Dmitri Shostakovich

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Date of Birth September 25, 1906
Place of Birth Saint Petersburg, Russia
Date of Death Aug 9, 1975 (68)
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Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich Russian: Дмитрий Дмитриевич Шостакович, tr. Dmitriy Dmitrievich Shostakovich, pronounced [ˈdmʲitrʲɪj ˈdmʲitrʲɪjɪvʲɪtɕ ʂəstɐˈkovʲɪtɕ]; was a Russian composer and pianist. He is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century, with a unique harmonic language and a historic importance due to his years of work under Stalin. Shostakovich achieved fame in the Soviet Union under the patronage of Soviet chief of staff Mikhail Tukhachevsky, but later had a complex and difficult relationship with the government. Nevertheless, he received accolades and state awards and served in the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union. A polystylist, Shostakovich developed a hybrid voice, combining a variety of different musical techniques into his works.

About Dmitri Shostakovich

Prominent and influential 20th-century composer who reflected the moods of Soviet life under Joseph Stalin in his works. His oeuvre included 15 symphonies, six concerti, 15 string quartets, a piano quintet, two piano trios, and the score for the film 'The First Echelon' from 1955-1956.

Before Fame

His graduation piece was also his breakthrough composition, 1926's First Symphony.


He had a contentious relationship with the Soviet government, never being as passionate about Marxism as they would have preferred and often protesting the Stalin regime. However, this never hindered his piano playing or his compositions.

Family Life

He married Nina Varzar on May 13, 1932, then Margarita Kainova in July 1956, and finally, Irina Supinskaya in December 1962.


He was heavily influenced by Igor Stravinsky and Sergei Prokofiev early on, before transitioning to a personally developed hybrid style with "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District" from 1934.

Information related to Dmitri Shostakovich

  • Music written in all major and/or minor keys - There is a long tradition in classical music of writing music in sets of pieces that cover all the major and minor keys of the chromatic scale. These sets typically consist of 24 pieces, one for each of the major and minor keys.
  • The Noise of Time – a novel concerning Shostakovich by English author Julian Barnes .
  • Russian anti-fascists
  • Soviet male classical composers
  • Russian film score composers
  • Jazz-influenced classical composers
  • Soviet classical pianists
  • Recipients of the Léonie Sonning Music Prize
  • Modernist composers
  • Soviet film score composers
  • Recipients of the Decoration for Services to the Republic of Austria
  • Composers for viola
  • Russian atheists
  • Recipients of the Shevchenko National Prize
  • Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medallists
  • Russian opera composers
  • Saint Petersburg Conservatory alumni
  • Russian male classical composers
  • Members of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
  • Composers for piano
  • Russian classical pianists
  • Recipients of the Order of Friendship of Peoples
  • Lenin Prize winners
  • Recipients of the USSR State Prize
  • People's Artists of the USSR
  • Heroes of Socialist Labour
  • Burials at Novodevichy Cemetery
  • Stalin Prize winners
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Latest information about Dmitri Shostakovich updated on October 23, 2020.

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