Arvo Pärt receives an honorary degree from Oxford University

At the annual Encaenia ceremony held on 22 June, the Estonian composer, Arvo Pärt, received an honorary degree in music from the world-renowned Oxford University in the UK.

At a ceremony held at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford, the University of Oxford conferred honorary degrees on nine distinguished figures from the fields of theology, law, economics, architecture, film, science, engineering and music.

Arvo Pärt receives honorary degree from Oxford University IV

The honorary doctorates of letters were awarded to economist Paul Krugman, film director Pedro Almodóvar and architect Kazuyo Sejima. The honorary doctorate in divinity was awarded to the philosopher and theologian, Tomáš Halík; the honorary doctorate in civil law was awarded to a justice of the supreme court of the United Kingdom, Lord Johathan Mance; and honorary doctorates in science were awarded to neurobiologist Cornelia Bargmann, physicist Mildred Dresselhaus and Sir Jonathan Ive, the chief design officer of Apple.

Arvo Pärt receives honorary degree from Oxford University III

Among Arvo Pärt’s numerous recognitions and awards, there are several honorary doctorates from Estonian universities (the Estonian Academy of Music, 1989; and the University of Tartu, 1998), as well as renowned universities abroad (University of Sydney, 1998; and University of Durham, 2002).

Pärt has also twice received an honorary doctorate in theology (University of Freiburg, 2007; University of Lugano, 2012).


Source: Arvo Pärt Centre and the University of Oxford. Pictures courtesy of Estonian Embassy in London.

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About the author: Silver Tambur

Silver Tambur is the cofounder and Editor-in-Chief of Estonian World. He has previously studied journalism at the University of Tartu, and politics and society at the Birkbeck College, University of London. Silver has been the editor at the Estonian Public Broadcasting’s news service in English, as well as contributing for the Business Sense magazine in the UK, Deutsche Welle and Radio New Zealand. You can also follow him on Twitter and like his page on Facebook. You can write to Silver at