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December 14 , 2004


Arvo Pärt is Musical America’s “Composer of the Year 2005”. Tribute was paid to the Estonian composer at an awards ceremony at Carnegie Hall, on December 6th. In the words of the jury: “He has built and sustained a body of work that places him amongst the most important composers of our time. The hushed, rapt, spiritual voice of his music over the past two decades seems imbued with an extra-musical aura, and few other living composers can boast such loyal performers.”

In the presentation programme booklet, John Rockwell, senior cultural correspondent of the New York Times, wrote: “Composers become successful when performers love to play their music. Pärt has had loyal champions – Gidon Kremer, Keith Jarrett, Paul Hillier, Dennis Russell Davies, Nemi and Paavo Järvi, Hélène Grimaud, and Esa_Pekka Salonen. More important than any of them, he won the loyalty of Manfred Eicher, who has produced a remarkable number of Pärt recordings for his ECM label. Few other living composers can boast as comprehensive a recorded documentation of their work.”

Founded in 1898 as a weekly newspaper covering music and drama, Musical America now reports on all aspects of the music industry from its web site MusicalAmerica.com, and publishes annually the Musical America International Directory of the Performing Arts, with details of more than 14,000 international arts organizations.