Composer Arvo Pärt on isolating and connecting during coronavirus

Posted on: April 17, 2020

Estonian composer Arvo Pärt was interviewed on April 6 by Inés Martín Rodrigo for the Spanish newspaper ABC, speaking about the arts during the time of coronavirus. The interview was translated and published in Monday’s (4/13) English-language Estonian World (Tallinn, Estonia), and excerpted here. “Q: What role do the arts play as networks of social connections and reference points defining our identity in the current global crisis that we are undergoing? Pärt:What is happening in the world today forces us all to make sacrifices…. It is like a ‘total fasting’ for the whole world…. Any adversity makes artists move closer to what is important, essential. Q: What is the most important lesson that we should learn from these restrictions? Pärt: This tiny coronavirus has showed us in a painful way that humanity is a single organism and human existence is possible only in relation to other living beings…. While isolating ourselves, we should … appreciate our relationships in a small circle and tend to them…. In a way, the coronavirus has sent us all back to first grade. Only once we’ve passed this test can we begin to think about the next steps. This is a very long process.”