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Estonian House Gala Launches Arvo Pärt Project 

On December 13, 2012, a gala at the New York Estonian House launched a project that will bring one of the most famed living Estonians in the world—composer Arvo Pärt—to the United States for an unprecedented concert-lecture series. The Arvo Pärt Project at St. Vladimir’s Seminary is a unique collaboration between the composer and the theological graduate school located in Yonkers, NY.  Both Pärt and the seminary share a common faith and spiritual heritage in the Eastern Orthodox Christian tradition.

The Arvo Pärt Project  will specifically explore the spiritual roots of Pärt’s music and will center on a concert at Carnegie Hall on May 31, 2014, with the composer and his wife, Nora, in attendance. The landmark performance will feature the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, under the baton of Tõnu Kaljuste. 

The gala was hosted by Sten Schwede, Estonian consul general, and chaired by H.E. Marina Kaljurand, Estonian ambassador to the U.S. Introducing the project was St. Vladimir’s faculty member Dr. Peter C. Bouteneff, who teaches systematic theology and has been a long-time admirer of Pärt.  Seminary trustees, faculty, and staff joined members of the Estonian American community in the celebratory night --  including members of the Estonian diplomatic corps and board members of the Estonian American National Council.  Also attending were executive staff from the Henry Luce Foundation, which awarded the project an important planning grant in May 2012.  The evening’s musical highlight was a performance of two Pärt works by pianist Lembit Beecher and cellist Karen Ouzounian. 

For more details, here is the link to the site.
[Photo, from left: Linda Rink, EANC Executive Director; Margus Kolga, UN Estonian Ambassador; Dr. Peter Bouteneff; H.E. Marina Kaljurand, U.S. Estonian Ambassador; Sten Schwede, Estonian consul general; Dr. Nicholas Reeves; Fr. Chad Hatfield.]


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