Detailed mineralogical and melt and fluid inclusion constraints on magma storage, and the evolution of melts, are presented for the large-volume caldera eruption on the Vetrovoy Isthmus on Itutrup Island (Kuril Islands, Russia). The shallow magma reservoir beneath the Vetrovoy Isthmus is composed of a mush of plagio-rhyolitic melt, phenocrysts and the products of peritectic reaction(s). The melt appears to have formed as a result of partial melting of previously erupted rocks, which probably had andesitic to basaltic compositions and were metamorphosed into amphibole-bearing assemblages. The breakdown of amphibole in the partially melted precursor rocks led to the formation of early Mg-rich clino-and orthopyroxene, along with plagioclase and Fe-Ti oxides, and the release of aqueous fluids. Variations in fluid pressure are recorded by a strong increase of An contents in plagioclase. Crystallization took place at around 850°C with pressure ranging from 0·9 to 3 kbar. This study demonstrates that dacitic magmas erupted during the course of a 20 kyr voluminous eruption were the result of mixing between plagio-rhyolitic partial melts and the breakdown reaction minerals (i.e. pyroxenes, plagioclase and Fe-Ti oxides). Plagioclase and quartz were the last minerals to crystallize from these melts prior to eruption.