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Suslin, Viktor

Viktor Suslin studied composition with Nikolai Peyko (also Sofia Gubaidulina’s composition teacher) and piano with Anatoly Vedernikov at the Gnessin Institute in Moscow. He began working independently at a point in time when Brezhnev brought the political-cultural “thaw” to an abrupt end in 1964. Official performance bans accumulated, affecting Suslin’s works no less than those of his older colleagues and ultimately causing him to emigrate to Germany in 1981.

He worked as a publisher’s lector in Hamburg and academy lecturer in Lübeck. Suslin became Director of Belaieff Publishers in 2007. He lived in Appen near Hamburg. In character, Suslin is more of a lyricist than a dramatist. He avoids simple contrasts and extraneously dramaturgical effects. Although most of his works have programmatic titles, they do not aim to convey extra-musical meaning.

His catalogue of works is not particularly large but has great variety. Since he avoids repeating himself, each new work is uniquely striking in regard to compositional technique. Timbre and colour in music have formative meaning for Suslin.

Viktor Suslin died on 10 July 2012.