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He began writing contemporary atonal, dissonant, a la mode music, then went through a spiritual renovation for about eight years and came back in 1976 writing Renaissance-influenced music (ergo entirely tonal, and generally diametric in approach compared to his previous compositions) of ex- treme simplicity and beauty, via distinct methods. Some of his best-known compositions are “Te Deum”, “Fratres”, “Summa” for strings, “Festina Lente”, “Miserere”, and “Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten”. Christianity has clearly profoundly affected Pärt, as his second-period music evinces.
He is married, and has resided in West Berlin since 1982.