Today, among other less auspicious anniversaries, is one very worth celebrating: Arvo Pärt’s 75th Birthday.
The Estonian “holy minimalist” composer has been featured at the BBC Proms this summer, including performance of his first new symphony since the early 1970s, his take on the St John Passion, and my favorite, the short, mesmerising Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten.
You can find short clips on the BBC site, but here’s a video to go along with the original recorded version, from the Tabula Rasa record (isn’t it weird that I can legally embed this, but not the music alone?):
And if you’re in London in two weeks (I’ll be around, but running — hint, hint), and fancy a bit of musicology, you can attend a two-day conference on Pärt, “Soundtrack of an Age”. In the meantime, I’m off to Lecce to teach in a cosmology summer school. Two hours of lecturing and a week in Puglia — no complaints. For now, happy birthday, Arvo.