Estonian composer Arvo Pärt has, for the third year running, been given the title of the “world’s most performed living composer” by the classical music event database, bachtrack.com. Placing 38th in the overall composers’ ranking, he was ranked higher than his two principal competitors, Scottish composer James Macmillan, who came 45th, and veteran film music composer John Williams, who was ranked in 77th place.
Estonian-born Arvo Pärt was recently also nominated for a 2014 Grammy award for his composition Adam’s Lament, alongside fellow Estonians, the conductors Tõnu Kaljuste and Neeme Järvi.
Bachtrack.com calculates a series of statistics each year which show the number of times the work of each composer has been performed, along with information regarding the “hardest working” conductors, orchestras and most performed individual works.
Verdi’s La Traviata was, unsurprisingly, the most performed opera and, for the first time, the music of Mozart was performed more than the music of Beethoven, although by the slimmest of margins. Benjamin Britten was a surprise entrant in 4th place, although perhaps not so much of a surprise when one considers that 2013 was the centenary of his birth.
Pärt, born in 1935 in Paide, spent the first half of his life in Estonia before being allowed to leave the Soviet Union after a prolonged and difficult struggle with the reluctant Soviet authorities. He now lives alternately in Tallinn and Berlin.
Video: Arvo Pärt’s Spiegel im Spiegel performed by Filipe Melo (piano) and Ana Cláudia Serrão (cello).