Dmitry Shostakovich, classical music composer

Dmitry Shostakovich image

Dmitry Shostakovich

Biography

Born in Saint Petersburg, Russia on September 25, 1906, Dmitri Shostakovich showed an early inclination for music and was considered a child prodigy as a pianist and composer. He began piano lessons at the age of nine and displayed a remarkable musical memory, often being caught playing from memory what his mother had played in a previous lesson instead of reading the music in front of him. In 1919, at only the age of thirteen, he entered the Petrograd Conservatory under the watchful eye of Alexander Glazunov. His first successful composition, the First Symphony, was written as a graduation piece and premiered in 1926.

Following his graduation, Shostakovich at first attempted to maintain a career as both a concert pianist and a composer. However, his style of playing was often criticized as dry and lacking in emotion. Nevertheless, he managed to win an "honorable mention" at the First International Frederic Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in 1927. More importantly, however, at the competition he was introduced to the conductor Bruno Walter, leading to a Berlin premiere of his First Symphony followed by a U.S. premiere in Philadelphia. From then on, Shostakovich turned entirely to composition, limiting his piano performances mainly to his own works.

As was the plight of so many artists in Soviet Russia, Shostakovich eventually fell from favor with the government in 1936. Several attacks were issued against him in Pravda. He began to lose commissions and even critics who had formerly praised Shostakovich's work were obliged to officially recant. Shostakovich, nonetheless, managed to rebound the following year with his Fifth Symphony. More conservative than his previous works, it premiered in Leningrad in November 1937 to much success placing him in favor with the authorities.

Following the culmination of World War II, as the Soviets once again turned their focus inward and attempt to remove all Western artistic influences, Shostakovich, along with Sergei Prokofiev, was harshly denounced by the government. Most of his works were banned. He resorted mainly to film music, a relatively safe medium with little room for personal expression, to provide himself and his family with financial support. Other works were aimed at winning over the good graces of the Soviets but all serious compositions were confined to the desk drawer. Following Stalin's death in 1953, however, Shostakovich was once again able to function more freely as an artist. Many of the works he had composed but kept locked away were premiered during that year.

In 1965, Shostakovich was diagnosed with polio and the following year he suffered from a heart attack. Though he was forced to give up piano playing, he still continued to compose, producing two more symphonies before his death. On August 9, 1975, he died of lung cancer.

Composer Title Date Action
Dmitry Shostakovich The Pursuite, from The Adventures of Korzinkina 01/18/2009 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Prelude n. 1 (from five preludes without opus number) 03/25/2011 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Prelude n. 2 (from five preludes without opus number) 03/25/2011 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Prelude n. 3 (from five preludes without opus number) 03/25/2011 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Prelude n. 4 (from five preludes without opus number) 03/25/2011 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Prelude n. 5 (from five preludes without opus number) 03/25/2011 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Sonata for Cello and Piano in d minor, Op. 40 01/03/2013 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Prelude Op. 34, no. 12 07/03/2013 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Prelude Op. 34, no. 2 10/01/2011 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Prelude Op.34 no.5 02/08/2011 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Symphony No. 1 in f minor, Op. 10 (Allegro) 08/20/2009 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Three Fantastic Dances op. 5 12/10/2011 Play
Dmitry Shostakovich Allegro, from Three Fantastic Dances Op. 5 02/21/2009 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Andante, from Three Fantastic Dances Op. 5 02/21/2009 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 99 02/21/2009 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Piano Quintet in g minor, op. 57 05/21/2009 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Trio for Piano, Violin, and Cello No. 2 in e minor, Op. 67 01/23/2009 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Sonata for Cello and Piano in d minor, Op. 40 09/22/2012 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Sonata for Cello and Piano in d minor, Op. 40 02/25/2010 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Sonata for Cello and Piano in d minor, Op. 40 01/27/2009 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Sonata for Cello and Piano in d minor, Op. 40 01/18/2012 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Sonata for Cello and Piano in d minor, Op. 40 09/07/2009 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Sonata for Cello and Piano in d minor, Op. 40 12/01/2011 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Sonata for Cello and Piano in d minor, Op. 40 11/14/2011 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich String Quartet no. 1, op. 49 09/20/2013 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Cello concerto No.1 op. 107 Allegretto 12/07/2012 Play
Dmitry Shostakovich Cello concerto No.1 op. 107 Moderato 12/07/2012 Play
Dmitry Shostakovich Symphony 7 in C Major, Op. 60 - I mov. 10/15/2011 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Symphony No. 9, mvt III 11/25/2010 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Adagio from The Limpid Stream, Op. 39 05/14/2012 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Four Preludes (arr. Albert Markov) 02/21/2009 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Prelude and Fugue in D-flat Major, Op. 87, No. 15 12/24/2010 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Prelude Op. 34, no. 11 07/03/2013 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Trio No. 1 in c minor, Op. 8 01/08/2009 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Prelude and Fugue in G Major, Op. 87 02/19/2014 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Prelude and Fugue in A Major, Op. 87 02/19/2014 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Prelude and Fugue in A minor, Op.87 02/19/2014 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Prelude and Fugue in B-flat Major, Op. 87, No. 21 04/01/2014 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich String Quartet No. 9 04/11/2014 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Cello sonata, Op. 40, IV. mov./Allegro 05/15/2014 Play
Dmitry Shostakovich String Quartet No. 5 in B-flat Major, Op. 92 07/09/2014 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Trio for Piano, Violin, and Cello No. 2 in e minor, Op. 67 09/09/2014 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Prelude and Fugue No. 4 in E minor 12/04/2014 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich String Quartet No. 11 in F minor, Op. 122 04/07/2015 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich String Quartet No.8 In C Minor, Op.110 09/20/2015 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Sonata for Cello and Piano in d minor, Op. 40 04/19/2016 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Elegy, for String Quartet 06/02/2016 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Polka, for String Quartet 06/02/2016 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich String Quartet no. 2 09/18/2016 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich Sonata for Cello and Piano in d minor, Op. 40 06/17/2017 Play Add to playlist
Dmitry Shostakovich String Quartet No. 3 in F major, op. 73 09/24/2017 Play Add to playlist