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About The Performance
The musical language of revered Estonian composer Arvo Pärt was forged in the crucible of some of the worst atrocities of the 20th and 21st centuries. Throughout his seven-decade career, he has turned to spirituality and music to find a path forward.
As we watch the devastating violence inflicted on Ukraine—a mere 700 km from the Estonian border—we present the world premiere of Pärt’s haunting O Holy Father Nicholas, a remarkable composition about peace, faith, and rebuilding that was commissioned by Nektarios S. Antoniou for The Schola Cantorum and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The work was created to celebrate the rededication of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and the National Shrine at Ground Zero in New York City.
This world premiere, which took place in The Met’s majestic and timeless Temple of Dendur on October 31, 2021, was performed by Artefact Ensemble, Benedict Sheehan, director.
The Met dedicates this Digital Premiere to the people of Ukraine.
Image: Artefact Ensemble / photo by Stephanie Berger