September 25, 1906; his father was an engineer.
St. Petersburg, Russia
August 9, 1975 in Moscow, Russia, U.S.S.R. due to heart failure.
Also Known As:
His full name was Dmitry Dmitriyevich Shostakovich; he was a Russian composer especially noted for his symphonies and string quartets. When Joseph Stalin rose to power, many composers were forced to avoid writing music for the opera and artistic freedom was hugely limited. Shostakovich was one of the composers who were creatively suppressed during that period. His "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District" initially received acceptance but was later denounced due to Stalin's disapproval of the said opera.
Type of Compositions:
Shostakovich received early piano instruction from his mother. In 1919, he entered the Petrograd Conservatory where Leonid Nikolayev became his piano teacher. Aleksandr Glazunov and Maksimilian Steinberg taught him composition which he studied until 1925. Shostakovich was also influenced by other composers such as Tchaikovsky
Some of his famous compositions are: "Symphony No. 1" (1924–25), "The Nose" (1927–28), "The Golden Age" (1927-30), "Bolt" (1930-31), "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District" (1930–32, later on revised as Katerina Izmaylova), "Symphony No. 5" (1937), "Symphony No. 7" (1941), "Symphony No. 8" (1943), "Piano Trio" (1944), "Violin Concerto No. 1" (1947–48), "String Quartet No. 4" (1949), "Quartet No. 5" (1951), "The Godfly" and "The Cherry Trees Estate" (1958).
Shostakovich received an honorable mention at the Chopin International Competition for Pianists held in Warsaw in 1927. He started teaching at the Leningrad Conservatory in 1937. Shostakovich was an honorary member of Rome's Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. The University of Oxford also bestowed him an honorary doctorate in music.
He had a son named Maxim who became a conductor. His "Second Piano Concerto" was dedicated to Maxim. He was also a friend of Benjamin Britten, for whom he wrote his "Fourteenth Symphony."