Hirvo Surva studied choir conducting at the Georg Ots Tallinn Music School (1983, conducting teacher Silvia Mellik) and at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (1990, conducting class of professor Ants Üleoja). He has been actively participating as a conductor in the Estonian Song Festivals, and was the Artistic Director of the 8th (1997) and 9th (2002) Youth Song Celebration. He will be the artistic director of the 26th Estonian Song Celebration in 2014.
Hirvo Surva has been a member of the jury in many music competitions organized both in Estonia as well as abroad. Since 2001, he has been the Chairman of the Association of Estonian Choral Conductors and since 2019 the Chairman of the Estonian Choral Association. In 2006 and 2010, he was a visiting Resident Professor at the University of Oregon in the US and since 2008 he works as a teacher in Tallinn Music High School. He also teaches choral conductors as a Professor at Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre.
Hirvo Surva´s choirs have successfully participated in many international competitions and have won several prestigious awards. Hirvo Surva has received wide recognition: he was named the best conductor at the International Choir Festival Tallinn (2001, 2003). In 2002 Hirvo Surva received the annual grant of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia. In the same year, he also received the Outstanding Young Person Award of the Junior Chamber International Estonia (TOYP). In 2003 he won the Conductor of the Year Award by the Estonian Choral Association. In 2004, he was given the Badge of Honour by the city of Rakvere and in 2004, he received an Honorary Decoration from the city of Tallinn. In 2008 he was given the Cultural Endowment of Estonia Award and in 2012 the Gustav Ernesaks Award and in 2014 the title “Person of the Year” by Postimees newspaper, “Musician of the Year” title by Estonian Public Broadcasting and in 2015 he received Estonian State Decoration The Order of the White Star III class and Riho Päts School Music Foundation Award 2018.