Estonian composer and pianist Rein Rannap has born in Tallinn, Estonia, in the family of professional musicians. Already as a child he demonstrated his extraordinary musical talent beginning to play piano – and also improvise – as well as compose long before the school age.
Rannap started his musical upbringing as a classical pianist, studying first in Tallinn – at the Musical High School and Conservatory, and then at the Moscow Conservatory (Master’s degree). As a composer, he remained, for a while, an autodidact; later he acquired master’s and doctoral degrees in musical composition from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
Both as a composer and pianist, Rannap has always been notorious for his ability to mix different genres. His post-modernist works in classical idiom are a genuine cross-over, noticeably influenced by popular music. Although his music is very fascinating to the wider audience, it is often in disagreement with the academic circles. Rannap has composed all kind of music: symphonic, band, chamber, choral, for film and theater etc.; but more than anything else he has written popular songs, and – of course for the piano. His works, and frequently also his performances, have been recorded on many CDs and LPs. He has performed in many European countries, North America and Australia.
His emphasis was earlier mostly on songwriting and performing classical music. Now is his center of gravity on composing – less or more – serious music. And as a pianist, he commits now only to performing his own works and his improvisational arrangements of well known to everybody melodies, mostly of classical origin.
In his homeland Estonia, there literally isn’t anybody, who wouldn’t know Rannap. In addition to being acknowledged as a piano player, Rannap is glorious as a leader of, and songwriter for the most popular rock group ever in Estonia – Ruja; likewise as a longtime jury member of the Estonian version of internationally known TV contest formats: Pop Idol or X Factor. Many of his popular and rock songs have become evergreens, and are still actively performed by the young artists, and also, for example, regularly by huge choirs (consisting up to 30 000 singers) at Estonian Songfests.