“I went to nursery school every day until the end of secondary school!” Arvo Pärt says and pauses, staring slyly at his listener. Only after a few lengthy seconds more does he add: “My mother worked at a nursery school in Rakvere, and I always went to visit her after my lessons.” There, the future composer often sat at the piano and played or improvised for his little friends. Children’s stories and songs as well as their world of make-believe was a natural, everyday environment for Pärt. Even now, many decades later, he knows by heart a large number of nursery rhymes and silly ditties, and can pull them out of his sleeve at just the right moment. Arvo Pärt finds a common language with children with ease – just as children do with him.
On 21 October, the Arvo Pärt Centre together with Universal Edition will present Songs from Childhood at the Berlin Dussmann KulturKaufhaus in Berlin. Guests of honour at the presentation will be Arvo Pärt and Norbert Lammert; a selection of the Songs from Childhood will also be performed by the girls choir of the Singakademie zu Berlin.