Minister of Culture from New York: Arvo Pärt’s concerts introduce Estonian culture on a global level

Ministry of Culture ,
31 May 2014, Estonia

The Minister of Culture Urve Tiidus was in New York to take part in events related to Arvo Pärt and to meet with local culture organisers.

 On Saturday, May 31 at 10 am local time, the Minister of Culture Urve Tiidus participated at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary to honour maestro Arvo Pärt, who received an honorary doctorate in religious music. The same evening, Tiidus attended Arvo Pärt’s author concert in the world-famous Carnegie Hall, which was one of the highlights of the American tour of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and Tallinn Chamber Orchestra. Tõnu Kaljuste conducted Pärt’s pieces Fratres, Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, Adam’s Lament, Salve Regina and Te Deum. After this the minister held a reception in Carnegie Hall to thank Arvo and Nora Pärt, the performers and the donors to the tour. The list of invitees also included a number of American culture organisers, producers and managers.

“It is very touching that Arvo Pärt’s music has found such a warm welcome in the States. This achievement is founded on hard work, and I would like to thank everyone for their contribution,” said the Minister of Culture Urve Tiidus. “This event is not only joyous for the American audience, but also for Estonians, because our musicians and composers have not previously had a chance to perform our own beloved composer’s work in such a magnificent way and in such a famous hall. These concerts have been an excellent opportunity to make the world aware of Estonia and our culture,” noted Tiidus.

In addition to the events related to Arvo Pärt, the Minister of Culture met with Karin Laansoo, Head of the Estonian Contemporary Art Development Centre, to discuss the possibilities of promoting Estonian art in the United States. The minister also visited the memorial to 9/11 and the Museum of Modern Art.

Before the concert in Carnegie Hall, a presentation was held for the heads of American festivals and culture centres on a major project planned for the next year. The performance of Adam’s Passion by Arvo Pärt and Robert Wilson was introduced by Paavo Nõgene, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Culture. During his visit to the States, the Permanent Secretary also met with a representative of the National Gallery of Art in Washington to discuss a cooperation project for the year 2018 with the Art Museum of Estonia on the oeuvre of Michel Sittow, an artist who worked in Tallinn at the turn of the 15th and 16th century. The exhibition will be held as a gift from the Art Museum of Estonia within the framework of the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia, to introduce an artist that links Estonia with the European history of art.