|Birthname||Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich|
|born on||25 September 1906 at 17:00 (= 5:00 PM )|
|Place||St.Petersburg, Russian Federation, 59n55, 30e15|
|Timezone||MMT h2e30 (is standard time)|
|Astrology data||01°36' 06°07 Asc. 29°29'|
Russian composer noted for his daring and experimental style. He was frequently in and out of the government’s favor, yet won the Stalin prize in 1940. In both 1936 and 1948, he was publicly and severely reprimanded for failing to do his "duty" as a Soviet composer, but was restored to popularity after 1957.
He first studied music with his mother, a professional pianist, and at the age of 13, entered the Petrograd Conservatory. In 1925, he completed his studies there, and his graduation piece was his Symphony No. One, a work that brought him immediate attention internationally. His work was heavily influenced by the political events of the time, and he was driven to use his compositions to give voice to revolutionary socialism. This was most conspicuous in his Symphonies Two and Three, "To October" and "The First of May."
His first opera, "The Nose," was written to incorporate what he knew of contemporary Western music, but his second, "The Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensky District," was a score of immense brilliance and is the culminating achievement of this period of his life. Acclaimed in Russia, Western Europe and the United States, the opera was first performed in 1934. One year later, Stalin attended a performance and was shocked by the open depiction of adultery and the opera’s suggestive musical passages. The work was immediately banned, and Shostakovich was out of favor with his government. For quite some time, he wrote no more operas or ballets, although he later revised "Lady MacBeth" in 1963, calling it "Katerina Izmailova." In 1937, he wrote his Fifth Symphony, an act of repentance, and he was back in favor with Stalin.
During World War II, he wrote his "war" symphonies, Nos. Seven and Eight, both large, serious works. Stalin requested an inspiring Ninth Symphony, a musical work to celebrate the end of the War, but Shostakovich once again lost the government’s favor when he composed a small symphony instead. For the next five years, he primarily wrote patriotic cantatas and private music, some of which is his outstanding piano work. He was an active member of the Communist Party, held several public offices and never publicly disagreed with the Soviet system, although he expressed his dissatisfaction quite clearly in a number of his compositions. When Stalin died in 1953, Shostakovich returned to symphony work with Nos. 10, 11 and 12, and then composed his most outspokenly critical work, No. 13, an attack on anti-Semitism.
Shostakovich was married three times and had a son, Maxim. His third wife Irina was vice president of the International Shostakovich Association, 1992.
He died from lung cancer on 8/09/1975, Moscow, Russia. A controversial figure even after his death, a number of books have been written about his life as an artist in the Soviet Union. In 1979, "Testimony: The Memoirs of Dmitri Shostakovich," was published. The composer himself had dictated the contents of the book to a music journalist who smuggled it to the United States. In his own words, he spoke of the war, of the loss of friends and family and of the fear and sorrow that oppressed the people. He stated that he felt compelled to write about the feelings of suffocation, saying it was his responsibility and his duty, and described it as a "requiem for all those who died, who had suffered." Within a month of its publication, the Soviet authorities repudiated it, saying it was completely composed of lies. His son Maxim, still living in the USSR at the time, denunciated the book but when he later moved to the west, he endorsed his father’s account of his life. In 1990, Ian MacDonald published "The New Shostakovich," which reassessed the composer’s life within the context of Soviet history and culture. Some years later, "Shostakovich: A Life," written by Laurel Fay, expressed the viewpoint that he was not only a "mediocre human being," but was a coward who cringed before the power of his Soviet bosses.
- Social : End a program of study 1925 (Graduated from Petrograd Conservatory)
- Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1934 (Noted opera first performed)
- Work : Lose social status 1936 (Publicly reprimanded by government)
- Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1937 (Wrote Fifth Symphony)
- Work : Prize 1940 (Stalin prize)
- Work : Lose social status 1948 (Publicly reprimanded by government)
- Work : Gain social status 1957 (Restoration of popularity)
LMR quotes V. Seroff "Shostakovich," p.37. (September 12 OS)
- Diagnoses : Major Diseases : Cancer (Lung cancer, fatal)
- Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (Three)
- Family : Parenting : Kids 1-3 (One son)
- Personal : Death : Illness/ Disease
- Vocation : Entertain/Music : Composer/ Arranger (Noted composer)
- Vocation : Politics : Party Affiliation (Communist Party)
- Vocation : Politics : Public office (Several positions)
- Notable : Awards : Vocational award (Stalin prize)
- Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession
- Notable : Book Collection : American Book