Press Archive

The Sound of Spirit

New York Times Magazine – Arthur Lubow – Emigrating from the Soviet Union to the West in January 1980 with his wife, Nora, and their two small sons, the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt was stopped by border police at the Brest railroad station for a luggage search. “We had only seven suitcases, full of my scores, records and tapes,” he recalled recently. Read more

Ring the bells for the master of silence

The Irish Independent – George Hamilton – Arvo Pärt, who celebrates his 75th birthday today, is one of the most famous and indeed most important contemporary composers. He was born in Estonia less than five years before the Soviet takeover of the country, so his musical education was subject to the rigours of that regime. Read more

Vale of Glamorgan festival

The Guardian – Rian Evans – Over the years, the music of Arvo Pärt has claimed a special place in the Vale of Glamorgan festival. The relationship was cemented when he made his first visit in 1996, and Pärt has reaffirmed it this year by coming back for the festival's celebration of his 75th birthday, which falls on Saturday. Read more

Prom 46 - Philharmonia/Salonen - Royal Albert Hall, London

The Guardian – Andrew Clements – More than 35 years separated Arvo Pärt's first three symphonies from the fourth, first performed last year by Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Salonen brought it to Britain with the Philharmonia, surrounding the premiere with superbly performed 20th-century works: Mosolov's raucously brassy piece of Soviet constructivism, The Foundry, Ravel's Left-Hand Concerto, with Jean-Efflam Bavouzet as the slightly unfocused soloist, and Scriabin's unfailingly effective Poem of Ecstasy, which here was made almost too refined for its own brazen good. Read more

The fierce music of Estonia, Latvia

The Philadelphia Enquirer – David Patrick Stearns – In the Baltic Sea, about 45 minutes from Tallinn, the boat full of music devotees arrives at this near-desert island, then rides in army-style trucks past rusty Soviet war machinery and defused mines to a concert hall called Omari Barn - for music they can't hear anywhere else. Read more