Dmitri Shostakovich’s birth anniversary

25 September 2013

Today (September 25) we celebrate Dmitri Shostakovich’s birth anniversary. He was a Soviet Russian composer and pianist, one of the most important figures of 20th-century music.

Dmitri Shostakovich (Дмитрий Шостакович) rose to prominence thanks to the patronage of Soviet authorities, but he later developed a complex relationship with the government. However, he still managed to receive many awards and prizes for his great and eclectic music.

He started off as an imitator of Sergei Prokofiev and Igor Stravinsky, but later managed to find his own style, a unique mixture of neo-classical and Romantic music with grotesque elements. These contrasting elements are best shown in his opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District (Леди Макбет Мценского уезда), based on a novel by Leskov.

Shostakovich was a very prolific artist: in fact, he composed many operas, symphonies and concerti for many instruments, as well as sonatas and preludes just for piano. His venture into cinema was successful, in that he composed a substantial quantity of film music. His most famous soundtrack is Waltz No. 2, taken from the film The First Echelon (Первый эшелон).

Take the chance to listen and enjoy some of his most famous works.

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