Arvo Pärt is the world’s most performed living composer seventh year running

The Estonian composer, Arvo Pärt, has, for the seventh year in a row, been given the title of the “world’s most performed living composer” by the classical music event database, Bachtrack.

“We always keep an eye on contemporary performance, where the composer with the most performed works has been Arvo Pärt since 2011,” Backtrack said on its website.

However, Backtrack noted that Pärt’s lead was not unconquerable anymore. “This year will be the seventh he has held the title but it now seems that things are shifting and his lead is less secure than in the past with John Williams and John Adams now within reach.”

Bachtrack calculates a series of statistics each year that 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.

The most performed composer overall in 2017 was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the most performed work was George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah”.

Pärt is globally the most distinguished Estonian. Last year, he was also honoured with the Ratzinger Prize, presented in the Vatican by Pope Francis.


Cover: An older portrait of Arvo Pärt.

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About the author: Silver Tambur

Silver Tambur is the cofounder and Editor-in-Chief of Estonian World. He has previously studied journalism at the University of Tartu, and politics and society at the Birkbeck College, University of London. Silver has been the editor at the Estonian Public Broadcasting’s news service in English, as well as contributing for the Business Sense magazine in the UK, Deutsche Welle and Radio New Zealand. You can also follow him on Twitter and like his page on Facebook. You can write to Silver at