The spirituality of Arvo Pärt’s music explored in New York and Washington

The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra with conductor Tõnu Kaljuste will perform the music of Arvo Pärt at four concerts in the United States – two in Washington, DC, and two in New York City. Pärt will also attend the concerts.

The concerts take place at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall in Washington on 27 May, at the Phillips Collection, also in Washington, on 29 May, and in New York at the world-renowned Carnegie Hall on 31 May and the Metropolitan Museum of Art on 2 June.

According to the main presenter of the concerts, the Arvo Pärt Project, the ensembles will perform repertoire specially selected by Pärt and St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary “to evoke the spirituality of Pärt’s music”. “The all-Pärt programmes at the Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center include the works Fratres, Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, Adam’s Lament, Salve Regina and Te Deum. The concert at the Phillips Collection is part of the museum’s Leading European Composers series and will feature musicians from the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, performing chamber music, including the world premiere of a new arrangement of My Heart’s in the Highlands,” the organisers said. “The Met Museum Presents programme features the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, performing Kanon Pokajanen in the Temple of Dendur on Monday, 2 June.”

Pärt’s work, which ranges from choral to orchestral to solo instrumental compositions, has for the past three years been the most-performed of any living composer in the world.

Developed by New York-based St. Vladimir’s Seminary’s faculty members, Dr Nicholas Reeves and Dr Peter Bouteneff, the Arvo Pärt Project was inaugurated in 2011 to explore the spiritual roots of Pärt’s music. Pärt, who is an Orthodox Christian, is cooperating with the seminary on this project, which includes these concerts and lectures as well as planned publications devoted to Pärt’s personal spiritual narrative.

The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra were founded by Tõnu Kaljuste. Both groups have been performing and recording Pärt’s music for decades. This year, Kaljuste won a Grammy for the Best Choral Performance for his work on Arvo Pärt’s album “Adam’s Lament”.

The concert at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall in Washington on 27 May will be presented by the Estonian Embassy in Washington and will also be attended by the Estonian President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves. This is a free and public event – seating is on a first-come-first-served basis and subject to capacity.

The flagship event will be a concert presented by St. Vladimir’s Seminary at New York’s Carnegie Hall, where Pärt will also be presented an honorary doctorate title on sacred music by the Seminary.

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About the author: Estonian World

Estonian World is a global independent online magazine, founded in London in 2012 and headquartered in Tallinn, Estonia. The magazine has editorial representations in London, New York, Toronto and Tallinn, and contributors all over the world, on every continent. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.