The Arvo Pärt Centre awards first residency scholarship to Austrian composer Annamaria Kowalsky

The Laulasmaa, Estonia-based Arvo Pärt Centre recently announced a competition for a residency scholarship that allows one artist to focus on their work at the centre for up to a month; the first scholarship was awarded to Austrian composer and artist Annamaria Kowalsky.

Kowalsky has a degree as an instrumentalist from the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna and a doctorate in philosophy from the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.

According to the centre, Kowalsky is a “versatile creator who effortlessly combines the roles of composer, performer and painter, and expresses herself with great skill in all these fields”.

Arvo Pärt did not participate in the centre’s selection process, but his son, Michael Pärt, is a member of the jury that selects the scholarships.

Applications from across the world

A total of 75 scholarship applications were submitted from across the world. In addition to Estonia, applications were received from Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Lithuania, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Scotland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, Serbia, Spain, Greece, the US, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Cuba, Iran, Lebanon and Rwanda.

Arvo Pärt Centre in Laulasmaa, Estonia. Photo by Arvo Pärt Centre.

“Most of the residency applications came from composers and instrumentalists, but the candidates also included filmmakers, poets, visual artists, singers, researchers, photographers, dancers, multimedia artists and journalists with exciting ideas,” the programme manager at the Arvo Pärt Centre, Riin Eensalu, said in a statement.

Residency scholarship awarded twice a year

The Arvo Pärt Centre awards the residency scholarship twice a year to give one creator the opportunity to focus on a larger creative work. The scholarship covers the resident’s expenses for one to four weeks and includes a daily allowance. The deadlines for applying for the scholarship are 31 May and 30 September.

Arvo Pärt Centre in Laulasmaa, Estonia. Photo by Tõnu Tunnel.

The centre showcases the cultural heritage of the Estonian composer, Arvo Pärt – one of the most performed living composers in the world. The centre, opened in 2018, includes a 150-seat chamber hall, a library, an exhibition area, a video hall and a classroom. It is located in Laulasmaa, 35 kilometres (22 miles) from Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, in a beautiful natural peninsula between the sea and a pine forest.

For more information about the costs and conditions, please see the centre’s special residency page.

Cover: Annamaria Kowalsky. Photo by

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