Estonian composer Arvo Pärt was honoured by the Romanian president for the special contribution in the arts with the Cultural Merit Order.
Pärt, the most performed living composed in the world, was decorated on 21 February. Awarded by the Romanian president, Klaus Iohannis, the order recognises Pärt’s dedication, talent and innovativeness throughout his creative journey, as well as his open and receptive attitude to the cultural merits of Romania.
“Any expression of honour is a great responsibility for the recipient. Like applause, it can also mislead you. I feel greatly honoured and responsible, all the more because the Romanian cultural heritage has always been close to my heart. I especially cherish the deep and well-preserved spiritual tradition of your Eastern Orthodox Church, which has played an important role in my life,” Pärt said on receiving the award.
“I have been fortunate to meet outstanding clerical figures in Romania, who have enriched my life. I personally, and my homeland Estonia, are grateful and proud that this order with its dignified history has brought us, Romania and Estonia, closer to each other,” the composer added.
The order was established by King Carol II of Romania in 1931 by royal decree and is awarded for special contributions that further culture, art, science and charity. The award ceremony was held at the Romanian embassy in Tallinn.
Cover: Estonian composer Arvo Pärt awarded at the Romanian embassy in Tallinn by the Romanian ambassador (images courtesy of Arvo Pärt Centre.)