Arvo Pärt, the most performed living composer in the world, celebrates his 80th birthday today. Estonians are proud of Pärt because he is a world-famous Estonian. Fame creates respect. But when we look more closely, his compositions address everyone, attempting to appeal to that shared aspect of human kind which rises above nationality, skin colour and culture. It is as if the music wishes to say that we are all in it together. Pärt commands respect and admiration from classical music fans from around the world.

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