Nastasia Khrustcheva

Composer and pianist

Nastasia Khrustcheva was born in Leningrad in 1987. In 2010 she graduated from the Rimsky-Korsakov St Petersburg State Conservatory (class of Sergei Slonimsky), completing a postgraduate study at the conservatory in 2013 (research supervisor – Natalia Degtyaryova). In 2014 Nastasia defended her dissertation in the history of art: The Relationship Between Music and Literature in the Oeuvres of Pierre Boulez, Luciano Berio and James Joyce. Trained at the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, specialising in electronic music (2008). Grant recipient of Bachwoche in Ansbach (2009) and the Wagner-Verband in Bayreuth (2011).

Winner of the composition competition Pythian Games (St Petersburg, 2014; Grand Prix and eNsemble prize). She was a guest composer at the festival The Contemporary Past, dedicated to the music of the USA and Russia (St Petersburg, 2010). Recipient of the Youth Prize of the St Petersburg City Government (2012), the St Petersburg Theatre Award for Youth Proryv (“Breakthrough”) (2015) and the special prize of the ZIL Cultural Centre (Moscow, 2016).

Works by Nastasia Khrustcheva have been performed in Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Mexico, Poland and Great Britain. Her scores have been released by the publishers Periferia Sheet Music (Barcelona) and Kompozitor (St Petersburg). Member of the Union of Composers of Russia (since 2010). From 2009 to 2012 she was the chair of the St Petersburg Branch of MolOt (the Youth Division of the Union of Composers of Russia).

Senior lecturer at the Department of the History of Foreign Music at the St Petersburg Conservatory. Produced the monograph The Metamodern in Music and Around It (2020; Andrey Bely Prize (2021) in the category “Humanitarian studies”).

Principal opuses: Penelope’s Veil, monodrama for soprano and chamber ensemble to texts by Homer and Joyce (2007); Violin Concerto (2010); A Little Nervous, arrangement for violin and piano (2011); the monodrama magbeth for Alexey Nikonov and chamber ensemble (2011; second version: 2015); Zaches, concerto for bass flute and orchestra (2012); much ado/sound out of fury for piano quartet (2013); Dances of a Grey Little Fox for violin and piano (2013); trio in memory of a non-great artist (2014); Happiness, madrigal for mixed chorus to texts by Alexey Fishev (2014); Beauty, three songs for voice and orchestra (2015); Slowly and Incorrectly for string orchestra and piano (2015); COUB1 and COUB2 for chamber ensemble (2016); The Book of Grief and Joy for string orchestra and piano (2019).

Has composed the music for many drama productions, among them Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (based on texts by Nikolai Leskov and Vlas Doroshevich; directed by Dmitry Yegorov; St Petersburg’s Comedian’s Refuge theatre, 2013), Nevsky Prospekt (directed by Valery Fokin and others; St Petersburg’s Alexandrinsky Theatre, 2013), Alice (based on motifs from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; directed by Andrey Moguchy; St Petersburg's Bolshoi Drama Theatre, 2014), What Is to Be Done? (based on motifs of the eponymous novel by Nikolai Chernyshevsky; directed by Andrey Moguchy; Bolshoi Drama Theatre, 2014), Tolstoy’s War and Peace (directed by Viktor Ryzhakov; Bolshoi Drama Theatre, 2015) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream of Shakespeare (directed by Elizaveta Bondar; Tomsk Young Spectators’ Theatre, 2017).

Since 2014 she has worked as a playwright and performer at St Petersburg’s independent TRU Theatre; co-author (in collaboration with Alexander Artyomov and Dmitry Yushkov) of the book of plays Rejected Texts (2021). In 2016 the Bolshoi Drama Theatre presented a production of A Pound of Flesh based on a play by Nastasia Khrustcheva, written after motifs of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.

In 2013 she compiled the manifesto of the association Ars brevis: A Handful of Leningradecaying Composers, the motto of which is “Our music is difficult to find, terrifying to switch on and impossible to remember”. A protagonist and the face of the society is “a little fox” who believes that “true music should not live for centuries but must decay, decay and decay yet more”, and one of the fundamental concepts of its musical aesthetics is “Russian emptiness”.

In 2020 the label FANCYMUSIC released Nastasia Khrustcheva’s album “of new drawing-room music” Russian Dead Ends. That same year at the Mariinsky Theatre Maxim Petrov staged the ballet Russian Dead Ends II, which in 2021 was nominated for Russia’s Golden Mask National Theatre Award in five categories: “Ballet / best production”, “Best work by a balletmaster-choreographer” (Maxim Petrov; received the Golden Mask), “Best work by a composer” (Nastasia Khrustcheva), “Best female role” (Elena Androsova) and “Best male role” (Vasily Shcherbakov).
Information for November 2022

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