Arvo Pärt’s Address to Tartu University Graduates 2014
May I speak right here? Can you hear me? Honourable Rector of the University of Tartu, honourable professors, the Dean Margit Sutrop, Professor Toomas Siitan, dear students, I would like to thank you all cordially. This was a very great honour and joy for me to be the University of Tartu Professor of Liberal Arts this year. Never in my life have I taught anyone or anything, and that’s why in the beginning I was pretty much against the idea of taking up this work here. But your Dean enchanted me with her audacity and gave me courage. Together with Toomas Siitan, with great help from him, we managed this. Although I wasn’t able to visit Tartu very frequently, every time I came to this Assembly Hall I was very positively surprised by the deep interest that the students showed towards the discussed topics in and around music, things that nourish music. Also today I see so many nice — let me tell you — children. It is a mystery to me how you were able to select so many nice people. But maybe they have become nice within these walls here. I wish that you all may stay this nice throughout your lives. What else can I say to you? You made me feel very happy. Thank you. Perhaps I’d play you a small good-bye salute. It is a very short piece, and it has a strange title: ‘Memme musi’ (Granny’s Kiss).