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Dmitri Shostakovich

From Wind Repertory Project
Dmitri Shostakovich

Biography

Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich (25 September 1906 in Saint Petersburg, Russia - 9 August 1975) was a Russian composer who lived under the Soviet regime. Shostakovich had a complex and difficult relationship with the Soviet government, suffering two official denunciations of his music, in 1936 and 1948, and the periodic banning of his work. Shostakovich's response to official criticism and, more importantly, the question of whether he used music as a kind of abstract dissidence is a matter of dispute. It is clear that outwardly he conformed to government policies and positions, reading speeches and putting his name to articles expressing the government line. It is also generally agreed that he disliked the regime, a view confirmed by his family and his letters to Isaak Glikman.

Shostakovich prided himself on his orchestration, which is clear, economical, and well-projected. This aspect of Shostakovich's technique owes more to Gustav Mahler than Rimsky-Korsakov. His unique approach to tonality involved the use of modal scales and some astringent neo-classical harmonies à la Hindemith and Prokofiev. His music frequently includes sharp contrasts and elements of the grotesque.

His most popular works are his 15 symphonies and 15 string quartets. His works for piano include 2 piano sonatas, an early set of preludes, and a later set of 24 preludes and fugues. Other works include two operas, six concertos, and a substantial quantity of film music.


Works for Winds


References

  • Miles, Richard B. 2000. Teaching Music Through Performance in Band. Volume 3. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 481.
  • Volkov, Solomon. (1979). Testimony. New York: Harper & Row, Inc.