If the world is currently recalling the sad and momentous events of 9 years ago and holding its breath concerning the irresponsible maverick actions of a small church in Florida, it is perhaps comforting to know that there is something to celebrate on September 11. Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, arguably the world’s greatest living composer of sacred music, was born 75 years ago today.
Just yesterday I returned from attending a major retrospective of Pärt’s work at the Vale of Glamorgan Festival in Wales, where I had the unforgettable privilege of meeting the composer and of giving a pre-concert tribute to him prior to a concert given by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at the Millenium Centre in Cardiff. The programme featured a new arrangement of Pärt’s In Spe from 1976 (partially sponsored by us at Soli Deo Gloria) as well as his cantata Cecilia, vergine Romana, together with a remarkable and moving performance of his Fourth Symphony, ‘Los Angeles’. You can read the text of my talk here: http://www.peterjohnbannister.com/APtribute.pdf