Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich (dyĬmē´trē shŏstŏkô´vĬch), 1906–75, Russian composer, b. St. Petersburg. Shostakovich studied at the Leningrad Conservatory (1919–25). The early success of his First Symphony (1925) was confirmed by positive public reaction to two satirical works of 1930—an opera, The Nose (Leningrad; from a tale by Gogol), and a ballet, The Golden Age. Shostakovich sought Soviet approval and survived the changing tides of opinion. Severely castigated after Stalin saw a 1936 production of his popular opera Lady Macbeth of the Mzensk District (1934), he was restored to favor with his powerful yet ironic Fifth Symphony (1937). From then on he concentrated on symphonic compositions (in all, he wrote 15 symphonies) and, during the World War II, on heroic cantatas. Influenced by Mahler in his monumental symphonies, many of which include choral portions, Shostakovich was basically a Russian nationalist composer whose work represented traditional classical forms and generally remained accessibly tonal. Nonethless, his tart harmonics and musical portrayal of pain and turmoil are distinctly 20th cent. in tone. His outstanding works include 15 string quartets, a piano concerto (1933), the Piano Quintet (1940), the Eighth Symphony (1943), 24 Preludes and Fugues for Piano (1951), and the 13th Symphony, "Babi Yar" (1962).

See Testimony: The Memoirs of Dmitri Shostakovich as Related to and Edited by Solomon Volkov (1979, repr. 2000); biographies by V. I. Seroff and N. K. Shohat (1970), E. Wilson (1994), and L. E. Fay (1999); study by N. F. Kay (1971); I. MacDonald, The New Shostakovich (1990); A. B. Ho and D. Feofanov, Shostakovich Reconsidered (1998); M. H. Brown, ed., A Shostakovich Casebook (2004); L. E. Fay, ed., Shostakovich and His World (2004); S. Moshevich, Dmitri Shostakovich, Pianist (2004); S. Volkov, Shostakovich and Stalin (2004); W. Lesser, Music for Silenced Voices: Shostakovich and The Fifteen Quartets (2011).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Dmitri Shostakovich: Selected full-text books and articles

Shostakovich: A Life
Laurel E. Fay.
Oxford University Press, 2000
Shostakovich: The Man and His Music
Christopher Norris.
Lawrence & Wishart, 1984
Dmitri Shostakovich: The Man and His Work
Ivan Martynov; T. Guralsky.
Philosophical Library, 1947
Dmitri Shostakovich; the Life and Background of a Soviet Composer
Victor Ilyitch Seroff.
Alfred A Knopf, 1947
Russian Symphony: Thoughts about Tchaikovsky
Dmitri Shostakovich.
Philosophical Library, 1947
The Symphony: A Listener's Guide
Michael Steinberg.
Oxford University Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: "Dmitri Schostakovich" begins on p. 533
Dmitry Shostakovich: A Life Challenged by the Powers That Be
Russian Life, Vol. 49, No. 5, September-October 2006
Irony, Deception, and Political Culture in the Works of Dmitri Shostakovich
Gerstel, Jennifer.
Mosaic (Winnipeg), Vol. 32, No. 4, December 1999
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
The Rehabilitations of Shostakovich
Kinetz, Erika.
The American Prospect, Vol. 11, No. 18, August 14, 2000
Music and the Politics of Culture
Christopher Norris.
Lawrence & Wishart, 1989
Librarian’s tip: "Ideology and Form: Shostakovich East and West" begins on p. 172
Dmitri Shostakovich and the Jews
Bloom, Cecil.
Midstream, Vol. 52, No. 5, September-October 2006
Shostakovich, Kadaré and the Nature of Dissidence: An Albanian View
Koço, Eno.
Musical Times, Vol. 146, No. 1890, Spring 2005
Shostakovich's Sixteenth Symphony
Matthew-Walker, Robert.
Musical Opinion, Vol. 129, No. 1451, March/April 2006
Interpreting Shostakovich's Eclectic Second Cello Concerto
Wilson, Miranda.
Strings, Vol. 26, No. 5, December 2011
Conductors on Composers
John L. Holmes.
Greenwood Press, 1993
Librarian’s tip: "Dmitry Shostakovich (1906-1975)" begins on p. 167
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