A well-known Estonian music journalist Ivalo Randalu (1936–2019) passed away on 19 December. Arvo Pärt and Ivalo Randalu got to know each other already in 1954 when studying together in Harri Otsa’s composition class at the Tallinn School of Music. Despite the different paths they chose they remained close friends and kindred spirits.
In December 2019, the ECM record company celebrates the 50th anniversary of releasing their first record. This event will be celebrated in larger and smaller ways in many places around the world, including Estonia. In half a century, the small record label from Munich has grown big in terms of its significance, and its importance is measured by the music which has many passionate followers among listeners and musicians alike. During the decades of their activity they have carved a special niche in the global music scene. And this is also where the true home of the recordings of Arvo Pärt’s music is.
The last days of November brought joyous news to the Arvo Pärt Center. On 27 November, the Patriarchal Synod in Constantinople canonised Staretz Sophrony of Essex, who during the last decades of his life had been closely connected to Arvo Pärt and his family.
One of the most remarkable composers in the modern world of music, Giya Kancheli (10 August, 1935 – 2 October, 2019) from Georgia passed away today. Arvo Pärt feels deeply moved by the loss of a dear colleague and a long-time friend, and he will miss his kindred spirit a lot. Both he and the Arvo Pärt Centre wish to express their heartfelt condolences to the family of Giya Kancheli.
Besides performing a concert at the Arvo Pärt Centre during the Arvo Pärt Days of the Nargenfestival, countertenor David James shared valuable memories of his encounters with Arvo Pärt and his music with the staff of the centre’s archive.
In the first days of October, the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich will open their autumn season with Paavo Järvi, who will commence his first season as chief conductor and musical director of this dignified 150-year-old collective. Over three evenings, from 2 to 4 October, a new version of Arvo Pärt’s If Bach Had Been a Beekeeper… will be premiered as the opening piece of the concert.
The second season of the Arvo Pärt Centre continues to focus on musicians and composers important to Arvo Pärt from Estonia and elsewhere. Today’s opening concert features music by Franz Schubert, one of Arvo Pärt’s favourite composers.
Creative associations in the field of architecture and the Estonian Cultural Endowment’s Architecture Foundation have selected the nominees for the 2019 Architecture Awards, the best of which will be awarded at the ceremony held in Tartu at the end of the year. Among the nominated projects are several public objects and city squares, restaurants, offices, private houses and exhibitions.
The Pärt family harmonium stood next to the door of the old archive building of the centre, where it quietly and shyly greeted everyone who entered. From time to time, Arvo Pärt or his son, the Chairman of the Council of the Centre Michael Pärt lifted the lid of the instrument, making the harmonium sing for the employees and visitors of the centre.