Arvo P?rt (born 11 September 1935 in Paide, J?rva County, Estonia) is an Estonian composer, often identified with the school of minimalism and more specifically, that of ?holy minimalism? or ?sacred minimalism?. He is considered a pioneer of this style, along with contemporaries Henryk G?recki and John Tavener. 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.
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. P?rt 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.
In these days Arvo P?rt is best known for his choral works, which he started to produce in the 80s, after his emigration from former Soviet Union to Germany, Berlin. Before that he had written his most recognized works from the 70s - Fratres (premiered by Gidon Kremer in version for violin and piano. In original ?Fratres? score P?rt only indicated the pitch and rhythm, the choice of instruments is left to the performers), Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Briten and Tabula Rasa. In 1978 P?rt composed Spiegel im Spiegel (Mirror in Mirror).