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May 13 , 2011

Arvo Pärt: composer of the year 2011

Arvo Pärt has been named Composer of the Year, 2011, by the Official Classic BRITs Voting Academy. Pärt was present at the Royal Albert Hall, London, on May 12 to receive the prize. The Classic BRIT Award 2011 is the latest in a long line of major awards for Pärt, recently including the Léonie Sonning Music Prize, the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Republic of Estonia, and the European Church Music Prize. Six of his ECM recordings have received Grammy Nominations, and he previously received a Classical Brit Award in 2003 for “Orient & Occident”. The latest award relates to the ECM recording of “Symphony No. 4”, the Estonian composer’s first symphonic work in more than 30 years
Arvo Pärt’s acceptance speech:
“I am greatly moved by this honour, it means a lot for me and my country. I would like to thank my colleague and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen and of course my friend Manfred Eicher, the legendary producer of ECM. I am also very happy that the award of this prestigious prize will allow the name of one man to be heard in this room, a man without whom my fourth symphony would never have been created and to whom this work is dedicated. This man is Russia’s number one political prisoner, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who has become a victim of state judicial terror. I pass this award in spirit to this man, to whose bravery and nobility I can only bow in awe.... Thank you!”
The BRITs event was staged by the British recorded music association BPI, founded in 1973. This was the 12th edition of the Classic Brit awards, given annually since 2000 to honour ‘classical music’ in its diverse forms.