Start Date
Peter Bouteneff
Fordham’s Lincoln Center Campus,140 W. 62nd St.,10023,New York,NY,US

We are pleased to announce an international conference to be held from May 1-4, 2017 in the heart of New York City’s vibrant Lincoln Center music scene: “Arvo Pärt: Sounding the Sacred.” This event will bring together scholars from diverse fields (music, theology, sacred acoustics/sound studies, architecture, religious studies, philosophy), as well as artists experienced in the performance and recording of Pärt’s music, to create a unique forum for the exchange of ideas, research, practices and creativity on the topics of sound and the sacred. The event is hosted by the Sacred Arts Initiative and the Arvo Pärt Project at St. Vladimir’s Seminary, in collaboration with the Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University, and funded mainly by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.


The music of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt is frequently connected with experiences of the sacred. Although the composer’s religious affiliation is specifically Orthodox Christian, his music and its impact carry an appeal beyond confessional and religious boundaries. His popularity crosses over customary distinctions between classical and popular music, sacred and secular art, liturgical space and concert hall.

The unique impact of Pärt’s music has been explored musicologically—and more recently through the lens of spirituality—but not yet in terms of the more basic elements of sound and embodiment. We seek to break new ground exploring primary questions around how music achieves its visceral and spiritual effect on human beings through the materiality of the movement of air impressing itself on the human body.


Confirmed speakers/participants include Andrew AlbinPeter Bouteneff, Jeffers EngelhardtKevin KarnesAlexander LingasIvan MoodyBissera Pentcheva, Robert SalerAndrew ShentonToomas Siitan, and Sevin Yarman, as well as an exclusive filmed interview on the conference theme with Paul Hillier. We are seeking to interweave musical performances with presentations and discussion sessions.

This conference is open to the public, and offers a public music performance on Wednesday evening, May 3, 2017. Details on both the conference and the concert are now available at