Pärt grew up in Rakvere, North Estonia playing piano at his family's home an went on to study music at the the Tallinn Conservatory (now The Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre), graduating in 1963. He was influenced by medieval and Renaissance music. He became a popular composer during the 1960's, with is music appearing in Estonian films, however he was criticized by the Soviet regime for his religious influences. In 1976 Pärt created his signature tintinnabuli style, recognizable in some of his best known works like Für Alina and Spiegel im Spiegel. In 1980, Pärt left Soviet Estonia in search of creative freedom in Vienna, and later Berlin, where he continued to live and compose until 2010 when he resumed full time residence in Tallinn. Nargenfestival, a diverse Estonian cultural festival, organises Pärt Days in September each year.
Arvo Pärt Centre