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DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH ( ARR . LAVENDER ) Waltz No . 2

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH ( ARR . LAVENDER ) Waltz No . 2

ABOUT THE COMPOSER
Born 1906 in St . Petersburg , Russia ; died 1975 in Moscow , Russia
• Shostakovich displayed musical talent early on when he began taking piano lessons with his mother at age 9 .
• As he was completing his conservatory studies , Shostakovich wrote his First Symphony as a graduation piece . The work was well received and gained him recognition early in his career .
• Shostakovich continued to gain prominence as a composer but before long started running into trouble with authorities under Stalin ’ s regime .
• Shostakovich ’ s music was denounced by the government on several occasions . This led to the loss of commissions and a ban on performances of his music .
• Shostakovich feared for his life during this time , and many people close to him were arrested or killed , including his brother-in-law , mother-in-law , and uncle .
• For a time , in order to keep a low profile , Shostakovich wrote three types of music : film music to pay rent , official works to appease authorities , and serious works “ for the desk drawer .”
• After Stalin ’ s death , Shostakovich returned to favor and was appointed General Secretary of the Composer ’ s Union by the Communist party . To this day , he is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century .
FUN FACT
THE WORLD AT A GLANCE

c . 1950

MUSIC Richard Strauss ’ Four Last Songs
FILM Walt Disney ’ s Cinderella
Shostakovich included a musical motif that represented his initials in many of his works .
ABOUT THE PIECE
• Shostakovich ’ s Waltz No . 2 , written c . 1950 , is part of an eight-part suite that was incorrectly identified by music historians for 20 years . The work was originally thought to be part of his Jazz Suite – that is until the score to Shostakovich ’ s actual Jazz Suite was found in 1999 .
• The eight-part work , now known as the Variety Suite , was used as part of the soundtrack to the Russian film The First Echelon and Stanley Kubrick ’ s Eyes Wide Shut .
THEATER T . S . Eliot ’ s The Cocktail Party premieres in NYC
TELEVISION “ What ’ s My Line ” begins on CBS
BSO SESSIONS | APRIL 2021
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