Music Australia News

The world’s most performed living composer is Arvo Pärt

Photo courtesy of Mr. Kaupo Kikkas
Graham Strahle
| January 19, 2016

In 2015 there were more performances of Arvo Pärt’s music than any other living composer, according to classical music database Bachtrack. Each year the UK website releases rankings based on thousands of classical events it monitors worldwide, and last year it tracked 17,100 concerts and 7,500 opera performances. Estonian composer Pärt came out on top spot, with John Adams and John Williams in second and third place. Tying in fourth place were Italy’s Nicola Campogrande and British composers James MacMillan and John Rutter.

Among Bachtrack’s other statistical findings was that Opera Australia is the world’s third busiest opera company, behind the Royal Opera and Metropolitan Opera. OA’s impressive list of opera productions last year included Don Carlos, Don Giovanni, Marriage of Figaro, Madama Butterfly, The Elixir of Love and Kate Miller-Heidke’s new opera-musical The Rabbits. Also making the busiest opera company top ten rankings were Vienna State Opera, Opéra de Paris and Munich’s Bayerische Staatsoper.

The most performed classical work was Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, edging out Handel’s Messiah; and Verdi’s La traviata and Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro were the two most performed operas.

No Australian orchestras, conductors or composers made it into Bachtrack’s top rankings for 2015. We don’t mind the odd anecdote though: English conductor Simon Rattle recently described the Australian World Orchestra as “one of the great orchestras in the world”.

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