Uno Loop (born 31 May 1930), is an Estonian singer, musician, athlete, actor, and educator. Loop's career as a musician and singer began in the early 1950s. He has performed with various ensembles and as a popular soloist beginning in the 1960s. In his youth, he trained as a boxer, and became the 1947-48 light-middleweight two times Estonian Junior Champion. Later, he trained as a triathlete. Between the late 1950s and the early 1990s, he taught music, voice, and guitar. Loop has also worked as an actor, and appeared in several films beginning in the 1960s and in several roles on Estonian television series.
Early life, education, and sport
Uno Loop was born in Tallinn to Eduard and Amilde Hildegard Loop (née Vesiloik) and grew up in the village of Nabala in Harju County. Interested in music from an early age, he attended the Tallinn Higher Music School, receiving a degree in music theory in 1958 and becoming an accomplished guitarist. In his youth, Loop was also interested in athletics, particularly boxing, and began training and competing in matches in his early teens. At age seventeen, he became the 1947-48 light-middleweight two times Estonian Junior Champion. After school, he initially planned on becoming a sailor, but was invited by composer, musician and Tallinn Music School music theory lecturer Uno Naissoo to join his swing and jazz music ensemble Swing Club as a guitarist.
Musician and educator
While performing with the ensemble Swing Club, Loop also began teaching music and guitar at his alma mater, the Tallinn Higher Music School in 1959. In the late 1950s, he also performed with the Tallinn-based jazz ensemble Metronoom, which included Naissoo and other notable singers, composers, and musicians such as Kalju Terasmaa, Eri Klas, Tiit Varts, and Hillar Kareva. In 1960, he performed as a singer and guitarist with the Estonian Radio Male Quartet with Eri Klas, Kalju Terasmaa and Arved Haug, leaving to join the Estonian Radio Estrada (Variety) Orchestra. The quartet recorded several songs with noted Estonian baritone Georg Ots. From 1961 until 1965, he performed as a soloist singer for the National Philharmonic of the Estonian SSR. During the 1960s, Loop became a popular soloist singer, performing Estonian language light pop, jazz, and estrada music, and frequently seen on Eesti Televisioon (ETV). One of his first hits of the era was the 1963 Arne Oit-composed and Heldur Karmo-penned song "Lõke preerias", which has been covered by several Estonian artists throughout the ensuing years.
In 1964, Uno Loop wrote the first Estonian language guitar textbook, Kitarrimängu õpik, published by Eesti Riiklik Kirjastus and illustrated by Olev Subbi. It remained the only Estonian language guitar textbook until 1991.
Popular hit songs from the 1970s include "Mis värvi on armastus" from 1971, and several duets with singer Heidy Tamme (a singer he frequently performed with since the 1960s) including "Uued Laulud" in 1971 and "Na-na-na" in 1973. In 1970, the Melodiya label released the bossa nova album Uno Loop, Marju Kuut which featured Loop performing with singer Marju Kuut. In 1972, another pairing with Kuut, Marju Kuut & Uno Loop, was released. Other popular songs from his repertoire include "Korraks vaid", "Kamina ees", "Vana klaver", "Suudlused soolaste huultega", "Sinilind", and "Päiksepoolsel tänaval". Throughout his career, he has performed with and recorded music with a number of prominent musicians and singers, including Voldemar Kuslap, Ivo Linna, Jaak Joala, Kalmer Tennosaar, Vally Ojavere, and Heli Lääts. In addition to his native Estonian, Loop has also performed and recorded music in the Russian language. During his solo career and work with various ensembles, Loop has released dozens of albums, with numerous greatest hits albums being released throughout the 1990s and into the 2010s.
From 1975 until 1992, Loop taught guitar, song, and music at the Georg Ots Tallinn Music School. In 1980, he returned to studies at Tallinn Pedagogical University (now, Tallinn University), and received a degree in orchestral conducting.
Loop's last public performance was a concert held at the Nokia (Alexela) Concert Hall in Tallinn on 30 December 2010, and he retired shortly afterwards.
In 1961, Loop garnered his first acting role as Paul in the Viktor Nevežin-directed Tallinna Kinostuudio (now, Tallinnfilm) musical comedy Juhuslik kohtumine, starring Georg Ots and Lia Laats. This was followed by a few smaller roles in the early 1970s, mostly performing musical numbers. In 1969, he appeared in the Tõnis Kask-directed Russian language drama film Chyornyy, kak ya, based on the 1961 book Black Like Me by American journalist John Howard Griffin. In the intervening years, he could often be seen on television as a musical performer. In 2010, he made two guest appearances as the character Erlend Rüütli on the TV3 comedy-crime series Kättemaksukontor.
Interested in sports since his youth as a boxer, in 1993, Loop founded the XXI Sajandi Klubi (21st Century Triathlon Club) and was the club's CEO until 2007, and later was the club's Honorary President. From 1992 until 1997, Loop was a board member of the Estonian Triathlon Union, and an Honorary Member since 1997.
In 2000, Loop was a founding member of the Estonian Performers' Union (Eesti Esitajate Liit, or EEL), a non-profit organization established to administer and promote the rights of performers by collecting remunerations under the Estonian Copyright Act and distributing them among artists and performers who are entitled to them.
Uno Loop married his wife his Aino in 1949. The couple have two children and have retired permanently to their summer home in Laulasmaa in Harju County. In June 2019, they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. In his later years, he has given up most sports, including cycling, swimming, and jogging, but still exercises.
In 2009, journalist and author Enno Tammer wrote a biography of Uno Loop titled Uno Loop: läbi elu, published by Tammerraamat in Tallinn.
On 14 February 2014, the Peep Pedmanson-penned and Hardi Volmer-directed musical play Uno Bossa ehk Uno Loobi seitse elu at the Rakvere Theatre, which chronicled Loop's long musical career, with actor Margus Grosnõi playing the part of Loop.
- Merited of the Estonian SSR (1981)
- Order of the White Star, Medal Class (2001)
- Tallinn University Alumni of the Century (shared with others; 2019)
- "Loop, Uno". Eesti spordi biograafiline leksikon (in Estonian). 2009. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
- Leivak, Verni (16 February 2014). "Uno Loop: päeva kiida õhtul". Postimees (in Estonian). Retrieved 8 November 2019.
- "Kitarriõpetaja Uno Loop". Ajakiri Kitarr (in Estonian). 3 March 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
- Engelbrecht, Karilin (21 January 2009). "Uno Loobi estraadilauludest ja elust valmib muusikal". Postimees (in Estonian). Retrieved 8 November 2019.
- "Uno Loop esitleb elulooraamatut". Eesti Päevaleht (in Estonian). 4 September 2009. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
- "Estraadisangarid: Uno Loop". Eesti Rahvusringhääling (in Estonian). 17 April 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
- "Juhuslik kohtumine". ETV2 (in Estonian). 2019. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
- "Uno Loop". Eesti filmi andmebaas (in Estonian). 2009. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
- Kulli, Jaanus (15 February 2014). "Uno Loop: "Aastakümnete pikkused kontserdid on jätnud oma jälje. Istun õhtul lauas, kui korraga tunnen, et peaks justkui kuskile tormama."". Õhtuleht (in Estonian). Retrieved 8 November 2019.
- "Estonian Performers' Union (EEL)". Eesti Esitajate Liit. 2019. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
- Leivak, Verni (15 February 2014). "Abikaasaga raudpulmi tähistav Aino Loop: sellega harjub ära, kui teised naised su meest vaatavad". Õhtuleht (in Estonian). Retrieved 19 June 2019.
- Tammer, Enno (2009). Uno Loop. Läbi elu (in Estonian). Tallinn: Tammerraamat. ISBN 9789949449354.
- "Uno Bossa ehk Uno Loobi seitse elu". Rakvere Theatre (in Estonian). 14 February 2014. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
- "Uno Bossa, or The Seven Lives of Uno Loop". culutre.ee. January 2014. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
- "Sajandi vilistlased". Tallinn University (in Estonian). 2019. Retrieved 8 November 2019.