Monday 17 June 2019

100 years since the birth of Galina Ustvolskaya

Today marks the centenary of the birth of the composer Galina Ustvlskaya, in Petrograd (now St Petersburg) in 1919. After studying composition with Shostakovich during WW2, she developed one of the most singular voices of Twentieth Century music - a truly distinctive sound at once fragile and brutal. It was my very considerable privilege last year to speak to a number of people who knew her and worked with her, including the film maker Josee Voormans, the pianist and composer Reinbert de Leeuw, the pianist Alexei Lubimov and the violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja. You can read a the full article, entitled The Inner Mountain, at Van Magazine.

The image accompanying this post shows Josee Voormans with Galina Ustvolskaya during the filming of Voormans's documentary Scream Into Space, an essential starting point for anyone interested in this remarkable Russian musical figure. The photo is used with kind permission of Josee Voormans.