On 15 October the Japan Art Association in Tokyo presented Arvo Pärt with the prestigious Praemium Imperiale cultural award, considered equal to the Nobel Prize in the field of culture.
Watch a video of the press conference on YouTube:
Read more about the event on the website of the Arvo Pärt Centre.
Find out more about Arvo Pärt on our Blog titled Arvo Pärt in his 80th year.
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. You can register for the seminar on the website of the Arvo Pärt Centre.
Find out more about Arvo Pärt on our Blog titled Arvo Pärt in his 80th year.
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.
A live stream of the performance on 28 September at the Biennale de la danse will be available on ARTE at 20:00. Watch the live stream.
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:
Happy 79th Birthday Arvo Pärt!
To initiate the upcoming celebrations and honour the composer in his 80th year of birth, Universal Edition will be collecting upcoming performance dates, reviews, new CD releases and more on a dedicated blog. If you’ve got anything to share, let us know via hashtag #ArvoPart80 – get tweeting!
The Arvo Pärt Days in Tallinn start today with performances of Adam’s Lament, Beatus Petronius, Salve Regina, Statuit ei Dominus, Alleluia-Tropus, L’abbé Agathon, the Estonian Lullaby and the Christmas Lullaby:
Further concerts will take place on 3., 4., 6. 9, and finally on 11 September, the composer’s 79th birthday.
Find out more on our performance calendar.
Many classical music listeners will be familiar with the name Darius Milhaud, but how familiar are they with his output? The owner of a bold, individual style, Milhaud was active for much of the 20th century, a modernist who is counted among the group of composers known as ‘Les Six’ (a term coined by the music critic Henri Collet in 1920) and who was much influenced by jazz, polytonality as well as the sounds of Brazil.
Brilliant Classics will release two new double CDs on 25 August: view the full track lists and introductory texts of Arvo Pärt: Für Anna Maria, Complete Piano Music and Milhaud: Orchestral Music on the website of Brilliant Classics.
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 June 11, 2014
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.
The winning proposal is conceived as a sequence of interconnected public and private spaces below a large single roof, for which not a single tree of the forest will be felled.
The new building for the Arvo Pärt Centre will open its doors to the public in 2018.
View a gallery of the project on dezeen.
José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, and Taavi Rõivas, Estonian Prime Minister, recently visited the Arvo Pärt Centre to create opportunities for preserving and researching the creative heritage of Arvo Pärt in his native country.
More photos are available on the website of the European Commission.
Watch a video of the visit here:
David Fennessy’s choral work Letter to Michael will be performed together with excerpts from Arvo Pärt’s Kanon Pokajanen on Friday 20 June at this year’s Pipeworks Festival in Dublin, which starts today and runs until 27 June. Paul Hillier conducts the Chamber Choir Ireland.
The composer about the work:
A few years ago I came across an extraordinary piece of art by a woman named Emma Hauck. She was admitted to a German psychiatric ward about a hundred years ago diagnosed with schizophrenia. Whilst a patient there she produced pages and pages of text – thousands of lines in pencil which were addressed to her husband who had ceased to visit her. She simply wrote the words “Sweetheart Come” over and over again or sometimes just the word “come”. Every page is thick with overlapping text and some are so condensed as to be illegible.
I was deeply moved by these repeated pleas and feel strongly that the desperate passion that can be seen on these pages could only really be expressed with voices. I imagine a dense layering of a simple line; each voice adding to the power of the plea…
David Fennessy: Letter to Michael
for choir (16 voices) a cappella | 7'
Arvo Pärt: Kanon Pokajanen
for mixed choir a cappella
20.06.2014, Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin; Chamber Choir Ireland, Paul Hillier
The Pipeworks Festival on Vimeo:
Here are some excerpts from the media coverage on Arvo Pärt’s recent visit to New York, you can read the full texts by clicking on the respective links. Scroll down to view a video recording of the full performance of Kanon Pokajanen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Temple of Dendur.
Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim of the New York Times reviews the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra’s and the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir’s concert on 31.05.2014 at Carnegie Hall:
No other living composer has so fervent a following or such a diverse group of fans. When Mr. Pärt, bearded, frail and smiling shyly, took a bow at the end of the evening – this was his first visit to New York in 30 years – the roar that greeted him seemed unanimous. (Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, The New York Times, 03.06.2014)
George Grella’s take on the concert at Carnegie Hall (cond. Tõnu Kaljuste):
The music could belong to any era, the ritual of the service it’s built on holds the passage of time in abeyance, the shape moves from meditation to transcendence. (George Grella, New York Classical Review, 01.06.2014)
Arvo Pärt in an interview with Keith Jarrett:
Silence can be both that which is outside of us and that which is inside a person. The silence of our soul, which isn't even affected by external distractions, is actually more crucial but more difficult to achieve. (Keith Jarrett, npr music, 02.06.2014)
Vivien Schweitzer reviews Kanon Pokajanen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Temple of Dendur:
The singers sat in a circle, rendering the work with a power and purity of tone that fully revealed its mystical, serene qualities. (Vivien Schweitzer, The New York Times, 03.06.2014)
Watch the full concert at the Met on npr music:
Toomas Hendrik Ilves, the President of the Republic of Estonia, his wife Evelin Int-Lambot and Arvo and Nora Pärt were present at yesterday’s concert at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.