Death of engaging Russian composer, 82

Death of engaging Russian composer, 82


norman lebrecht

July 05, 2020

The eclectic Nikolai Kapustin, who turned to jazz as a form of iconoclasm in the rigid USSR but composed 20 formal piano sonatas and six piano concertos, died in Moscow on July 2.

He leaves 161 published works.



  • John Borstlap says:

    Very sad, it was (and still is through his music) a brilliant man.

  • Novagerio says:

    A mixture of Rachmaninoff and Oscar Peterson. Fascinating man. R.I.P.

  • Fiddlist says:

    Can you write more on Kapustin please? You seem to write more lengthy tributes on many other composers and performers of lesser note than this great composer.

  • drummerman says:

    The Prelude would sound great with bass and drums!

  • Jean says:

    Having played his music for over 20 years now, this is a sad news. He will be missed… RIP

  • Svetlana & Marc Villeger says:

    Saddened by this news as it happened that our 2020 New Year musical card featured Kapustin’s high octane Toccatina from 8 Concert Etudes for piano Op. 40. Our condolences to his family.

  • buxtehude says:

    Any of you familiar with the ambiance, let’s call it of Soviet Russia, and hearing this drifting from a city window somewhere, in 1983 —


  • Milwaukee Musaik says:

    Very sad to read this news. A wonderful composer that needs more exposure; especially in the USA.
    Were to have premiere his chamber orchestra arrangement of his Second Piano Concerto “Jazz”.

    RIP Mr. Kapustin

  • debuschubertussy says:

    Sad this didn’t more attention. NY Times didn’t even do an obit on him, that’s unfortunate considering what a major composer he was, especially for pianists who loved his music.

  • Sandra says:

    My condolences to all who grieve his passing, and my thanks to the many wonderful musicians who brought his compositions to life through their performances and recordings. He will live on wherever his music is played and heard.

  • Gareth Bimson says:

    If you have not listened to Nikolai Kapustin ‘s piano music you are missing out ! Very sad he is no longer with us.

  • Sherry Grant says:

    Very sad at this news. I performed one of his piano trios in public 4 years ago and really enjoyed his music… they should be performed more in concerts!

  • Edgar Self says:

    Kapustin’s own Russian CDs, and those of Steven Osborn and Marc;Andre Hamelin on Hyperion are a good introduction to his ingen-ous, titilating, jazzy piano music.

  • K fan says:

    Great pianist, great music.