March deportation memorial concert postponed until June

Collegium Musicale.
Collegium Musicale. Source: Kaupo Kikkas

"Along the Milky Way," a concert that was scheduled to be held in an empty St. John's Church in Tallinn on Wednesday night in memory of the victims of the 1949 March deportation, has been postponed until Sunday, June 14, the anniversary of the 1941 June deportation. The concert will be broadcast live by ERR's online culture portal as well as by Klassikaraadio.

Endrik Üksvärav, conductor of the chamber orchestra Collegium Musicale, said that they waited to make a final decision regarding the concert, assessing the situation on a day-by-day basis.

"Of course we would have followed established rules and participated in a reduced composition," Üksvärav said. "We also had an agreement with and the support of the head of the Tallinn St. John's congregation, Pastor Jaan Tammsalu, regarding this event, but in a situation in which the prime minister is giving daily addresses and the situation is worsening, it seemed better to postpone it."

Üksvärav added that he was glad that his choir singers are all healthy thus far and hoped that this would remain the case.

"By postponing the memorial evening, we want to send a message both to those who are sick and those who are well to stay home and do everything they possibly can to quickly halt the spread of the virus," he said.

Üksvärav described "Adam's Lament," the centerpiece of the memorial concert originally scheduled for Wednesday, as one of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt's most important and exceptional works, adding that it is fitting in the current situation as well. He noted that it is based on a Church Slavonic text by Silouan the Athonite in which he describes Adam's pain over paradise lost.

The concert program will remain unchanged.

'Along the Milky Way'

Collegium Musicale and the Eesti Sinfonietta, under the direction of Endrik Üksvärav

Arvo Pärt, "Fratres"
Gerta Raidma, "And We are Made of Light" (premiere)
Arturs Maskats, "Midnight in Riga"
Arvo Pärt, "Adam's Lament"

March, June deportations

From March 25-28, 1949, more than 90,000 Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians, from infants to the elderly, were taken from their homes and deported by Soviet forces to Siberia under Operation Priboi ("Coastal Surf"). Among the deportees were more than 22,000 Estonians.

On June 14, 1941, more than 10,000 people were deported by Soviet forces from Estonia alone.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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