Helve Sastok

Helve Sastok is an accomplished pianist, composer and educator and has had two of her pieces published on CDs. Previously of Edmonton, Alberta she now lives and works in Calgary, Alberta. Helve Sastok is a creative and innovative published and performed composer. Also an educator and pianist, she teaches at advanced and specialized levels. Helve is well known for instilling a passion and love for music of all styles.

Sastok also works as a clinician, adjudicator and composer. She also does graphic design for children's piano books. She is the sole proprietor of "Music Everywhere." She currently lives and works in Calgary.

Sastok has a Master of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree (with distinction) in composition as well as two piano performance diplomas. She is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Center, a member of the Canadian League of Composers and the Association of Canadian Women Composers. Since 1994 Sastok has been involved as a composer and educator with The Artist in Schools Residency Program throughout Alberta. She has worked as an artist for the Learning Through The Arts program since 2007. Workshops given in various centers on composition, improvisation, piano pedagogy, Canadian music and twentieth music have been well received.

Sastok's compositions have been performed across Canada and in Europe. Two of her pieces have been released on CD: 'Duologue' on Brief Confessions (1997) and 'Elegy' on Glossa (1999). Her electro-acoustic composition 'Sailing the High' is being released on CD in 2008. Her piano trio, 'Misty Mountain Morning' was performed in a New Works Calgary concert in March 2008.

The Pals family lived in Calgary, Alberta in the mid-fifties and later moved to Edmonton, Alberta. Lydia was active in the Edmonton-based Estonian Independence Association and participated in educating Canadians about the Estonian people. She was a concert pianist.Helve preserves her Estonian culture through her music by creating piano arrangements that have distinct Estonian melodies in them. One of her inspirations was Lydia Pals, a distinguished music teacher whose family is also of Estonian heritage. Before having moved to Canada in 1953 and. later, getting married to her husband Ilmar Pals, Lydia was a concert pianist in Estonia. She recalls organizing and participating in numerous Independence Day celebrations in the 1950s. During these celebrations, Lydia would sing songs reflecting Estonia's oppressed history. For Lydia and Helve, music is an integral part of her Estonian identity.

Alberta's Estonian Heritage