Eleonora Pärt -- the woman behind Arvo Pärt's success

Throughout his career, Estonian composer Arvo Pärt has relied on his long-time partner Eleonora Pärt, who worked tirelessly alongside him to help him realize his musical visions.

Marian Männi
Marian Männi Eesti Ekspress, Estonia
Source: Eesti Ekspress
Eleonora Pärt -- the woman behind Arvo Pärt's success - NewsMavens
Eleonora Pärt accompanied by her husband, Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

The Arvo Pärt Center was opened in Estonia last week. Designed as a place to listen to Pärt's music and learn about his life, the house is grandiose, just as his life has been.

His wife Eleonora (better known as Nora) is less well known, but deserves more credit.

Eleonora Pärt studied conducting and musical science, but did not pursue these as her career. Instead she has embraced her role in managing Pärt's communication with publishers and musicians, and accompanies him during every rehearsal and recording. As his main adviser and supporter, she helped him overcome his biggest creative crises. She played a crucial role in his success silently, without ever expecting recognition for her dedication.

Details from the story:

  • Eleonora was born in Tbilisi, Georgia, but started studying music in Estonia at a young age.
  • She has collected and stored everything connected to Pärt and his work for 38 years. She jokingly called her extensive materials: "Nora's Folders".
  • "Without Nora, Arvo wouldn't be what he is today," musical scientist Tiiu Järg has said. "Nora is the perfect woman for him". 
  • "In our marriage there's a third person whom we both are in love with and who brings us together -- it's music," Nora has said to ERR in an interview. To create the type of music Pärt is creating, a certain space has to be formed, she said. This space has to consist of all of those elements: peace, friendliness, patience and love. To be next to a composer is a privilege and a challenge, Nora said.
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