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Arvo Pärt

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Paide, Järva County, Estonia

Arvo Pärt is an Estonian composer, often identified with the school of minimalism, though he rejects this label (and, even more vehemently, the label of “holy minimalism”, which he describes as meaningless).

Arvo Pärt was born on 11th September 1935 in Paide, Järva County, Estonia. His musical studies began in 1954 at the Tallinn Music Secondary School, interrupted less than a year later while he fulfilled his National Service obligation as oboist and side-drummer in an army band. He returned to Middle School for a year before joining the Tallinn Conservatory in 1957, where his composition teacher was Professor Heino Eller. Pärt started work as a recording engineer with Estonian Radio, wrote music for the stage and received numerous commissions for film scores so that, by the time he graduated from the Conservatory in 1963, he could already be considered a professional composer. A year before leaving, he won first prize in the All-Union Young Composers’ Competition for a children’s cantata, Our Garden, and an oratorio, Stride of the World.

Today Arvo Pärt is best known for his choral works, which he started to produce in the 1980s, after his emigration from the former Soviet Union to Germany, Berlin. Before that he had written his most recognised works from the 1970s, Fratres, Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten, and Tabula Rasa. In 1978 Pärt composed Spiegel im Spiegel (Mirror in Mirror).

Pärt’s oeuvre is generally divided into two periods. His early works ranged from rather severe neo-classical styles influenced by Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Bartók.

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  • VoxelMitosis

    music for when u hit the blunt after not smokin 4 days

    3 Nov 7:04am Reply
  • entroopia

    13 of your friends listen to Arvo Pärt.

    30 Oct 12:44am Reply
  • Blaine_The_Mono

    At first I was going to rant on a comment below me, but then I laughed.

    8 Oct 12:24pm Reply
  • I0000days

    It feels like a vestment made of threads of golden silk; it sounds like a crying puppy in slow-motion; it smells like fresh cut grass strewn across a babbling brook; his music, like candles illuminating the dark room that contains your very soul, has a way of showing you your path back to you. Pretty mediocre composer though Lel.

    25 Sep 3:36pm Reply
  • JBThazard

    This man is still awesome. As Bjork once said (and I don't even listen to Bjork), he allows you to live and breath inside of his music with all of the little snippets of silence he writes in, you feel like you are inside of the music being washed over it as opposed to being an outsider who merely spectates.

    19 Sep 3:39am Reply
  • Synesthesis

    Happy Birthday Arvo !

    11 Sep 6:21pm Reply
  • EchEm

    You Are The True Vine too. Happy birthday :*

    11 Sep 2:20am Reply
  • efstalida

    Great music!

    6 Sep 12:01pm Reply
  • gerickk

    lol

    3 Sep 6:49pm Reply
  • OG-Gurda

    I just found out that he hates Putin... Now I don't like him so much.

    23 Aug 7:23pm Reply
  • IgorZombie

    Spiegel im Spiegel ♥

    15 Jul 7:08pm Reply
  • OG-Gurda

    Nice. I did always love Estonia, now I love it even more after listening to this composer.

    21 Jun 11:51am Reply
  • glanoo

    please, come to Poland! [3]

    16 Jun 11:35am Reply
  • scannerve

    http://www.arvopart.org/texts_and_translations.php

    15 May 7:58pm Reply
  • adabOOja

    u are a life

    10 May 5:40pm Reply
  • LORDINFERNO666

    Master ~ Please come to Brazil.

    9 May 5:57pm Reply
  • spLiFF22

    Master.

    7 Apr 8:30pm Reply
  • Serious_music

    please, come to Poland! [2]

    2 Apr 1:42pm Reply
  • I0000days

    "and when you penetrate to the most high God, you will believe you are mad, you will believe you've gone insane". It's precisely how I have felt, as an atheist, when listening to Te Deum for the first time a couple of years back.

    24 Mar 7:11am Reply
  • TeenageDeathBoy

    Man, Fratres is something else.

    14 Mar 10:36am Reply
  • All 670 shouts