Music News

Conference on Arvo Pärt’s music in New York

„Arvo Pärt: Sounding the Sacred” is an international conference within the Arvo Pärt Project at St. Vladimir’s Seminary, in collaboration with the Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University. The conference is being held on 1–4 May 2017 in New York City and focuses on the sonic and spiritual effect of Arvo Pärt’s music. The conference will host speakers from different fields of research with presentations based on sound studies, a relatively new branch of academic inquiry.

The conference will host presentations by researchers who have had a long-term connection with Arvo Pärt’s music, as well as speakers with completely new approaches. Among the principal speakers is Peter Bouteneff with inaugural lecture „Sounding the Sacred”; Andrew Albin compares the aspirations of Pärt and the 14th century composer Richard Rolle in attaining silence through music; Jeffers Engelhardt too discusses the phenomenon of silence and resonance in his presentation; Kevin Karnes recalls the Riga Contemporary Music Festival in 1976 and 1977, where Sarah was Ninety Years Old and Missa Syllabica were performed; Alexander Lingas, the leader of Cappella Romana, aims to prove that connections between Pärt’s music and Christian liturgical chant (both Eastern Orthodox and Western) can be found at an even more fundamental level than in direct quotations; Ivan Moody in his presentation discusses works by Pärt that may be associated with Eastern Orthodox Christian theology; Bissera Pentcheva takes architecture as the starting point in her presentation, focusing on voice and icon in the Hagia Sophia basilica; Robert Saler focuses on theological implications of studying Pärt through the lens of „sound studies”; Toomas Siitan’s presentation emphasizes a common characteristic of Pärt’s earlier and tintinnabuli music – the search for a solid yet simple structural anchor; and Sevin Yaraman draws parallels between Pärt and Sufi music. Speakers at the conference also include Paul Hillier (via a filmed interview with Bouteneff) and the event will host a panel discussion of performers of Pärt’s work. There will be 10 additional papers delivered at the conference, chosen out of 20 proposals received from around the world. On opening day His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon honours the conference with the speech.

The conference is accompanied by a concert in the nearby Holy Trinity Church, where Arvo Pärt’s Stabat Mater, Trivium, De profundis, and Sarah was Ninety Years Old will be performed by The Goeyvaerts String Trio+ with Andrew Shenton on organ and Yousif Sheronick on percussion.

More info:

Source: Arvo Pärt Centre