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Dmitri Schostakowitsch

Modern Classical Music  

Russian composer and pianist. Had piano. lessons from his mother at age 9 and later at Glasser School of Music 1916–18. Entered Petrograd Cons. 1919, encouraged and helped by Glazunov, and studied pf. with Nikolayev and comp. with M. Steinberg. Completed pf. course in 4 years and made several concert appearances. Gained 'honorable mention' in Int. Chopin Comp., Warsaw, 1927.


His diploma work, the 1st Sym., was perf. in Leningrad and Moscow in 1926 and earned the composer world fame at the age of 20. As a convinced believer in Russian socialism, he sought ways in which his music could serve the state headed 'Chaos instead of Music' .


In 1943 he settled in Moscow, becoming professor of composition at the Conservatorium. He was relieved of his Moscow professorship and did not resume the post until 1960. He visited England in 1958 and 1974, becoming a close friend and admirer of Britten. He had heart attacks in 1969 and 1971 and was in fragile health thereafter. Many consider that Shostakovich is the greatest 20th cent. composer.


It is apparent now that Shostakovich soon became disillusioned with the Soviet system and that the intensifying darkness and bitterness of his work reflect a spiritual misery connected with external events The tensions within him produced a succession of masterpieces.

Prelude in G minor - op 34 Nr 22
00:00 / 01:57
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