Lydia Auster

May 30, 1912 Petropavlovsk, Kazakhstan – April 3,1993 Tallinn

Lydia Auster studied piano in Omsk Music School in 1927–1931 with L. Shcherbakova and composition with M. Nevitov. In 1931–1934, she studied composition in Leningrad Conservatoire with Mikhail Judin. In 1938, she graduated from the Moscow Conservatoire with a degree in composition with Vissarion Shebalin, and continued postgraduate studies in 1938–1941 and 1944–1945.

Lydia Auster has worked as a pianist with Omsk Radio Sinfonietta and as a cinema pianist. In 1941–1943, she was working as a composer with Ashgabat Philharmonic Orchestra. From 1943 to 1944, Auster was the chief editor of music broadcasts in Turkmenistan Radio, in 1948–1984, she was the music director of Estonian SSR Television and Radio Committee. Between 1950 and 1989, Auster was the chairman of USSR Music Foundation's Estonian Republic Department. Lydia Auster has been a board member of Estonian Composers' Union as well as Estonian Department of USSR – Czechoslovakia Friendship Society. In 1957, Auster received the honorary title of Estonian SSR Merited Art Worker and in 1984, the title of People’s Artist of the Estonian SSR.

Lydia Auster's oeuvre is versatile in genre, she has written orchestral and stage works, including 4 ballets and a short opera, as well as solo songs and instrumental chamber music. Her music has poetic expression and a strong connection with folk music.
Her ballet Tiina (1955) has been staged in theatre Estonia in Tallinn and theatre Vanemuine in Tartu, also in Vilnius and Olomouc, Czech Republic. Her ballet Northen Dream (1960) has been staged in theatre Estonia and in Vilnius, Lithuania. Her orchestral works have been conducted by such conductors as Rostislav Merkulov, Kirill Raudsepp, Roman Matsov, Vallo Järvi, Erich Järvi, Aleksander Rjabov, Neeme Järvi and Eri Klas. Her music for winds has been often played by Jaan Tamm Wind Quintet.


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