February 17, 2009     
Contact: Karen Cardinal
Accounting, Web and Marketing Manager, Mead Art Museum

AMHERST, Mass.— On Sunday, March 1, at 4 p.m., faculty, students and friends of the Amherst College Department of Music will perform an all-Pärt program at the Mead Art Museum, surrounded by an exhibition of icons from the Russian Orthodox and other Eastern Christian traditions. The performance will feature solo, chamber and choral works by composer Arvo Pärt that present themselves as icons in sound and invite listeners to explore the shared aesthetic and spiritual dimensions of music and sacred images. As part of the event, Amherst College music students and Mead Art Museum docents will also offer reflections on Pärt’s music and the icons on display.

The performance is being organized by Amherst College Assistant Professor of Music Jeffers L. Engelhardt, who noted that “this event is a chance to experience the range of Pärt’s incredible music and the ways in which sounds, images and words come together to create something greater than the sum of its parts.” Mead director Elizabeth Barker, who curated the related icon display, agreed: “The performance promises to yield fresh insights into Pärt’s experience of the Eastern Orthodox traditions manifested in the surrounding icon paintings.”

After the free performance, light refreshments will be served. A complete schedule of museum events is posted on the Mead’s Web site: www.amherst.edu/museums/mead/programs.

The Mead Art Museum houses the art collection of Amherst College, totaling more than 16,000 works. An accredited member of the American Association of Museums, the Mead participates in Museums10, a regional cultural collaboration. During the academic term, the museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to midnight and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, please visit the museum’s Web site, www.amherst/museums/mead, or call 413/542-2335.