From the Arvo Pärt Project
On June 13, 2012 seminary faculty member Dr Peter Bouteneff had an audience with Her Excellency Marina Kaljurand, Estonian Ambassador to the United States, at the Estonian Embassy in Washington, DC. Joining the Ambassador at this meeting was Ms Terje Raadik, secretary for press and cultural affairs. Bouteneff carried with him letters to the president, prime minister, and culture minister of Estonia, outlining the seminary’s collaborative work with the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt.
“It would be difficult to overestimate the importance of Arvo Pärt’s role in promoting the image of Estonia worldwide,” said Ambassador Kaljurand. She eagerly welcomed the project and offered her office’s full cooperation.
Later in the month, Bouteneff and Dr Nicholas Reeves, project manager, met on several occasions with Mr. Sten Schwede, Estonian Consul General, at his offices at the United Nations complex in New York. Reeves commented, “It has been a delight to see the enthusiasm of the local Estonian officials about the Pärt events. We have forged a fruitful working relationship that will be built on over the years.” Bouteneff added, “It is being made clear to us that Arvo Pärt is viewed as an Estonian living treasure. It’s going to be a pleasure to engage with the entire Estonian community here in the States as our plans continue to unfold.”