WhatsOnStage Logo
Home link

Broadway vocal coach Barbara Maier Gustern dies following street attack

Barbara Maier Gustern was renowned in the Broadway community

Barbara Maier Gustern was a Broadway vocal coach
© Susie Lang Photo

Barbara Maier Gustern, vocal coach to some of the biggest names in cabaret, has died of the injuries she sustained after a seemingly random assailant shoved her to the ground in front of her apartment building on West 28th Street last week. She was 87 years old.

In addition to serving as vocal coach on the last Broadway revival of Oklahoma! (set to open in London later this year), Gustern had worked with Taylor Mac, Justin Vivian Bond, and Debbie Harry. She was a regular in the downtown cabaret scene, and kept up a busy schedule of voice lessons until the very end.

According to reporting in Deadline, she had been rehearsing with Barbara Bleier, Paul Greenwood, and the actor-director Austin Pendleton at her apartment on West 28th Street before leaving for a Thursday evening performance at Joe's Pub.

She didn't make it very far before she was shoved to the ground by an unknown assailant, hitting her head on the pavement. She was taken to a nearby hospital and transferred to Bellevue Medical Center, where emergency surgery was performed to alleviate brain swelling. Gustern died of her injuries Tuesday morning.

The NYPD has released video of the suspect, a female with long auburn hair. No arrests have been made.