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Broadway Vocal Coach Barbara Maier Gustern Dies of Injuries Following Street Attack

The beloved voice teacher was on her way to Joe's Pub when she was shoved to the ground by an unknown assailant.

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

UPDATE (3/22/2022): A suspect is now in custody. Lauren Pazienza of Port Jefferson, Long Island surrendered herself to the NYPD's 10th Precinct in Chelsea on Tuesday, March 22.

Barbara Maier Gustern, vocal coach to some of the biggest names in cabaret, has died from 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!, 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.


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