11th September 1935
Arvo Pärt is an Estonian classical composer and one of the most prominent living composers of sacred music. Since the late 1970s, Pärt has worked in a minimalist style that employs his self-made compositional technique, tintinnabuli. His music also finds its inspiration and influence from Gregorian chant. Pärt was born in Paide, Järva County, Estonia. A prolonged struggle with Soviet officials led him to emigrate with his wife and their two sons in 1980. He lived first in Vienna, Austria, where he took Austrian citizenship, and then re-located to Berlin, Germany. He returned to Estonia around the turn of the 21st century and now lives in Tallinn.