Arvo Pärt and Contemporary Spirituality Conference

Boston University, March 25, 26 and 27, 2010

To celebrate the 75th birthday of Arvo Pärt (born 11 September, 1935), Boston University hosted a conference entitled ‘Arvo Pärt and Contemporary Spirituality’. Jointly promoted by the and the School of Theology and the School of Music, with cooperation from CAS/GRS and the Boston University Humanities Foundation, the conference examined Pärt’s music using and developing cross-disciplinary methodologies drawing on media studies, theological studies and different analytical approaches to music. By working on issues of interpretation it endeavored to bridge the traditional gap between scholars and performers, and it directly addressed the largest group of people who come across Pärt’s music: the audience.

A companion conference will be held at the Southbank Centre in London. Details of the conference ‘Arvo Pärt: Soundtrack of an Age’ September 24-5, 2010 can be found on the ‘London Conference’ tab.

A Message from Arvo Pärt:

Dear conference participants,
Dear friends,

First of all I regret very much not being able to attend this conference dedicated to me in person. I would have been most interested in hearing the various contributions from all over the world. It would also have been very exciting for me to see my own work from so many various angles. I am sure that much would be familiar to me, but other things unexpected and new – after all, dialogue is the main thing.

I would like here to emphasise how important it is to me that a serious and substantial discussion of my work takes place – and for this project I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to Andrew Shenton. I trust that the findings of this conference will also help and inspire me and my musical ideas.

Welcome to all participants and thank you for your interest and your dedication to my music. I wish you an inspirational conference.

Yours sincerely

Arvo Pärt
Laulasmaa, 18 March 2010


Program Committee

Andrew Shenton, Chair (Boston University)
Sander van Maas (University of Amsterdam)
Robert Sholl (Royal Academy of Music, London)
Karen Westerfield Tucker (Boston University School of Theology)
Jeremy Yudkin (Boston University College of Fine Arts / College of Arts and Sciences)