On 20 February Arvo Pärt was awarded the Cultural Merit Order of Romania (Meritul Cultural). The order was awarded by President of Romania Klaus Iohannis in recognition of the dedication, talent and innovativeness of the composer throughout his creative journey, as well as his open and receptive attitude to the cultural merits of Romania.
Find out more on the website of the Arvo Pärt Centre.
25 years ago today, on 9 February 1992, Wolfgang Rihm’s opera Die Eroberung von Mexico was first heard at the Hamburg State Opera – Ingo Metzmacher conducted.
On the same day in 1992, Arvo Pärt’s And One of the Pharisees ... was given its world première by Paul Hillier and the Theatre of Voices.
In 1949, the orchestral suite of Gottfried von Einem’s Dantons Tod was premièred in Baden Baden by the Radio Orchestra.
… and on this day in 1945, Frank Martin’s Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke was performed for the very first time in Basel by the Basel Chamber Orchestra and Paul Sacher.
And Happy Birthday Alban Berg! He was born on 9 February 1885, 132 years ago today.
The first-ever festival in North America dedicated to the music of Arvo Pärt runs from 5 to 12 February. The Arvo Pärt Festival takes place in Portland, Oregon and is presented by the Cappella Romana.
From the press release:
The Arvo Pärt Festival features eight (8) live performances of music by Arvo Pärt with chamber music (including Spiegel im Spiegel), the complete organ works, a cappella choral works (including selections of the Kanon Pokajanen), a late-night performance of the Passio by candlelight, the Missa Syllabica sung in a Latin mass, and a festival finale featuring Pärt’s Te Deum for three choirs, strings, and prepared piano, Da Pacem Domine (commissioned by Jordi Savall in memory of the victims of the Madrid terrorist bombings in 2004), and the US premiere of Alleluia-Tropus celebrating St. Nicholas.
The live events of the festival will be preceded with a screening of the new film “Arvo Pärt: Even if I lose everything” at Whitsell Auditorium, NW Film Center.
José Luis López-Linares’ documentary film “Bosch: The Garden of Dreams”, produced by LópezLiFilms and the Prado Museum, features music by Arvo Pärt.
Watch the trailer here:
Conductor Michael Laus, Arvo Pärt and the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra during the rehearsals for the Maltese première of Greater Antiphons, which will take place today at the Malta International Arts Festival. The piece for string orchestra will be performed together with other key works by the composer.
Our thanks to Michael Pärt and the Arvo Pärt Centre for the photographs!
On 22 June, Arvo Pärt received an honorary degree in Music from Oxford University at the annual Encaenia ceremony.
Nine distinguished figures from the fields of theology, law, economics, architecture, film, science, engineering and music received honorary degrees at the ceremony held at the Sheldonian Theatre.
These were Arvo Pärt, economist Paul Krugman, film director Pedro Almodóvar, architect Kazuyo Sejima, philosopher and theologian Tomáš Halík, Lord Johathan Mance, a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, neurobiologist Cornelia Bargmann, physicist Mildred Dresselhaus and Sir Jonathan Ive, Chief Design Officer of Apple Inc.
Pärt’s orchestration is exceptional and delves subtly into colors within the limited palette, for instance using open strings and harmonics to create shining, single-note highlights. The performance was a good one, breathing and luminous. (Timothy Mangan, The Orange County Register, 29 May 2016)
Together with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Gustavo Dudamel performed the world première of Arvo Pärt’s Greater Antiphons for string orchestraon 28 May at the Mozart & Pärt festival in Los Angeles.
Read Timothy Mangan’s full review in The Orange County Register.
The Sixteen’s recording of Arvo Pärt’s The Deer’s Cry received 4 out of 5 stars from Fiona Maddocks. Read the full review on The Guardian.
Take a peek behind the scenes in The Sixteen’s promotional video:
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.
Das Mystische, das, was fast nicht erklärbar ist, und der Entschluss, sich auf der Bühne nach einer gewissen Zeit nicht mehr zu schminken, das Innen nach Außen zu transformieren, die konsequente Reduktion von Dekoration auf der Bühne - das hat viel mit Arvo Pärt zu tun. (John Neumeier on Duse)
Alessandra Ferri dances the title role of John Neumeier’s new ballet Duse, which premières this Sunday at the Staatsoper Hamburg.
The ballet features music by Arvo Pärt and Benjamin Britten, Simon Hewett conducts the orchestra of the Staatsoper Hamburg.