Arvo Pärt the New Professor of Fine Arts at the University of Tartu
During the 2013/2014 academic year, world famous composer Arvo Pärt will be working as Professor of Fine Arts at the University of Tartu.
Arvo Pärt is an Estonian composer whose oeuvre has strongly impacted the understanding of the essence of music in the 20th century. Pärt’s works are performed all over the world – on concert stages, in movies, and in dance performances and plays.
Arvo Pärt was born in 1935 in Paide. He studied composition with Heino Eller at the Tallinn Conservatory. Pärt created his first musical works during his studies, and afterwards continued writing music in addition to working as a sound engineer at Estonian Radio (1958–1967). Pärt has been a freelance composer since 1967.
Pärt started his creative journey as one of the most radical examples of the Soviet avant garde. In 1976 the piano piece “Für Alina“ saw the light of day, as well as the new composition technique which Pärt called tintinnabul (“tintinnabulum” means “a bell” in Latin). It has remained one of the key words to describe his creation, signifying the attempt at balance and quintessential values.
Arvo Pärt has been awarded an honorary doctorate by ten universities, and has received numerous awards, honorary titles and prizes, including the highly renowned Léonie Sonning Music Prize (2008), the lifetime achievement award at the International Istanbul Music Festival (2010), the Baltic Image Enhancement Award (2010), and encomium by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (2011). In 2011, Pärt was chosen to be a member of the Pontifical Council for Culture of Pope Benedictus XIV, and was also elected an academician at the Estonian Academy of Sciences.
The position of Visiting Professor of Fine Arts was established at the Department of Philosophy of UT to provide versatile spiritual and creative development for the university members. The Professor of Fine Arts is appointed by the Rector for a single academic year. A person can be appointed only once. Since 1993, Hando Runnel, Jüri Arrak, Veljo Tormis, Elmo Nüganen, and Sirje Helme amongst others have served as one.