Tragedy: Eminent composer and her husband are killed in road crash

December 7, 2016 by norman lebrecht

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News has come in of the death of Julia Gomelskaya, Ukraine’s most successful composer, together with her husband Sergei, an instrumental player. They had been together since student days, a devoted couple.


The pair were killed in a two-car smash on the Odessa-Nikolayev road three days ago while on their way to a concert marking the 80th birthday of Julia’s teacher, Alexander Krasotova.

Julia and Sergei were 52.

Julia, originally from Saratov in Russia, won a 1990s scholarship to the Guildhall in London, where she studied with Robert Saxton and received her first commissions, from the Spitalfields Festival and the Wigmore Hall.

In 2002 she wrote a chamber opera, The Divine Sarah, for BBC Radio 3.

In all, she leaves about 90 works.

A friend, in shock, describes Julia as ‘excellent personality, enormous talent’.

May she and Sergei rest in peace.

Our condolences to their daughter.


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