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The 90th Anniversary of Galina Ustvolskaya’s Birth

The high esteem of the author Reinhard Schulz, long-time writer and reviewer for the Neue Musikzeitung, for the composer Galina Ustvolskaya, who died on 22 December 2006, can be sensed in each line of the obituary printed in the NMZ 02/07. “It is surely not too far-fetched,” Schulz writes, “to say that this extraordinary woman, who met with only contempt during her lifetime in an almost tragically ridiculous manner (until she was ‘discovered’ in the West during the 1980s, when everything was too late), understood her existence to be culpability and thus made contact with fundamental experiences of existence to which our society had long hermetically closed itself off. And the socialist-realist environment with which she found herself confronted nearly her whole life, was, in its stupid down-to-earthness, miles removed from such visionary-tragic insights, at any rate. (…) There has probably never been another musical oeuvre which can affect people emotionally in such a direct way. (…).”

Galina Ustvolskaya would have turned 90 years old on 17 June of this year. A volume by Ulrich Tadday about Ustvolskaya in the series MUSIK KONZEPTE has just been issued.


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