Obituary: Composer Alexander Vustin Dies of Coronavirus Complications

By Francisco Salazar

Composer Alexander Vustin has died from complications related to COVID-19.

According to reports, the composer died on April 19, 2020 of Pneumonia at the age of 76.

Born in Russia on April 24, 1943, Vustin studied composition with Grigory Frid at a regional music college and later with Vladimir Ferè at the Moscow Conservatory.

Upon graduating in in 1969 he worked as a music editor at USSR Radio and later as an editor at the Kompozitor publishing house.

Even though he began composing in 1963, Vustin regarded his works after 1972 as his only valid works. Among his first notable compositions were “The Word,” “In Memory of Boris Klyuzner,” for baritone and string quartet, and “Blessed are the Poor in Spirit” for boy-soprano,

Vustin went on to write symphonies, quartets, solo pieces, concertos for violin, percussion, and other instruments and a number of song cycles.

He made his opera debut with “The Devil in Love,” which he worked on for more than 15 years. The work was composed to a libretto by Vladimir Khachaturov and had its world premiere on Feb. 15, 2019 at the Stanislavski and Nemirovich-Danchenko Theatre under conductor Vladimir Jurowski.

His works were often featured at some of the most important festivals and cities and were performed by such renown artists as Vladimir Jurowski, Reinbert de Leeuw, Lev Markiz, Eri Klas, Igor Dronov, Alexander Lazarev, Vitaly Kataev, Gidon Kremer, Martyn Brabbins, and Cristoph Hagel.

Additionally a number of works were recorded on the record label Olympia.

As for his musical language, Vustin used the twelve-tone technique but adapted it for his own style.

Here are clips of his work: