Arvo Pärt at the reopening of the St Virgil's Chapel
Here are snapshots of the composer at the rehearsals for Kleine Litanei and sitting next to the Austrian first lady Margit Fischer at the world première of the work at the St Virgil's Chapel.
The next chance to listen to Kleine Litanei will be at the Internationale Barocktage Stift Melk on 16 May.
On 21 October, the Arvo Pärt Centre together with Universal Edition presented Songs from Childhood at the Berlin Dussmann KulturKaufhaus in Berlin. Guests of honour were Arvo Pärt and Norbert Lammert.
We filmed the whole event, watch our video here:
ARTE will broadcast Adam’s Passion this Sunday, 27 September 2015. The joint piece of Arvo Pärt and Robert Wilson premièred earlier this year, on 12 May at the Noblessner Foundry in Tallinn.
Before Adam’s Passion, the The Lost Paradise will be shown, a 55-minute documentary that focuses on the preparation process of the piece. At the same time, The Lost Paradise offers a profound and intimate insight into Arvo Pärt’s world, following his life in Estonia and on business trips to Vatican and Japan over more than a year.
The broadcast starts at 23:25 CET/CEST.
“week-end Arvo Pärt” in Paris
Yesterday, 16 September, Arvo Pärt rehearsed chamber works with the string quartet of the Orchestre de Paris at La Philharmonie de Paris. The rehearsals continued into the night with the choeur de l'Orchestre and the Orchestre de Paris.
Paavo Järvi and the Orchestre de Paris will honour the composer on 19 and 20 September with their “week-end Arvo Pärt” at the Philharmonie 1. Find out more here:
Happy 80th Birthday Arvo Pärt
The video for the ECM New Series’ “Arvo Pärt: Musica Selecta – A Sequence by Manfred Eicher” is out, you can watch it here:
All over the world...
People from all over the world congratulate Arvo Pärt, who will turn 80 tomorrow, 11 September:
watch a short Estonian feature with (mostly) English contributions by Steve Reich, Joe Hisaishi, Barbara Hendricks, Rufus Wainwright, Björk, Alar Kivilo, Christian Frei, Christiane Amanpour, Jose Manuel Barroso, Mihhail Hodorkovski, Tõnu Kaljuste and Paavo Järvi:
24-hour Pärt radio marathon
On 11 September, Arvo Pärt’s 80th birthday, Helga Davis presents Toomas Siitan’s 24-hour playlist A World Apärt, a programme that originally streamed on 24 September 2014.
This year, the marathon will culminate with a live webcast of the New Juilliard Ensemble performing chamber works at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Temple of Dendur. Among the works performed will be Fratres, Spiegel im Spiegel and Wallfahrtslied.
Issue No. 3 of our MusikSalon is out now and available for free!
We’ve dedicated our latest issue to Arvo Pärt – and interviewed music journalist Michael Stallknecht, record producer Manfred Eicher, director Dorian Supin, conductors Tõnu Kaljuste and Paul Hillier, and others.
On the cover of BBC Music Magazine
Arvo Pärt Festival in The Hague
The Arvo Pärt Festival in The Hague has announced its festival programme. The festival will be running from 9 to 11 October at Den Haag Grote Kerk.
The New European Ensemble, the Kamerkoor Kwintessens, Raoul Boesten and others will perform more than 20 pieces by the composer, including:
- Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten
- Adam’s Lament
- Tabula Rasa
“Even if I Lose Everything”
Film director Dorian Supin has accompanied Arvo Pärt over the course of several years with his camera. The resulting documentary (working title: “Even if I Lose Everything”) will be premièred this autumn on the occasion of Arvo Pärt’s 80th birthday.
The September issue of the Universal Edition MusikSalon, which will be dedicated to the composer, will feature a preview of the film as well as an extensive interview with the director.
Pärt’s singers repeat the same song, seven times in succession. Every time it sounds different. Richter’s four grey diptychs, hanging opposite the Birkenau panels, play a further formal game of similarity and difference (the paint hidden from us on the reverse of glass sheets). (Adrian Searle, The Guardian, 9 July 2015)
Arvo Pärts Drei Hirtenkinder aus Fátima has successfully been presented together with several works by Gerhard Richter at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester. In the frame of the Manchester International Festival (2 until 19 July), Vox Clamantis performed Drei Hirtenkinder aus Fátima on 9, 10 and 11 July, for the rest of the exhibition, local choirs will present the piece. Find out more on the website of the Manchester International Festival.
Watch the Manchester International Festival’s video on the event:
This Monday, 15 June 2015, Heinz Fischer, the president of the Republic of Austria, ceremonially presented the Austrian Decoration for Science and Art – which is the state’s highest decoration for remarkable services in this field of activity – to Arvo Pärt.
The decoration has been awarded since 1955, and the fact that the number of its recipients is strictly limited, makes it special. There can be only 72 people wearing the decoration at the same time, half of which are Austrian citizens and half foreign nationals.
Find out more on the website of the Arvo Pärt Centre.
Watch an excerpt from the concert that was held during the ceremony:
The Estonian composer Arvo Pärt is nothing short of a musical phenomenon. He can lay claim to being the most popular of contemporary composers.
Next week Arvo Pärt will be BBC Radio 3 Composer of the Week. Donald Macleod presents the series, the episodes carry the titles The Soundtrack of an Age, The Soundworld of the Composer, Silence Is Like Fertile Soil, Eternity and Purpose, and Give Me the Spirit of Humility and Love.
Arvo Pärt receives the Cross of Merit First Class from the EELC
At Pentecost, Sunday 24 May, the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church (EELC) awarded Arvo Pärt the Cross of Merit First Class. During a special service at St Mary’s Cathedral in Tallinn, the EELC recognised people who have rendered them significant acts of service. In addition to Arvo Pärt, Archbishop Urmas Viilma also presented the same Cross of Merit to bishop Joel Luhamets and bishop Tiit Salumäe.
Find out more on the website of the Arvo Pärt Centre.
Arvo Pärt honoured in Berlin
A special concert was dedicated to Arvo Pärt yesterday, 19 May, at the Konzerthaus Berlin.
The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and conductor Tõnu Kaljuste performed a composer concert devoted to Arvo Pärt which was organized as part of Toomas Hendrik Ilves’ state visit to Germany in honour of the German President Joachim Gauck and First Lady Daniela Schadt.
Find out more on the website of Estonian Public Broadcasting.
3sat feature on Adam’s Passion
3sat dedicated a short feature to Adam’s Passion by Arvo Pärt and Robert Wilson, which was premièred on Tuesday, 12 May. Watch the 5-minute video here (the video is in German):
Theatre magician Robert Wilson is paying homage to Arvo Pärt with the première of Adam’s Passion, which will be performed for the first time on 12 May in Tallinn.
For this project, the composer selected three major compositions from his oeuvre: the two choral works Adam’s Lament and Miserere, and the double violin concerto Tabula rasa. This is joined by Sequentia, a new work composed especially for Adam’s Passion.
Simultaneously, a television documentary is being filmed. You can watch a trailer on the website of accentus music:
Many of us have written about Pärt, but one thing was missing, the view from within the Orthodox Christian tradition that has guided Pärt's work since the 1970s. This has now been provided by Peter Bouteneff, writing with clarity, precision, and the graceful authority of one who knows what he is talking about. (Paul Hillier)
“Arvo Pärt – Out of Silence” by Peter Bouteneff was recently published by SVS Press. Find out more on the publisher’s website.
Painter and artist Satsuki Shibuya, who designed the cover of the book, has written a short blog entry about the publication which you can find here.
‘Tabula Rasa’ voted Estonia’s best classical album of all time
Estonia’s Classical Radio created a survey to find out which is the favourite Estonian classical album. 2,000 classical albums were available for voting, out of which 730 received votes. Four albums by Arvo Pärt made it to the top 10 Estonian classical albums as voted by the public, and even five albums were among the critics’ top 10.
Adam’s Passion in Tallinn
Complete works for violin and piano and piano solo
Violinist Usula Schoch and pianist Marcel Worms have released the album “Arvo Pärt: Complete works for violin and piano and for piano solo” on Zefir Records. The recording features 13 works which represent a period of almost half a century.
Te Deum in Allentown
Arvo Pärt’s Te Deum will be performed under the baton of Allan Birney by the Camerata Singers and the Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra on 18 April at the First Presbyterian Church in Allentown.
BR Klassik releases Te Deum
The CD includes recordings of Te Deum, Wallfahrtslied, Berliner Messe and Dopo la vittoria.
Find out more on the website of BR Klassik.
UK première of Our Garden
The UK première of Arvo Pärt’s cantata Our Garden for children’s choir and orchestra takes place on 25 March at the St John’s Smith Square in London and will be sung by Forest School’s Boys’ and Girls’ Senior Chapel Choirs, accompanied by the School’s Chamber Orchestra.
Tintinnabuli on top of the charts
“Tintinnabuli” by The Tallis Scholars stays on top of the UK’s Top 20 Specialist Classical charts for the second week.
★★★★☆: Arvo Pärt: Tintinnabuli CD review – unblemished radiance
Find liner notes and excerpts of the album’s 23 tracks on the official release page on Gimell.
Arvo Pärt during rehearsals in Madrid with soprano Sylvia Schwartz and conductor John Storgårds
The Orquesta Nacional de Espana dedicates a retrospective to Arvo Pärt. The Spanish première of Swansong and a performance of Como cierva sedienta with Spanish soprano Sylvia Schwartz are among the highlights of the programme.
From 6 to 14 March, John Storgårds and Tõnu Kaljuste will conduct several orchestral works in Madrid, Arvo Pärt will be attending the festivities.
ACDA 2015 in Salt Lake City
The Theodore Presser Company will be represented at this year’s ACDA 2015 conference in Salt Lake City. Drop by Booth #2008 to peruse choral works by Arvo Pärt or join a contest in honor of the composer's 80th birthday.
Find out more on the Theodore Presser Facebook page.
Peter Phillips, founder of the Tallis Scholars, introduces the vocal ensemble’s new album Tintinnabuli:
The Tallis Scholars’ “Arvo Pärt: Tintinnabuli”-CD will be released on 2 March 2015. Afterwards they will commence their Tintinnabuli Tour 2015, which will include over 45 concerts and lead them to 10 countries.
The official release page of the recording can be found on Gimell, where you can read the liner notes and listen to excerpts of the album’s 23 tracks.
Passio at the Church of the Holy Trinity
In principio. The Word in Arvo Pärt’s Music
Texts live their independent lives and they wait for us: each person has their own time for finding those texts. These encounters occur when the texts are no longer considered as literature or works of art, but as anchors or models. (Arvo Pärt)
Last Friday the Arvo Pärt Centre presented its first book “In principio. The Word in Arvo Pärt’s Music” in the hall of Estonian Academy of Sciences.
The book brings together 81 texts of Arvo Pärt’s works, complete with English translations. The works have been arranged chronologically, encompassing Pärt’s work over almost 60 years.
Find out more about the book on the website of the Arvo Pärt Centre.
Photos from the presentation are available on the Centre’s Facebook page.
The Tallis Scholars: “Arvo Pärt: Tintinnabuli”
It is with great pleasure that we present our tribute to Arvo Pärt in his 80th year. Tintinnabuli (from the Latin for ‘bell’) is the compositional style created by Arvo Pärt which informs every work on this recording. In all my searchings for inspiring contemporary music I have not come across anyone to rival him. (Peter Phillips)
The Tallis Scholars’ “Arvo Pärt: Tintinnabuli”-CD will be released on 2 March 2015. The official release page is up and running: visit the website of Gimell to read the liner notes and listen to excerpts of the recording’s 23 tracks.
Placing 38th in the overall most performed composers’ ranking of 2014, Arvo Pärt is the world’s most performed living composer for the fourth time in a row.
Find the 2014 Classical music statistics on bachtrack.
There’s also an infographic of 2014 available.
The impact of Spiegel im Spiegel
I feel that whenever I play Arvo Pärt’s music I do begin to go deeper within myself in order to try to create something of this spirituality that his music contains. So it’s almost as if you go inside yourself and you question who you are and how this music is bringing out different aspects.
The piece of music that I have almost the least to do is the Spiegel im Spiegel, but what I have to do is almost let go of myself. I think that being a vessel for this piece is a good way of describing it. (Tasmin Little)
In August 2011, BBC Radio 4 published a show exploring the impact of Spiegel im Spiegel on listener’s lives.
BBC Radio 4 has recently uploaded the full programme to SoundCloud, listen to it here:
30 Years of the ECM New Series
In 1984, ECM brought “a new sound into the musical world” with the release of Arvo Pärt’s “Tabula rasa”, the first album on the label’s New Series imprint which was subsequently rereleased as a special edition CD.
Tyran Grillo has written a short text on the history of the series for Sequenza 21. The full text is available here.
“Music says what I need to say. And it is dangerous to say anything, because if I’ve said it already in words there might be nothing left for my music.”
John Allison of The Telegraph has published an interview with Arvo Pärt. Find the full text on The Telegraph.
Watch an interview with Manfred Eicher on Arvo Pärt’s “Tabula Rasa” on YouTube:
Making its Hong Kong debut, Grammy award-winning Theatre of Voices, led by founder and artistic director Paul Hillier, performs a selection of Arvo Pärt’s choral music on 26 March 2015 at the 43rd Hong Kong Arts Festival. Among the works performed will be Most Holy Mother of God, The Deer’s Cry, Solfeggio, Seven Magnificat Antiphons and selections from Kanon Pokajanen. On the day before, music from both the 17th and 21st centuries will be performed:
Find the full programme on the website of the Hong Kong Arts Festival.
The Vale of Glamorgan festival (12 until 23 May 2015), which will be celebrating Arvo Pärt’s 80th birthday, has announced this year’s programme.
Find the full programme on the festival’s website.
Frances Wilson on Für Anna Maria
The Dulwich Piano Festival is paying tribute to Arvo Pärt by including Für Anna Maria on their syllabus for the 2015 Dulwich Piano Festival. The class is open to pianists playing at a novice/intermediate level – all ages welcome.
The class will be adjudicated by pianist, piano teacher and blogger Frances Wilson. Hear Frances discuss the piece and explain why it was chosen for the festival:
Arvo Pärt plays the piano and talks about Für Alina and Tintinnabuli (the video is in German):
Press conference for Adam’s Passion
Marco Frei of Die Welt has recently visited Tallinn for the rehearsals of Arvo Pärt’s and Robert Wilson’s major project Adam’s Passion, which will be premièred next year under Tõnu Kaljuste in honour of the composer’s 80th birthday.
Find the full [German] article on Die Welt.
The photo on the right was taken last November, when Wilson visited the Arvo Pärt Centre. You can find out more about Adam’s Passionon the website of the Arvo Pärt Centre.
On the occasion of the Gerhard Richter exhibition at Fondation Beyeler, the renowned Estonian Gregorian chant ensemble Vox Clamantis paid homage to Arvo Pärt this August.
The Fondation Beyeler has uploaded a video of the stunning performance on YouTube:
Pärt had dedicated his choral work Drei Hirtenkinder aus Fátima to Richter, which was performed for the very first time at the exhibition.
Adrian Searle of The Guardian has recently published an article on the art of Gerhard Richter. Richter on his Double Grey paintings and Arvo Pärt: “We tried to make something together. He wrote a composition, and I made these.”
Read the full article on The Guardian.
Arvo Pärt on the Praemium Imperiale
Find out more about the ceremony on the website of the Arvo Pärt Centre.
Together with South African playwright Athol Fugard, French painter Martial Raysse, Italian sculptor Giuseppe Penone and American architect Steven Holl, the composer will receive the prize in a ceremony held in Tokyo tomorrow, October 15.
The Woman with the Alabaster Box on France Musique
Listen to a full recording of Arvo Pärt’s The Woman with the Alabaster Box on France Musique. The choral work was performed on 27 September at the Festival Des Heures by the Tallis Scholars (cond. Peter Philips).
The stream will be available until 6 November.
An interview with Meyers, in which she talks about the music of Arvo Pärt, her violin and the upcoming concert is available on the website of the Albuquerque Journal.
Find out more about the concert on Chamber Music Albuquerque.
Aquarius’ new recording “Magnificent Magnificat”
Scheduled for February 2015, Aquarius will publish a recording titled “Magnificent Magnificat” on the French record label JADE. Find out more on their website.
From 29 September to 3 October, Leopold Brauneiss, a recognized Austrian musicologist and expert on Arvo Pärt’s compositional techniques, will give a special seminar about Arvo Pärt’s music titled “Another look at Tintinnabuli: An introduction to aesthetics and compositional technique.” The seminars take place at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre.
Find out more and register for the seminar on the website of the Arvo Pärt Centre.
Through the Night with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
New Zealand Radio Symphony Orchestra, Through the Night - BBC Radio 3 http://t.co/tiOabAhRnc Playing Arvo Pärt's Fratres. Pure pure heaven.— Wendy Magee (@LadyKeyNote) September 30, 2014
Hyperion releases Polyphony
Arvo Pärt’s music is simple in its means, and powerful in its effect. It has its own very distinctive personality, one that could hardly belong to any other living composer. He is as close to being a ‘household name’ as any classical composer in this lower-brow century can hope to be. (Meurig Bowen)
Today, 29 September, Hyperion Records releases a new CD with the choral music by Arvo Pärt performed by Polyphony (cond. Stephen Layton).
Listen to excerpts of the 12 works and read texts and liner notes (which are available in three languages) on Hyperion. A download of Peace upon you, Jerusalem for female choir a cappella is available for free.
Online entries have opened for the Dulwich Piano Festival, which will take place on 7 June 2015 at the James Allen’s Girls’ School. Based in South London, the Dulwich Piano Festival is in its fourth year and has around 130 competitors of all ages taking part.
View the Dulwich Piano Festival’s Syllabus online.
Find the Dulwich Piano Festival on Facebook.
I began with the idea of unravelling Carmen the woman… to find the vulnerability beneath the cold, heartless exterior. In the process of research, there was so much to unravel: I searched for Bizet and found Shchedrin. (Dada Masilo)
After her successful tour with Swan Lake (which featured Arvo Pärt’s Spiegel im Spiegel), Dada Masilo returned to the stage earlier this month with her ballet Carmen. Again the music of Arvo Pärt will be present in her ballet, this time she choreographed Lamentate for piano and orchestra.
The composer on Lamentate:
With respect to its form, however, the composition cannot really be described as a typical piano concerto. I chose the piano to be the solo instrument because it fixes our attention on something that is ‘one’. This ‘one’ could be a person, or perhaps a first-person narrative. Just as the sculpture leaves the viewer with a light and floating impression in spite of its overwhelming size, the piano, as a large instrument, allowed me to create a sphere of intimacy and warmth that no longer seems anonymous or abstract.
Watch a trailer of Carmen:
Festival des Heures at the Collège des Barnardins
On Saturday, 27 November, Ensemble Sit Fast will play Arvo Pärts Da Pacem and Summa, followed by a performance of The Woman with the Alabaster Box by the Tallis Scholars, conducted by Peter Philips, at the Festival des Heures.
For a full programme of the festival – almost 30 works will be performed in the course of one single day, accompagnied by debates and film screenings – visit the website of the Collège des Bernardins or follow @CBernardins on Twitter.
Watch the full concert at the Met on npr music:
Happy Birthday Arvo Pärt!
To initiate the upcoming celebrations and honour the composer’s 80th birthday on 11 September 2015, Universal Edition will be collecting upcoming performance dates, reviews, new CD releases and more on this blog. If you’ve got anything to share, let us know via hashtag #ArvoPart80 – get tweeting!
Also congratulations for having been awarded the 2014 Praemium Imperiale award for music. The composer will receive the prize in a ceremony held in Tokyo on October 15.
Among this year’s other winners are the South African playwright Athol Fugard, French painter Martial Raysse, Italian sculptor Giuseppe Penone and American architect Steven Holl.
Before Pärt, the UE composers Pierre Boulez, György Ligeti, Alfred Schnittke, Luciano Berio and Steve Reich have received the award.
Sinfini Music congratulates Arvo Pärt:
Für Alina at the Spectrum in New York
Find out more on our Performance Calendar.
New York’s celebration of Arvo Pärt earlier this year offered an opportunity to explore the spiritual content of the composer’s music, and to discover how the spaces in which music is performed can amplify its emotional power. In this program, neuroscientist Robert Zatorre explains how music can engage the reward system deep in our brains – the same system that responds to food and sex. Architect Steven Holl describes making spaces for music, and shows how music influences his work. Theologian Peter Bouteneff talks about the thread of spirituality that weaves throughout Pärt’s masterpieces.
Spark is hosted by Julie Burstein, author and Peabody Award–winning creator of public radio’s Studio 360.
Recorded on June 11, 2014