Spark: Spirit in Sound and Space—A Conversation Inspired by Arvo Pärt

Robert Zatorre, neuroscientist, Montreal Neurological Institute

Steven Holl, architect

Listen beautiful relax classics on our Youtube channel.

Peter Bouteneff, musician and Professor of Theology, St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary

New York’s celebration of Arvo Pärt offers an opportunity to explore the spiritual content of his music, and to discover how the spaces in which music is performed can amplify its emotional power. In this program, neuroscientist Robert Zatorre explains how music can engage the reward system deep in our brains—the same system that responds to food and sex. Architect Steven Holl describes making spaces for music, and shows how music influences his work. Theologian Peter Bouteneff talks about the thread of spirituality that weaves throughout Pärt’s masterpieces.

The Spark series explores vital ideas and issues through the lens of the Met’s collections. Each cabaret-style program gathers artists, thought leaders, and performers from theater, film, politics, literature, science, and pop culture to engage in wide-ranging, fresh conversations and performances.

Spark is hosted by Julie Burstein, author and Peabody Award–winning creator of public radio’s “Studio 360.”

Recorded June 11, 2014


This event is a collaboration between The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Arvo Pärt Project at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary.

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