Five quotes about Arvo Pärt

Estonian composer Arvo Pärt commands respect and admiration from classical music fans from around the world; his fans also include renowned pop artists, writers and even statespeople. Estonian World picked five quotes about Pärt by other, globally influential people.

Arvo Pärt, the most performed living composer in the world, celebrates his birthday on 11 September. Estonians are proud of Pärt because he is a world-famous Estonian. Fame creates respect. But when we look more closely, his compositions address everyone, attempting to appeal to that shared aspect of human kind which rises above nationality, skin colour and culture. It is as if the music wishes to say that we are all in it together. Here are five quotes by internationally influential Arvo Pärt fans.

“Arvo Pärt’s music is a house on fire and an infinite calm.” – Michael Stipe, the lead singer and main lyricist of the alternative rock band R.E.M.

“He gives space to the listeners; he can go inside the music and live there.” – Björk, an Icelandic singer and songwriter.

“Really good music, like for example Arvo Pärt’s music, is like knocking a hole in the wall – and through the hole discovering a new world which you were completely unaware of the existence of.” – Thom Yorke, the singer and principal songwriter of the alternative rock band, Radiohead.

“Listening to Tabula Rasa is such a consuming experience that I can only do it once a year.” – PJ Harvey, an English singer-songwriter, poet and writer.

“I think he is one of the greatest contemporary composers. His work is very impressive contribution to music and to art.” – José Manuel Barroso, a former president of the European Commission and former prime minister of Portugal.


Cover: Arvo Pärt.

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