Estonian composer Arvo Pärt issued a statement, in which the maestro addressed the Ukrainians and among other things, said, “forgive us for failing to protect you from a disaster unimaginable in our time”.
The statement was issued by Laulasmaa, Estonia-based Arvo Pärt Centre on behalf of the composer; Estonian World publishes the message in full:
Dear friends in Ukraine, dear colleagues, dear all fighting for your home at the price of your life,
We bow before your bravery, bravery in the face of nearly unbearable suffering.
We are with you as much as we are able to. All that is left to us is a lump in our throats and tears and prayers. Words have begun to lose their meaning.
Forgive us for failing to protect you from a disaster unimaginable in our time.
Long live Ukraine! Слава Україні!
Pärt’s statement was shared in Estonian, English, Ukrainian and Russian, and comes at a time of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. According to the UN, there have so far been 1,123 civilian casualties in Ukraine: 364 killed, including 25 children, and 759 injured. More than 1.5 million people from Ukraine have crossed into neighbouring countries in just 10 days.
Arvo Pärt, one of the most performed living composers in the world for the past ten years, is a practicing Eastern Orthodox Christian. In the past, his works have been performed in both Russia and Ukraine.