Playing Pärt


Concert of works by Arvo Pärt by pupils of VHK school

The Arvo Pärt Centre and Collegium Educationis Revaliae (Old Town Educational College, VHK) Music School worked together to put on a concert of works by Arvo Pärt on 4 June 2011 at 5 p.m. in Swedish St Michael’s church (Rüütli 7/9).

More about the project:
Young generations of musicians are often shaped by the words of their teachers, their ability to inspire and set an example. The VHK Music School aims to instill in children a love of music through their learning, to help them find a means of self-expression through music, and to let them experience the joy of success.

After a lot of work, a moving and individual type of concert was planned, featuring the girls choir of the VHK Music School, the St Michael’s boys choir and a joint performance by the musicians and soloists of the VHK music school, children from the kindergarten and teachers. Preparing for the concert was a great and exciting challenge for the young musicians and their teachers and for the composer himself, who participated in teaching the young performers.

The concert was only of works by Arvo Pärt and featured 18 pieces, some of which were created in the composer’s youth specifically for children, while other works were from the international repertoire for adult choirs, ensembles and soloists. Young musicians played piano, flute, guitar, cello, zither and organ, and the girls choir was led by Maarja Soone while the boys choir trained by Kadri Hunt was conducted by Mikk Üleoja. The composer himself made an appearance at the piano for the piece Vater unser.

Video recordings were made during the preparations and rehearsals for the concert, and the recording of the concert itself is kept in the archives of the Arvo Pärt Centre.

Entrance to the concert was free for all.
We are thankful for our then main sponsor Swedbank, the staff and pupils of The Old Town Educational College Music School, the Swedish St Michael’s Church, and everyone connected with the project.

“The ability to notice things is a sign of wisdom. So is the ability to listen and to hear. To be able to differentiate between the important and the unimportant, be the difference large or small, obvious or barely discernible, this is the key.”
/Piano teacher Ille Martin to the 17-year-old school leaver Arvo Pärt/

The words of piano teacher Ille Martini have followed the composer all his life. In the radio broadcast for his 70th birthday, Arvo Pärt told presenter Immo Mihkelson that:
“I didn’t understand anything of what she wrote for me in there. I read it and it sort of went straight past me. I felt that she was writing from the heart and… wishing me well for the future, but the secret, really I understood that only 20 or 25 years later“.

DVD Playing Pärt was released in spring 2012 as a joint creation by the Arvo Pärt Centre, the Collegium Educationis Revaliae school, the film studio Minor Film and the music publishers Universal Edition. The DVD is available from the centre’s webshop.

On November 11th the centre is closed for visitors. / On December 6th the centre is open until 3 pm. / From December 23th to January 1st the centre is closed.