Gidon Kremer violinist

Gidon Kremer

The collaboration between Arvo Pärt and the violinist Gidon Kremer already began decades ago. Music born from the friendship and the mutual creative understanding between the two musicians has deeply touched and influenced many listeners. We could say that one of Arvo Pärt’s main works, Tabula rasa was created thanks to Kremer, who requested a piece from the composer in spring 1977. Arvo Pärt has said:

“If it wasn’t for you, dear Gidon, Tabula rasa would not exist. Without Tabula rasa, I wouldn’t exist.”

In autumn 1977, it was Kremer with Tatiana Grindenko, Alfred Schnittke and the chamber orchestra of the “Estonia” State Academic Theatre, conducted by Eri Klas, who premiered the double concerto.

Gidon Kremer was one of the first musicians to perform Arvo Pärt’s tintinnabuli works outside of the Soviet Union. A month after the premiere of Tabula rasa in Estonia, Kremer performed the piece with Tatiana Grindenko, Alfred Schnittke and the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra conducted by Saulius Sondeckis on a concert tour in Germany and Austria. It was during the tour that the performance of Tabula rasa in Bonn’s Beethovenhalle was recorded and later released as Pärt’s first CD under the ECM record label, which brought him wider recognition all over the world. The ECM releases of Tabula rasa, Fratres and other works have set the standard in interpreting Pärt’s music. Kremer was one of the performers of Stabat Mater at its premiere and has also played at the premieres of different versions of several works by Pärt.

Being one of the most important interpreters and experts of Arvo Pärt’s music, Gidon Kremer has said:

Arvo has his own unique language. Not a single note in his score is random. It’s like a magic language because he’s not trying to seem self-important. He’s not trying to impose himself on us, but he’s a man on a quest.

From the film “The Lost Paradise“, a film by Günter Atteln (Accentus Music), trailer: