Flying the Estonian flag on Arvo Pärt’s birthday

Arvo Pärt is one of the most famous Estonians in the world. He’s a composer of contemporary classical music. Every year on Estonian Independence Day, we fly our Estonian flag (February 24).

This year during Estonian Independence Day, I started a new annual tradition of playing Arvo Pärt on our home speakers.

You might recognize his most popular song, “Spiegel im spiegel” or “Für Alina.” He’s been called the greatest living contemporary musician. I’ve blogged about Arvo Pärt in Chicago’s Estonia exhibit in 2019. And he was part of my Estonian music smackdown in 2008.

While listening to Arvo Pärt on the day after Estonian Independence Day, I realize, “we should fly the Estonian flag on his birthday!

I look up his birthday. It’s September 11th. Yipes. In America, I’m not going to be flying an Estonian flag on September 11th. Maybe I’ll fly the flag on the day before his birthday, September 10th. Then on the 11th, I put up the American flag.

Other days that could be under consideration.

December 10, 2011, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Pärt a member of the Pontifical Council for Culture for a five-year renewable term. (

November 18, 2017, winner of the Ratzinger Prize in 2017, which is often regarded as the Nobel Prize in the field of theology. The Ratzinger Foundation awards was created in 2011 to recognize the work of academics in theology, whether they are Catholic or not. Pärt and the other award winners were received by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI himself on November 17; and the prize was presented to him by Pope Francis at the Apostolic Palace on the following day. (source)

I have a feeling if I looked up all the awards that Arvo Pärt has won, we’d be flying the Estonian flag every day of the year.

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