Horror: Promising violinist, 17, is found dead in London

Horror: Promising violinist, 17, is found dead in London


norman lebrecht

July 12, 2019

The tabloids report the death of Katya Tsukanova, a violinist who had played at the Royal Opera House and Royal Albert Hall, in what is alleged to have been a drugs party at her father’s Kensington flat.

Katya was a music scholar at Wycombe Abbey.

Her father Igor Tsukanov, a Russian banker, found her unconscious at home on June 18.

The drug that killed her was said to have been ‘a deadly cocktail of cocaine and ketamine’ known as a Calvin Klein’.

She performed a Tchaikovsky concert at the Royal Opera House on June 10.

At one point she was a student of the controversial Zakhar Bron, whose Foundation her father supported.

Our thoughts are with her devastated family.



  • Mike Schachter says:

    What an utter waste of a young gifted life

  • John Sorel says:

    I hope they catch the scumbags who sell this stuff.

    • Cynical Bystander says:

      Sad to say, they can only sell the stuff because people want and then need to buy it. Tragic though this case is we all have at least one opportunity to say no. Once the scumbags have their customer base, that moment has in all probability passed and catching them or legalising use does little to avoid consequences like this. From my perspective there is only one punishment for drug dealers but it is not one that has any support amongst those who frame the penalties, or seek to legalise use, and for every one less there will be another to take their place. As long as there is demand someone will be willing to supply. Go anywhere nowadays and a ‘Calvin Klein’ is just a phone call away for a price which goes beyond mere £€$.

    • Karl says:

      No one forced her to take it. I remember all the druggies I knew in school and they thought anti-drug education was just a joke.

  • Anon says:

    She just turned 17

    • norman lebrecht says:

      Her Facebook page says born June 7, 2001. Do the maths.

      • steven holloway says:

        According to the thirteen other sources I looked at before I stopped wasting my time, she was 17 or born in 2002, born on June 7, 2002, or more than one of these indicators of age. These sources include the Strad, Mail, Telegraph, Mirror, the Bron chamber orchestra website, etc. I couldn’t find a Facebook page for the Katya Tsukanova in question. These are not infallible sources any more than SD is, but this does suggest that more caution and less rudeness in ‘correcting’ people who comment is called for. You are rather outnumbered on this point, so for the present I’m much inclined to think she was 17.

        • norman lebrecht says:

          I trust her own Facebook page above secondary sources. She had no reason to lie about her age. I note, however, that she was still ‘about’ to enter the A-level programme, suggesting that she was a year or two behind at school.

          • norman lebrecht says:

            Her site has now been taken down, presumably at the parents’ behest.

          • Peter says:

            Norman, she may have had every reason to lie about her age on Facebook. It’s very common for children to misstate their age when they sign up to Facebook, because Facebook is limited to people aged 13 years or over. Which is more likely: (1) that she told a white lie in order to make a Facebook account a few years ago, or (2) that a raft of publishers have systematically misreported her age *and* she was up to two years behind at school?

          • norman lebrecht says:

            Points taken.

  • Mike Schachter says:

    Without reference to this tragedy, there have been many comments recently from the police and others saying that much of the appalling knife crime in London is related to drug use by the respectable middle classes.


    Wycombe Abbey School is in Buckinghamshire not Hertfordshire.

  • Sharon says:

    Another substance that can be used as an inexpensive drug always seems to pop up, K2 in the United States (which I believe may be a form of ketamine. I believe that what in the United States was called “Special K” was also ketamine. This started as a tranquilizer for horses. K2 was in the substance that was sprayed on pot pouri

  • Sharon says:

    Mistake: The drug K2 is NOT kentamine but an ever changing mixture of chemicals meant to imitate the effects of marijuana. The reason that the chemicals keep changing is to avoid the law. Special K, the horse tranquilizer IS kentamine. Both are very dangerous!

    May Katya’s family find peace