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Pärt, Arvo

*11.09.1935

From 1957 Arvo Pärt studied composition with Veljo Tormis at the Conservatory in Tallinn. He completed his studies in 1963 and at first worked at the Estonian Radio. In 1981 the composer emigrated with his family to Austria and then to Berlin, where he still lives as a freelance composer. Arvo Pärt is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His current production is published by Universal Edition in Vienna.

In early works Pärt was intensively occupied with techniques and stylistic means of the avant-garde, especially twelve-tone music and later also with collage procedures. Starting in the late 1970s Pärt came to terms with music of the Middle Ages and gradually arrived at a combination of scalar and triadic forms which he subjected to alternating, yet at the same time stable patterns. The reduction to melodically simple triadic motives, insistent repetitive patterns, litany-like character of performance and archaic forms is typical of his present-day production.

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Pärt biography