Arvo Pärt Project pairs spectacular concert with wisdom from Elder Zacharias

St. Vladimir’s Seminary’s Arvo Pärt Project co-presented an incredible concert featuring the Estonian composer’s music Monday night in New York City. The Project partnered with Sacred Music in a Sacred Space for the event.

A sold-out crowd packed inside the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola for Arvo Pärt: The Sound of the Sacred to hear some of the leading performers of Arvo Pärt's music in the world, the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Tõnu Kaljuste. The all-Pärt program included two major compositions inspired by St. Silouan of Mount Athos, as well as a new setting of the Prayer from the Kanon of Repentance performed for the first time in the United States.

“Further evidence of the power of Arvo Pärt’s music and its relevance for the contemporary concert-goer was given tonight,” said Dr. Nicholas Reeves, who co-founded the Arvo Pärt Project when he was a professor at St. Vladimir’s Seminary. “It has been four years since the Estonians performed in New York and, regardless of the repeated programming of certain compositions, Pärt’s sway over the audience is as strong, if not stronger—the attendance, applause, and overall spirit of eagerness to listen was self-evident, even the pre-concert lecture was virtually packed. The depths of Pärt’s works and how they relate to his faith are an endeavor that the Arvo Pärt Project will continue to provide for a metropolitan populace thirsting for life-giving water.”

As part of the evening’s events, the Seminary invited Elder Zacharias of Essex—one of the living elders of the Orthodox Church—to take part in a free pre-concert lecture on St. Silouan and repentance in the music of Arvo Pärt. Archimandrite Zacharias is a disciple of St. Silouan’s own disciple Elder Sophrony, and is a monk in the community founded by Elder Sophrony, the Monastery of St. John the Baptist in Essex, England. Also taking part in the pre-concert lecture were His Beatitude, The Most Blessed Tikhon, archbishop of Washington and metropolitan of All America and Canada, and Seminary Professor Dr. Peter C. Bouteneff, who directs the Arvo Pärt Project.

Earlier that day, Fr. Zacharias visited the Seminary campus, where he spoke to members of the seminary community and guests.

Arvo Pärt’s spiritual roots in Orthodox Christianity have inspired the Seminary to engage in a project that has produced high-profile concerts, publish essays and books, and engage in cross-disciplinary panel discussions. Learn more about the Arvo Pärt Project and the Seminary’s Sacred Arts Initiative online.