Yevgeny Gunst

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Yevgeny Ottovich Gunst[1] (Russian: Евгений Оттович Гунст; May 26 (Julian) / June 7 (Gregorian), 1877 – January 30, 1950) was a Russian composer, pianist, music essayist and pedagogue. He was the brother of actor Anatoli Gunst.

Gunst was born in Moscow to Otto Karlovich Gunst, member of the State Council of Imperial Russia, who had German ancestors. He studied law as well as composition, music theory and piano at the State Conservatory, also having private lessons with renowned composers like Reinhold Glière and Alexander Goldenweiser. In 1909 he co-founded the Moscow Chamber Music Theatre along with Sergei Rachmaninoff amongst others.

In 1920 Gunst had to emigrate to Tallinn (Estonia) before later settling down in Paris. There he co-founded the Conservatoire Rachmaninoff in 1924, but had to leave in 1931 due to political differences. He founded his own conservatory, but soon had to close it as the Great Depression was still ongoing. He worked as an arranger (banking) and copyist in Paris and became a close friend of Francis Poulenc. In 1949 Gunst was about to migrate to the United States, but died in 1950 in Paris at the age of 72. His estate has been found in 2009 in the basement of the University of Basel's Musicological Institute. Apparently it was left undiscovered for many decades, as Gunst's widow had bestowed her husband's estate to the institute's director, at that time Jacques Handschin, in the 1950s.[2]


  1. ^ His last name is sometimes transliterated as Gounst. His first name is sometimes translated as Eugène or Eugen.
  2. ^ "Yevgeny Gunst - awesomely interesting facts, images and videos". 

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