarding the copyright, please contact the IHRC Archives.


The Roots, Olav Papers, Estonian American Collection, IHRC Archives, University of Minnesota


IHRC3528 Alari, Rudolf

IHRC3600 Kalam, Endel ja Erika (related to musical activities in Germany)

Index Terms

Displaced persons

Detailed Description of the Collection

BOX 1.

FOLDER 1. Olav Roots' letters to Endel and Erika Kalam 1947-1974, Astrid Roots' letters to the Kalam family 1974-1976 1947-1976
FOLDER 2. Draft of Endel Kalam's (?) writing about Olav Roots' symphony (undated)
FOLDER 3. Programs related to Olav Roots' concert activities 1947-1974, collected newspaper clippings about Olav Roots 1950-1987 1950-1987
FOLDER 4. Endel Kalam's correspondence concerning the activities of Estonian artists' troupe in Germany: establishing the Baltic Artists Center in Blomberg (British Zone), the legal status of musicians, organizing concerts, tours and radio performances. Lists of members of the Baltic artists' troupe, programs (1946-1948), troupe members' certificates
FOLDER 5. Erika Tubin's letter to Kalam family 1981-1982, Eduard Tubin's funeral sheet, Eduad Tubin's and Valter Kalam's obituaries 1973, 1981-1982 1973-1982