For the first time, Russian National Museum of Music named after S.Prokofiev is running a solo exhibition dedicated to the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt: Arvo Pärt: Renowned and Unknown. This show is part of the Centenary Celebrations marking the foundation of the Estonian Republic. It is a collaborative effort of the Estonian Embassy in Russia and Russian Ministry of Culture.
The exhibition is devoted to the contemporary Estonian composer whose works are most frequently performed all over the world. He is also world-famous for his unique compositions in tintinnabuli technique. Recently, Pärt’s music became known to wide audiences through soundtracks for such legendary films as the “Great Beauty” by Paolo Sorrentino, “Expulsion” and “Loveless” by Andrey Zvyagintsev, “Diamonds for the Dictatorship of the Proletariat” by Grigory Kromanov. He is the only Estonian composer, who has been awarded the Grammy Award, the Sonning Prize and the title “World Composer” conferred on him by the London Royal Conservatoire.
Arvo Pärt’s music has touched many hearts and emotionally reached to many people. The exhibition narrates the story of composer’s life: his family, childhood and formative years. This story is now part of Estonian history, bringing visitors closer to the personality of Arvo Pärt.
In the 1960s, as a young Soviet Estonian composer of the, Pärt, like many of his contemporaries, began to explore avant-garde music, mixed various styles and techniques. Participation in the “Autumn of Warsaw” festival gave him a new impulse to search and create. However, this inevitably resolved in the creative crisis was inevitable. After the years of silence and experimentation, by the mid-1970s, Pärt came up with a new style he named tintinnabuli (from Latin for “small bells”).
Pärt’s creative search brought him back to the aesthetics of Middle Ages and Renaissance music, to the Gregorian chants and Franco-Flemish polyphony. Thousands of drafts come as proof of overwhelming preparatory work. The first compositions in the style of tintinnabuli were presented to the public in 1976, and the Estonian audience was delighted. However, the music of Arvo Pärt did not meet the canons of the Soviet cultural policy, and in 1980s the authorities recommended that the Pärts leave Estonia.
The composer returned home after Estonia became an independent state. It was then that his works began to be performed in concert programs and first official recordings of his music became available. From 2000s onwards the tradition of celebrating Arvo Pärt’s birthday became accepted nationwide — first by performing his works in orphanages and then — at the major music festivals. The exhibition Arvo Pärt – Renowned and Unknown at the Museum of S.S. Prokofiev is a touring exhibition, first shown at the Estonian Museum of Theatre and Music The exhibition in Moscow will continue until August 31, 2018.