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Arvo Pärt in New York

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 05 June 2014

Arvo Pärt at the Met, 02.06.2014 (c) Universal Edition, Wolfgang Schaufler

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)

Arvo Pärt at Carnegie Hall, 31.05.2014 (c) Universal Edition, Wolfgang SchauflerGeorge 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:

 Kanon Pokajanen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Temple of Dendur, npr

Prominent guests at the Kennedy Center

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 28 May 2014

Evelin Int-Lambot, Arvo Pärt, Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Nora Pärt (c) Universal Edition, Wolfgang Schaufler

Pärt at the Kennedy CenterToomas 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.

Among the pieces performed were Adam’s Lament, Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten and Fratres, Tõnu Kaljuste conducted the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra.

Connectome at the Royal Ballet

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 27 May 2014

Natalia Osipova (c) Natalia Osipova Alastair Marriott’s upcoming one-act ballet Connectome will première this Saturday in a triple bill evening from the Royal Ballet, featuring Frederick Ashton’s The Dream, Jerome Robbin’s The Concert and Connectome, which is danced to the music of Arvo Pärt, including Fratres, Vater Unser and Silouan’s Song.

Although the première is already sold out, tickets for later dates are still available.

The Independent has attended the rehearsals for Connectome, which is Marriott’s first commission for the Royal Ballet, and interviewed the ballet’s core member Natalia Osipova. Read the full article on The Independent.

Pärt in the U.S.

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 27 May 2014

Arvo Pärt ProjectThere is great art; and there is popular art. Many people believe that there is a stark difference between the two. […] Very few artists are taken seriously in both realms. One of them is the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. (Anne Midgette, The Washington Post, 23 May 2014)

Arvo Pärt has come to the East Coast for the first time in 30 years, here’s what The Washington Post has to say about the composer.

Upcoming performances of works by Arvo Pärt.

“I am trying to reflect the values in my music that could touch every individual”

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 20 May 2014

“Religion guides all the processes in our lives, without us even knowing it,” the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt said in a recent phone interview. “It is true that religion has a very important role in my composition, but how it really works, I am not able to describe.” (

Read the full article on the New York Times.

Arvo Pärt ProjectPärt will visit the United States from the middle of May until June. The composer will attend several performances of his music and receive honorary degrees from the New England Conservatory in Boston and the St. Vladimir’s Seminary in New York.

Furthermore, he will attend the world première of My Heart’s in the Highlands for alto, violin, viola, violoncello and piano. Originally composed for countertenor and organ, the work now ventures beyond a church setting for the first time.

Find out more about the Arvo Pärt Project.

Arvo Pärt: My Heart’s in the Highlands
for alto, string trio and piano | 8'30''
world prem. 29.05.2014, The Phillips Collection, Washington; Iris Oja, a; Harry Traksmann, vln; Laur Eensalu, vla; Leho Karin, vc; Marrit Gerretz-Traksmann, pno

Bachtrack interviews Pärt

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 14 March 2014

Arvo Pärt (c) Roberto Masotti

I do not see myself as a “choral” composer, though I have written quite a lot for choir.

It’s Choral Month on Bachtrack, and for that occasion the online magazine (and event finder) has conducted a short interview with Arvo Pärt, whom they revealed as the most performed contemporary composer of 2013.

Read the full article here.

Arvo Pärt’s messenger pigeon has landed in Zurich

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 06 March 2014

The Zurich Chamber Orchestra with Anu Tali, Nastja and Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Nora and Arvo Pärt and Sergej Nakariakov (from left to right) at the Tonhalle (c) Thomas Entzeroth

Arvo Pärt composed his Symphony No. 4 ‘Los Angeles’ in 2008 and dedicated it to the imprisoned Russian Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The two of them met for the first time on 4 March 2014 at the performance of the concert given by the Zurich Chamber Orchestra. The Estonian Anu Tali conducted the orchestra. A further highlight of the evening was the appearance of the world-famous trumpeter Sergej Nakariakov.

From the Zurich Chamber Orchestra’s press release:

Just after Putin released Mikhail Khodorkovsky in December 2013, Moritz Reissenberger, librarian and member of the artistic department of the orchestra, discovered the personal dedication to Khodorkovsky in Pärt’s score.

Nastja and Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Anu Tali, Arvo and Nora Pärt, Sergej Nakariakov (from left to right) at the Tonhalle (c) Thomas Entzeroth“With my work I seek to hold out my hand to the prisoner and with him, to all those who are imprisoned, deprived of their rights, in Russia. I dedicate my 4th Symphony to Mikhail Khodorkovsky and wish him peace of mind, in spite of the situation in which he finds himself, all else is beyond my power. I do not know if Mikhail Khodorkovsky will ever hear my composition. Nevertheless, I hope that my messenger pigeon will one day reach distant Siberia.”

Musical experiences with the Ensemble intercontemporain

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 04 February 2014

Matthias Pintscher (c) Edouard CaupeilThe Ensemble intercontemporain (cond. Matthias Pintscher) will perform Pierre Boulez’ Messagesquisse on 9 February as part of their second Turbulences Week-End. Also on the programme: Wolfgang Rihm’s Tutuguri VI (Kreuze), conducted by Michel Cerutti and performed by students of the Conservatoire de Paris.

World première of Swan Song

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 30 January 2014

Marc Minkowski, Arvo Pärt and Matthias Schulz (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch
Marc Minkowski, Arvo Pärt and Matthias Schulz of the Stiftung Mozarteum at the dress rehearsal for yesterday’s world première of Swan Song at the Großes Festspielhaus in Salzburg.

A recording of the concert will be broadcast by Ö1 on 9 February at 11:03am. Listen live.

View the full study score of Swan Song.

Arvo Pärt: Swan Song
Wiener Philharmoniker, cond. Marc Minkowski
Mozart Week Salzburg; recording of the world première on 29 January, Großes Festspielhaus Salzburg
Ö1 | Listen live
Sunday, 09.02.2014, 11:03


Rehearsals with Dennis Russell Davies and Arvo Pärt

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 27 January 2014

Arvo Pärt, Dennis Russell Davies (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch

Arvo Pärt, Dennis Russell Davies (c) Universal Edition, Eric MarinitschDennis Russell Davies and Arvo Pärt with the Bruckner Orchestra Linz at today’s rehearsals for Pärt’s Symphony No. 4 ‘Los Angeles’.

The piece will be performed today at the Brucknerhaus in Linz and on 31 January at the Musikverein, Vienna.

Arvo Pärt: Symphony No. 4 ‘Los Angeles’
for string orchestra, harp, timpani and percussion | 34'
timp, perc(2–4), hp, str
27.01.2014, Brucknerhaus, Linz
31.01.2014, Musikverein, Vienna
Bruckner Orchestra Linz, cond. Dennis Russell Davies

Arvo Pärt: Best Choral Performance

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 27 January 2014

Arvo Pärt (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch
Congratulations to Arvo Pärt and Tõnu Kaljuste: Adam's Lament (released under the ECM New Series) has won the Grammy for Best Choral Performance. The performers on the recording are the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Vox Clamantis, Sinfonietta Riga, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, soloists Tui Hirv and Rainer Vilu.


Adam’s Lament nominated for Best Classical Composition

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 09 December 2013

Arvo Pärt (c) Universal Edition, Eric MarinitschArvo Pärt’s Adam’s Lament has been nominated for Best Classical Composition and for Best Choral Performance at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards.

Furthermore Manfred Eicher, producer of the ECM New Series recording of Adam’s Lament, is nominated as Producer of the Year, Classical.


In Memory of Benjamin Britten

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 November 2013

Arvo Pärt: Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, score; Universal Edition Arvo Pärt: Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, score; Universal Edition
Arvo Pärt: Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, score; Universal Edition

In the past years we have had many losses in the world of music to mourn. Why did the date of Benjamin Britten’s death – 4 December 1976 – touch such a chord in me?

During this time I was obviously at the point where I could recognize the magnitude of such a loss. Inexplicable feelings of guilt, more than that even, arose in me. I had just discovered Britten for myself. Just before his death I began to appreciate the unusual purity of his music – I had had the impression of the same kind of purity in the ballads of Guillaume de Machaut. And besides, for a long time I had wanted to meet Britten personally – and now it would not come to that.

Arvo Pärt

Celebrating the centenary of Benjamin Britten, here are the first three pages of Arvo Pärt’s autograph of Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten (Cantus Benjamin Britteni mälestuseks), a piece commemorating the great English composer.You can click on the images to see high resolution zoomable scans.

By the end of this day, the piece will have been performed more than 1150 times in the last 20 years, there are more than 150 entries in our performance database for 2013 alone.

Solemn Mass of Thanksgiving for Church Music in Holborn

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 25 October 2013

The Parish Church of Saint Alban the Martyr, HolbornOn Sunday, October 27th 2013, the Church of Saint Alban Holborn in London has its annual Solemn Mass of Thanksgiving for Church Music. Each year, a different composer is chosen for this service, and this year it is Arvo Pärt. Among the pieces performed will be the Berliner Messe and The Beatitudes.

Find out more on the church’s homepage.

Arvo Pärt: Berliner Messe
for mixed choir or soloists (SATB) and organ | 25'
Arvo Pärt: Cantate Domino canticum novum
for mixed choir or soloists (SATB) and organ | 3'
Arvo Pärt: The Beatitudes
for mixed choir (SATB) and organ | 7'
Arvo Pärt: O Morgenstern from 7 Magnificat-Antiphonen
for mixed choir a cappella | 15'
Arvo Pärt: Pari intervallo
for organ | 6'
27.10.2013, Church of Saint Alban Holborn, London; Edward Batting, org; Curch of Saint Alban Holborn Choir

Contemporary music month on bachtrack

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 21 October 2013

Arvo Pärt (c) Roberto MasottiOctober is bachtrack’s contemporary music month, and it is great to see that Arvo Pärt is featured in the special on Minimalists, and that Pierre Boulez – together with Stockhausen, Berio, and others – is regarded as one of conemporary music’s “Cutting-Edge Heavyweights”: A generation of composers growing up amongst the carnage of Hitler’s Europe [that] turned their faces away from the traditional language of music, which seemed forever tainted by that world, in search of a new musical grammar.

Boulez on Boulez: