Pictures: Arvo Pärt and Sting enjoy each other’s company in Estonia

Sting, an English rock music legend currently on a concert tour that took him also to Tallinn, visited Estonian composer Arvo Pärt at the maestro’s namesake cultural centre; the two artists clearly enjoyed each other’s company.

“Today, a warm-hearted meeting took place between Arvo Pärt and Sting, who will perform in Tallinn tonight. The team of the centre was honoured to welcome the beloved singer,” the Arvo Pärt Centre said on its Facebook page on 12 June.

Arvo Pärt and Sting meeting at the Arvo Pärt Centre in Laulasmaa.

The Spanish-designed centre, introducing Pärt’s creative heritage to both domestic and international visitors, opened its doors in October 2018.

The centre was built in the picturesque area of Laulasmaa, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the Estonian capital, Tallinn. According to the architects, their design was inspired by the silence, beauty and the geometry of Arvo Pärt’s music. The building blends into the surrounding forest landscape, creating a balance between a modern architectural form and the natural environment.

Arvo Pärt and Sting enjoying the view.

The centre comprises Pärt’s personal archive, which stores information related to the composer’s work, as well as documents both in physical and digital format. The most valuable material stored in the archive are Pärt’s manuscripts: musical sketches, scores and musical diaries.

Global artists

Sting, born as Gordon Sumner in North East of England, started his music career in 1977 as the principal songwriter, lead singer and bassist for the new wave rock band, the Police. In 1985, he launched a successful solo career and has included elements of rock, jazz, reggae, classical, new-age and worldbeat in his music.

An Englishman in Laulasmaa: Arvo Pärt playing a tune to Sting.

As a solo musician and a member of the Police, Sting has received 17 Grammy Awards and sold over 100 million records. Sting is also very popular in Estonia – the 12 June concert wasn’t his first in the country, as he also performed here in 2001, 2006, 2010 and 2017.

Sting and Arvo Pärt with the staff at the Arvo Pärt Centre.

Arvo Pärt is widely considered to be the most celebrated and respected Estonian in the world. Pärt has written classical and religious music since 1960s and since the late 1970s, has worked in a minimalist style that employs his self-invented compositional technique, tintinnabuli. Since 2012, Pärt has been the world’s most performed living composer.

Images by Birgit Püve, courtesy of Arvo Pärt Centre.