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date: 09 May 2021

Pärt, Arvolocked

  • Paul D. Hillier

Extract

(b Paide, Sept 11, 1935). Estonian composer. He studied at the music middle school in Tallinn under Harri Otsa and Tormis and then at the Tallinn Conservatory under Eller, from whose class he graduated in 1963. While still a student he found work as a recording engineer with Estonian radio, and as a composer of film and theatre music. He continued to support himself with such work during much of his early career.

His earliest works, mostly for piano, are neo-classical in style. In 1962 his children’s cantata Meie aed (‘Our Garden’) received joint first prize at the All-Union Young Composers’ Competition in Moscow. At this time he was studying serial composition from the few scores and textbooks that had found their way into the Soviet Union; the first of his works to use serial technique was the orchestral Nekrolog. This path earned him official rebuke, though he nevertheless continued to apply serial procedures throughout the 1960s. ...

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Musical Times
Neue Zeitschrift für Musik