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Urban Symphony

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Title: Urban Symphony  
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Subject: Rändajad, Estonia in the Eurovision Song Contest, Sandra Nurmsalu, Eurovision Song Contest 2009, Urban Symphony
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Urban Symphony

Urban Symphony
Urban Symphony (2009)
Background information
Origin Tallinn, Estonia
Genres Classical crossover,[1] electronic,[2] pop
Years active 2007–2010
Members Sandra Nurmsalu
Mann Helstein
Johanna Mängel
Mari Möldre

Urban Symphony is an Estonian music group. It represented Estonia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2009[3] with the song "Rändajad", finishing in 6th place with 129 points. This is the best place for Estonia in the contest since 2002.[4]


In autumn 2007, Nothing Else Matters" by Metallica for a string set of the school. Therefore she decided to use one again. Nurmsalu turned to her former school, where she was introduced to Mann Helstein playing the viola, Johanna Mängel playing the cello, a female contrabass player and a male keyboardist. The band re-scored the song "Hungry" by Kosheen[5] and were pleased with the resulting televised and video recorded live performance. At the end of the series, Nurmsalu, Helstein and Mängel agreed to continue their collaboration. Mängel brought the new cello player Mari Möldre to the band. In the same while, Sven Lõhmus, a music producer invited the group to work with him. The first track the team completed was "Rändajad" for the contest of Eesti Laul, the Estonian selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2009.[6][7] The song went on to gain 6th place in the Eurovision final.[8] For this project, Marilin Kongo and Mirjam Mesak joined the group to sing backing vocals. They sing Päikese poole, Skorpion and Crying in the Rain too.


The singer of Urban Symphony is Sandra Nurmsalu. 25-year-old Nurmsalu has two passions – singing and violin playing and Urban Symphony has given her the chance to combine these. Ten years of violin studies in classical music have also taken her to the roots of Estonian folk music – for seven years, she played and sang in the 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 23 years old and cello studies have been part of her life for twelve years. Outside her classical music studies and owing to her inherent curiosity, Mängel has played the 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, Mängel is interested in musical composition, fashion and film, and she also writes critical reviews of various music events for music magazines.

The youngest member of the band is the 21-year-old Mari Möldre, who started practicing the 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, including Australia. When she has time left over from school and music activities, Möldre takes an interest in architecture and drawing.

Mann Helstein is the viola player of Urban Symphony. She started her studies at the age of ten, learning to play the violin. By today, the 25-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.

The producer Sven Lõhmus had previous Eurovision experience by writing the unsuccessful Estonian entry of "Let's Get Loud" for the Eurovision Song Contest 2005, held in Kiev that year. Marilin Kongo was 8th with her entry "Be 1st" in Eurolaul 2006, the Estonian selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2006. The backing singer Mirjam Mesak supported Gerli Padar with backing vocals on stage of Eurovision Song Contest 2007.



Year Single Peak positions Album
BEL (Vl)
2009 "Rändajad" 3 14 10 68 86 8 117 TBA
"Päikese poole" 12 [16]
2010 "Skorpion" 11 [17]
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.


  1. ^ MySpace profile
  2. ^ About Urban Symphony
  3. ^ "Estonia - "Rändajad" performed by Urban Symphony".  
  4. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest 2009 Final | Final | Eurovision Song Contest - Copenhagen 2014". Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  5. ^ 03.08.2009 00:00 - Kaks takti ette (Video of the episode) Estonian Television
  6. ^ Alaverest pärit Sandra Nurmsalu võitleb pääsu eest Eurovisiooni poolfinaali (Sandra Nurmsalu from Alavere Village to fight for qualification to Eurovision semifinal. In Estonian). Kristina Amor, Harju Elu 27 February 2009
  7. ^ Urban Symphony: ilus muusika võib ka hirmuäratav olla (Urban Symphony: Beautiful music can also be terrifying. In Estonian).
  8. ^ Results of the finals of Eurovision 2009, Interfax-Ukraine (May 17, 2009)
  9. ^ Estonian Airplay Chart
  10. ^ Swedish Singles Chart
  11. ^ Finnish Singles Chart
  12. ^ Belgium Flanders Singles Chart
  13. ^ Switzerland Singles Chart
  14. ^ Greek Singles Chart
  15. ^ UK Singles Chart
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Raadio Uuno". Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
with "Leto svet"
Estonia in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Malcolm Lincoln and
Manpower 4
with "Siren"
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