The Cultural Merit Order (Meritul Cultural) of Romania was given to Arvo Pärt yesterday.
The order was awarded by President of Romania Klaus Iohannis in recognition of the dedication, talent and innovativeness of the composer throughout his creative journey, as well as his open and receptive attitude to the cultural merits of Romania. The award ceremony was held at the Romanian Embassy in Tallinn.
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.
Arvo Pärt received the Cultural Merit Order in the rank of Officer in the Category of Music.
“Any expression of honour is a great responsibility for the recipient. Like an 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.
“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,” said Arvo Pärt on receiving the award.