Cappella Romana presents: The Arvo Pärt Festival

Arvo Pärt Festival by Cappella Romana

The first-ever festival in North America dedicated to the music of Estonian Orthodox composer Arvo Pärt will take place February 5 – 12, 2017 in Portland, Oregon, presented by the Northwest’s leading professional chamber choir, Cappella Romana. Arvo Pärt is the most performed living composer in the world. Full information.

The Arvo Pärt Festival features eight (8) live performances of music by Arvo Pärt with chamber music (including Spiegel im Spiegel), the complete organ works, a cappella choral works (including selections of the Kanon Pokajanen), a late-night performance of the Passio by candlelight, the Missa Syllabica sung in a Latin mass, and a festival finale featuring Pärt’s Te Deum for three choirs, strings, and prepared piano, Da Pacem Domine (commissioned by Jordi Savall in memory of the victims of the Madrid terrorist bombings in 2004), and the US premiere of Alleluia-Tropus celebrating St. Nicholas.

The live events of the festival will be preceded with a screening of the new film “Arvo Pärt: Even if I lose everything” at Whitsell Auditorium, NW Film Center.

The Arvo Pärt Festival also features two free public lectures, including “The Words Write My Music,” by Peter Bouteneff, professor of theology at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York and author of the new book Arvo Pärt: Out of Silence.

Lead Sponsor: Ronni Lacroute

Festival Schedule

Sunday February 5

4:30pm Screening of film “Arvo Pärt: Even if I lose everything”

Whitsell Auditorium, NW Film Center.

Dorian Supin’s intimate film of minimalist Estonian composer Arvo Pärt provides a warm and delicate portrait of the maestro’s philosophy of life and interactions with his family and friends, shedding light on the composers’ process as he seeks his creative path. Co-presented with The Northwest Film Center as part of “Reel Music 34,” a showcase of new films exploring the intersection of sound and image, and music and culture. Schedule at

Thursday February 9

7:30pm Pärt & Pärcel: Music of Arvo Pärt & the New Estonia, Third Angle New Music (SOLD OUT)
Studio 2 @ N.E.W., 810 SE Belmont, Portland

  • PÄRT: Spiegel im spiegel
  • PÄRT: Fratres
  • PÄRT: Mozart-Adagio
  • TÕNU KÕRVITS: Head ööd (“Good Night”)
  • MARIANNA LIIK: Kulgemine

9:00pm Pärt & Pärcel: Music of Arvo Pärt & the New Estonia, Third Angle New Music
Studio 2 @ N.E.W., 810 SE Belmont, Portland

Friday February 10

7:30pm Pärt & Pärcel (SOLD OUT)
Studio 2 @ N.E.W., 810 SE Belmont, Portland

7:30pm Pärt Complete Organ Works, Bruce Neswick
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, NW 19th and Everett, 147 NW 19th Ave.,  Portland

Co-sponsored by Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. Virtuoso organist Bruce Neswick performs the complete organ works by Pärt, including a recent arrangement of Spiegel im Spiegel by Giovanni Battista Mazza for organ, approved by the composer in his official catalogue.

  • Pari Intervallo (1976/1981)
  • Annum per annum (1980)
  • Trivium (1988)
  • Mein Weg hat Gipfel und Wellentäler (1989)
  • Spiegel im Spiegel (1978, arr. 2010)

9:00pm Pärt & Pärcel (ADDED PERFORMANCE.  NEW VENUE!!!)
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, NW 19th and Everett, 147 NW 19th Ave., Portland

Saturday February 11

11:00am Public Lecture: “The Words Write My Music,” by Peter Bouteneff
Gus J. Solomon U.S. Courthouse, 620 SW Main St at Broadway, Portland

Renowned Pärt scholar and theologian Dr. Peter Bouteneff directs the Arvo Pärt Project at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, an in-depth endeavor involving concerts, lectures and publications. His most recent book is Arvo Pärt: Out of Silence, which has been hailed as “a triumph,” “a game-changer for Pärt scholarship,” and “a must-read for any listener or performer of Pärt’s music.” He will give a one-hour talk with time for Q&A, and will be available to sign copies of his new book after the lecture.

2:30pm Pärt Choral Works: Odes of Repentance, Cappella Romana, Conducted by Alexander Lingas
St. Mary’s Cathedral, NW 18th and Couch, 1716 NW Couch St., Portland

Patterned after an Orthodox service of supplication (Paraklesis or Moleben), this concert offers a selection of Pärt’s English and Slavonic works including Triodion and excerpts of his monumental Kanon Pokajanen, the Kanon of Repentance.

Triodion [in English]

  • “Ode 1”: Apolytikion for the Holy Icons
  • “Ode 2”: Apolytikion for the Mother of God
  • “Ode 3”: Apolytikion for St. Nicholas

From the Kanon Pokajanen [in Slavonic]

  • Kanon Ode 6
  • Kontakion
  • Oikos
  • Kanon Ode 8
  • Kanon Ode 9
  • Prayer after the Kanon

The Woman with the Alabaster Box [in English]

9:00pm Pärt: Passio, by candlelight
Cappella Romana, Third Angle New Music, Lewis and Clark College Cappella Nova Chamber Choir. Directed by Alexander Lingas. Evangelist quartet: Vakare Marshall, Laura Beckel Thoreson, Leslie Green, John Michael Boyer. Jesus: Aaron Cain. Pilate: Joseph Michael Muir.
St. Mary’s Cathedral, NW 18th and Couch, 1716 NW Couch St., Portland

A late-night production of Pärt’s iconic masterpiece, Passio Domini nostri Jesu Christi secundum Joannem (The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John), performed by candlelight. Cappella Romana and Third Angle New Music are joined by the Lewis & Clark College chamber choir, Cappella Nova, singing the part of the turba. Performed in Latin with supertitles.

Sunday February 12

10:00am Pärt Missa Syllabica sung in Mass
St. Stephen’s Catholic Church, 1112 SE 41st St, Portland
Nine soloists of Cappella Romana sing Arvo Pärt’s Missa Syllabica, one of his earliest tinntinnabuli works, in a Latin Mass at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church. Free.

2:00pm Pre-concert talk “Ancient Hymns & Modern Composers,” Alexander Lingas
Kaul Auditorium, Reed College, Portland

Music director and founder of Cappella Romana, Dr. Alexander Lingas, is a Reader in Music at City University, London and a Fellow of the University of Oxford’s European Humanities Research Centre. He received his Ph.D. in Historical Musicology from the University of British Columbia. His work embraces historical study as well as ethnography and performance.

3:00pm Pärt Te Deum, Festival Finale Concert.
Cappella Romana, Third Angle New Music. Conducted by Alexander Lingas
Kaul Auditorium, Reed College, Portland

Featuring Pärt’s monumental Te Deum for Three Choirs, Strings, and Prepared Piano, this program opens with his Da Pacem Domine, commissioned by Jordi Savall in memory of the victims of the Madrid terrorist bombings in 2004, and the US premiere of Pärt’s Alleluia-Tropus, a work in Church Slavonic celebrating St. Nicholas of Myra. Also on the program are works by Scottish Catholic Sir James MacMillan, Greek composer Thános Mikroutsikós, and the late Sir John Tavener.

Single tickets start as low as $12 for some events, with discounts for students and $5 Arts for All. Order online or call 503.236.8202.

Arvo PärtAbout Arvo Pärt

Arvo Pärt was born in 1935 in Paide, Estonia. After studies with Heino Eller’s composition class in Tallinn, he worked from 1958 to 1967 as a sound engineer for Estonian Radio. In 1980 he emigrated with his family to Vienna and then, one year later, travelled on a DAAD scholarship to Berlin.

As one of the most radical representatives of the so-called ‘Soviet Avant-garde’, Pärt’s work passed through a profound evolutionary process. His first creative period began with neo-classical piano music. Then followed ten years in which he made his own individual use of the most important compositional techniques of the avant-garde: dodecaphony, composition with sound masses, aleatoricism, collage technique. Nekrolog (1960), the first piece of dodecaphonic music written in Estonia, and Perpetuum mobile (1963) gained the composer his first recognition by the West. In his collage works ‘avant-garde’ and ‘early’ music confront each other boldly and irreconcilably, a confrontation which attains its most extreme expression in his last collage piece Credo (1968). But by this time all the compositional devices Pärt had employed to date had lost all their former fascination and begun to seem pointless to him. The search for his own voice drove him into a withdrawal from creative work lasting nearly eight years, during which he engaged with the study of Gregorian Chant, the Notre Dame school and classical vocal polyphony.

In 1976 music emerged from this silence – the little piano piece Für Alina. It is obvious that with this work Pärt had discovered his own path. The new compositional principle used here for the first time, which he called tintinnabuli (Latin for ‘little bells’), has defined his work right up to today. The ‘tintinnabuli principle’ does not strive towards a progressive increase in complexity, but rather towards an extreme reduction of sound materials and a limitation to the essential. (Universal Edition)

Cappella RomanaAbout Cappella Romana

Its performances “like jeweled light flooding the space” (Los Angeles Times), Cappella Romana is a professional vocal chamber ensemble dedicated to combining passion with scholarship in its exploration of the musical traditions of the Christian East and West, with emphasis on early and contemporary music. Founded in 1991, Cappella Romana’s name refers to the medieval Greek concept of the Roman oikoumene (inhabited world), which embraced Rome and Western Europe, as well as the Byzantine Empire of Constantinople (“New Rome”) and its Slavic commonwealth.

Music Director and Founder Alexander Lingas and Cappella Romana have established themselves as global leaders in the music of the Christian East and West. A presentation by Cappella Romana is an experience unlike any other vocal music concert. Some programs feature ancient music never before heard by modern audiences; on other occasions new or rediscovered works based on ancient tropes are brought to audiences from leading contemporary composers.