Arvo Pärt’s obituary for Gennady Rozhdestvensky


Composer Arvo Pärt and the Arvo Pärt Centre commemorate the Russian conductor, pianist and multi-talented musician Gennady Rozhdestvensky (04.05.1931–16.06.2018), who passed away on 16 June.

For more than 40 years, Rozhdestvensky has conducted Arvo Pärt’s works in concert halls around the world. He has also recorded Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Besides their memorable collaboration, Arvo Pärt and Gennady Rozhdestvensky were also connected by a life-long friendship. In the summer of 2013, the conductor visited Arvo Pärt in Laulasmaa with his wife, Viktoria Postnikova, passionately following the establishment of the Arvo Pärt Centre and its Archives.

With a grateful heart, Arvo Pärt remembers his friendship and collaboration with the beloved musician:

Gennady Rozhdestvensky was undoubtedly one of the greatest conductors of our time.

Dear friend and colleague, I was very lucky to get to admire your artistic talent, your phenomenal conducting technique…

From my own works, I will particularly remember you conducting Cantus in the Royal Albert Hall at its premiere in England almost 40 years ago.

Also, a fairly recent piano concert, Lamentate, in the Estonia Concert Hall with your beloved wife Viktoria Postnikova, has been one of the most beautiful performances of this composition.

Rest in peace, my dear friend. Thank you.

Arvo Pärt


Arvo and Nora Pärt and the Arvo Pärt Centre express their condolences to those closest to the conductor.

Arvo Pärt, Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten, performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Gennady Rozhdestvensky.

On June 22, the Centre is open until 4.00 p.m., on June 23, the Centre is closed. Happy Victory Day and Midsummer to everyone!

Join our newsletter