Lydia Auster

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Lydia Martynovna Auster (Russian: Лидия Мартыновна Аустер, romanizedLidiya Martynovna Auster;[1] 30 May 1912 – 3 April 1993) was a Soviet and Estonian composer.

She was born in Petropavlovsk, Akmolinsk Oblast, Russian Empire.[2] After musical studies in Omsk in 1927–1931, she transferred to the Leningrad Conservatory, where she studied with Mikhail Youdin. She later continued studies at the Moscow Conservatory with Vissarion Shebalin. After her graduation in 1938, she continued post-graduate studies. These were interrupted in 1941, then resumed in 1944. During her period away from studies, she worked as a staff composer for the Ashgabat Philharmonic Orchestra in the Turkmen SSR.[2]

After the end of the Great Patriotic War, Auster went to the Estonian SSR to study the local folk music.[1] In 1948, Auster was appointed music director of the Estonian SSR Television and Radio Committee.[2] Despite her position, she faced criticism for formalism by Soviet authorities.[3] Nevertheless, she continued to serve in her position until 1984. She was also on the board of the Union of Composers of the Estonian SSR.[2]

Auster was awarded Honored Artist of the Estonian SSR [ru] and People's Artist of the Estonian SSR [ru] in 1957 and 1984 respectively.[2]

According to Leonid Entelis [ru], Auster's ballets, along with those of Eugen Kapp, were crucial in the development of ballet in Estonia.[1]

Aside from her four ballets, Auster also composed orchestral works, music for the stage, chamber music, and songs, as well as an opera. Conductors who have championed her work include Neeme Järvi, Eri Klas, Roman Matsov, Rostislav Merkulov [et], Kirill Raudsepp [et], Alexander Ryabov [de].[2]


  1. ^ a b c Entelis.
  2. ^ a b c d e f EMIC 2011.
  3. ^ Misiunas, Romuald J.; Taagepera, Rein (1983). The Baltic States: Years of Dependence, 1940–1980. University of California Press. p. 118. ISBN 0-520-04625-0.