A student of John Bell Young has reported his death, in his apartment in Bratteleboro, Vermont, alone with his dog, Ben.
He had not been heard from since April.
Confirmation of his death has been issued by a US district court in New York, where Young was being sued for defamation by by the pianist Valentina Lisitsa.
Young’s sister, reporting his death, declared him to be insolvent and intestate. He had no spouse or children. The death certificate places date of death as ‘April 2017’ and confirms his cremation on April 20, in Middlebury, VT.
John Bell Young, who was 63, had been impaired for the past four years by the effects of a stroke.
A New Yorker of part-Cherokee origin, he supplemented a stuttering career as a pianist with writing reviews in music journals. He considered himself the ultimate authority on the music of Scriabin and attacked anyone who questioned his credentials. A combative, venomous character he issued death threats to imagined enemies and pursued online vendettas against dozens of musicians and media persons.
That was the public face of John Bell Young. His student has described him as a sympathetic teacher, capable of great kindness. May he rest in peace.