(1906-1975) was a one of the most significant Soviet composers of the twentieth
century. Encouraged by Alexander Glazunov during his first years of study in
His engagement as well as
opposition to the system marked his life and personality to an extraordinary
degree. Of great significance was the ban on his musical drama "Lady
Macbeth of Mtsensk" during the 1930s. In 1936
the notorious article in "Pravda" appeared, accusing Shostakovich of
deviating from the leftist point of view, of a bourgeois, decadent stance.
Remarkably, despite all disappointments and repression, the composer stood firm
and reappeared before the public just one year later with his Fifth Symphony,
which enjoyed a triumphant success. Following the German invasion of 1941,
Shostakovich worked on his Seventh Symphony, the work that was to make his name
known round the world. Especially after 1948 the composer found himself sharply
attacked as a perpetrator of "Formalism", despite several Stalin
prizes. Having meanwhile moved to
After the death of Stalin in 1953,
Shostakovich's life became more relaxed. However, he remained reserved and his
behaviour difficult to assess. He was loyal to the
In 1963 he became a member of UNESCO's International Music Council. Shortly before his death he was awarded the first IMC UNESCO International Music Prize.
The photo shows
Shostakovich (on the left) with a fire hose extinguishing fires caused by enemy
bombing during the siege of
Article on Dmitri Shostakovich in Wikipedia.
In December 2001 the UNESCO Courier reprinted the article Beethoven tames the jungle, written by Shostakovich in 1973 (only in French).
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics