A CHRONOLOGICAL VIEW OF WESTERN MUSIC HISTORY IN THE CONTEXT OF WORLD EVENTS

Dmitry Shostakovich

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April 5, 1917: Dmitri Shostakovich (10) and his family take part in a massive funeral procession through Petrograd for 184 victims of the February (March) Revolution. At the Field of Mars, the mourners sing the revolutionary hymn “You Fell a Victim”, a tune he will use several times in his career. In the evening, he reproduces the song at the piano.
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May 8, 1920: Dmitri Shostakovich (13) plays his music in public for the first time, at an exhibition of the paintings of Boris Kustodiyev, in Petrograd.
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December 19, 1922: Urged on by Lenin to encourage electrification and modernization, Lev Sergeyevich Termen (Leon Theremin) (26) begins a tour with his Etherphone with a one-man show in the Grand Hall of the Petrograd Philharmonic Society. There is a light show and various other new instruments. Among the audience are Alyeksandr Glazunov (57) and Dmitri Shostakovich (16).
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June 22, 1923: Suite for two pianos op.6 by Dmitri Shostakovich (16) is performed publicly for the first time, in Petrograd by the composer and his sister.
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July 20, 1923: Dmitri Shostakovich (16) and his sister Maria travel to Gaspra in the Crimea so he can recuperate after an operation in the spring and graduation from Petrograd Conservatory. His family is forced to sell their grand piano to pay for the trip. Dmitri and Maria play concerts along the way to help finance the venture.
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October 25, 1923: The Piano Trio no.1 op.8 by Dmitri Shostakovich (17) is performed for the first time during the screening of a film, at the Harlequinade Cinema, Petrograd, the composer at the piano. See 13 December 1923.
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December 13, 1923: The Piano Trio no.1 op.8 by Dmitri Shostakovich (17) is performed for the first time in a concert setting, at Petrograd Conservatory, the composer at the piano. See 25 October 1923.
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April 3, 1924: Dmitri Shostakovich (17) applies for admission to the Moscow Conservatory.
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April 7, 1924: Dmitri Shostakovich (17) auditions for the Moscow Conservatory, playing a piano arrangement of his cello pieces and Piano Trio. To his surprise, he is immediately accepted in the composition course. He will never attend the conservatory, opting instead to stay in Leningrad.
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March 20, 1925: Several works by Dmitri Shostakovich (18) are performed in the Moscow Conservatory Malyi Hall: Three Fantastic Dances op.5 for piano, Suite in f# minor op.6 for piano duet, and Three Pieces for cello and piano op.9. The composer performs at the keyboard. His music is overshadowed by his playing partner for the evening, Vissarion Shebalin. Three Fantastic Dances and Suite in f# minor have been played before, in private circumstances, as early as 1923.
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May 6, 1925: Symphony no.1 by Dmitri Shostakovich (18) is performed for the first time, in a two-piano version, by the composer and a friend before the Leningrad Conservatory composition faculty and students as a final examination for the composition course. Alyeksandr Glazunov (59) is not fond of two movements, but generally the work is well received. See 7 February 1926 and 12 May 1926.
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February 7, 1926: A piano reduction of the Symphony no.1 by Dmitri Shostakovich (19) is performed at Moscow Conservatory by the composer before the State Scientific Council and the People’s Commissariat for Education. See 12 May 1926.
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April 21, 1926: Dmitri Shostakovich (19) graduates from Leningrad Conservatory and is immediately accepted into the post-graduate composition course.
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May 12, 1926: Symphony no.1 by Dmitri Shostakovich (19) is performed for the first time, in the Philharmonic Bolshoy Hall, Leningrad. The work is a graduation piece from Leningrad Conservatory. This is also the first radio broadcast from this hall. The second movement is encored. Shostakovich will mark this anniversary for the rest of his life. See 6 May 1925 and 7 February 1926.
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July 5, 1926: On his first concert tour, Dmitri Shostakovich (19) witnesses a performance of his Symphony no.1 in Kharkov. The under-strength orchestra is not very good, the concert is outside, and as soon as the downbeat is given a nearby pack of dogs begin to howl at great volume and great length. He remarks that the experience is like watching ten thugs rape his girlfriend and being able to do nothing about it.
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July 15, 1926: Eight Preludes for piano op.2 by Dmitri Shostakovich (19) are performed for the first time, in Kharkov by the composer.
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October 1, 1926: Dmitri Shostakovich (20) is accepted into the postgraduate course in composition at Leningrad Conservatory.
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December 2, 1926: Piano Sonata no.1 by Dmitri Shostakovich (20) is performed for the first time, by the composer, in Leningrad Philharmonic Malyi Hall.
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January 9, 1927: Prelude and Scherzo op.11 for string octet by Dmitri Shostakovich (20) is performed for the first time, in Mozart Hall, Stanislavsky Art Theatre, Moscow.
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January 27, 1927: Dmitri Shostakovich (20) plays in the Chopin competition in Warsaw. Of 31 contestants, he makes the final round of eight, but will receive only honorable mention. He writes his mother that he was clandestinely informed that he was left out of the medals because of nationalism on the part of the Polish judges.
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January 30, 1927: At the first Chopin Competition in Warsaw, Dmitri Shostakovich (20) wins a certificate of merit.
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February 19, 1927: During intermission of a concert given by Sergey Prokofiev (35) in Leningrad where he plays his Piano Concerto no.2, the conductor, Nikolay Andreyevich Malko, introduces him to Dmitri Shostakovich (20). Shostakovich is not as impressed as he thought he would be.
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February 20, 1927: Sergey Prokofiev (35) meets a number of young Soviet composers at a gathering in his honor in Leningrad. Among the hopefuls who play their music for him is Dmitri Shostakovich (20). Prokofiev is not overwhelmed, but he is impressed enough to begin praising Shostakovich publicly.
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April 25, 1927: The appendix of Dmitri Shostakovich (20) is removed in Leningrad.
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November 5, 1927: Symphony no.2 “To October” for bass, chorus, and orchestra by Dmitri Shostakovich (21) to words of Bezimensky, is performed for the first time, in the Leningrad Philharmonic Bolshoy Hall. It was commissioned to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution.
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February 6, 1928: In Berlin, Bruno Walter conducts the first performance of the Symphony no.1 by Dmitri Shostakovich (21) outside of the Soviet Union. It is an immediate success and marks the beginning of the composer’s international fame.
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November 25, 1928: Three new orchestral works by Dmitri Shostakovich (22) are performed for the first time, in the Bolshoy Hall of the Moscow Conservatory: A suite from his unperformed opera The Nose, Tahiti Trot, and a transcription of Youmans’ Tea for Two. The suite is extremely successful. See 16 June 1929.
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January 31, 1929: Dmitri Shostakovich (22) begins teaching music theory and appreciation at the Leningrad Choreographic Technikum. He will remain there until 15 April.
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February 13, 1929: Incidental music to Mayakovsky’s play The Bedbug by Dmitri Shostakovich (22) is performed for the first time, in the Meyerhold Theatre, Moscow. Although the Party is not convinced, the public loves it. It will run over two years.
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March 14, 1929: An Entr’acte and a Finale for Erwin Dressel’s opera Der armer Columbus by Dmitri Shostakovich (22) are performed for the first time, in the Malyi Opera Theatre, Leningrad.
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March 18, 1929: The New Babylon, a film with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (22) is shown for the first time at the Piccadilly cinema in Leningrad. After the composition of the score, censors required the filmmakers to introduce substantial re-editing which left the composer to make last minute changes. The result is a disaster and Shostakovich’s music will be removed within two or three days.
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June 16, 1929: The Nose, an opera by Dmitri Shostakovich (22) to words of Zamyatin, Ionin, Preys, and the composer after Gogol, is performed for the first time, in a concert setting in Leningrad. See 25 November 1928, 14 January 1930, and 18 January 1930.
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December 14, 1929: Incidental music to Bezimensky’s play The Shot by Dmitri Shostakovich (23) is performed for the first time, at the Working Youth Theatre, Leningrad.
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January 14, 1930: Three scenes from The Nose, an opera by Dmitri Shostakovich (23) to words of Zamyatin, Ionin, Preys, and the composer after Gogol, are performed for the first time, before a “try-out” audience of factory workers in Leningrad. The response is very positive. See 18 January 1930.
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January 18, 1930: The Nose, an opera by Dmitri Shostakovich (23) to words of Zamyatin, Ionin, Preys, and the composer, after Gogol, is performed for the first time, in the Malyi Theatre, Leningrad. The audience is positive, the critics are not, perhaps for political reasons. See 25 November 1928, 16 June 1929, and 14 January 1930
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January 21, 1930: Symphony no.3 “First of May” for chorus and orchestra by Dmitri Shostakovich (23) to words of Kirsanov, is performed for the first time, in the Moscow-Narva House of Culture, Leningrad.
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March 19, 1930: A suite from The Golden Age, a yet to be performed ballet by Dmitri Shostakovich (23), is performed for the first time, in Philharmonic Hall, Leningrad. See 26 October 1930.
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May 9, 1930: Incidental music for the play by Gorbenko and Lvov, Virgin Soil by Dmitri Shostakovich (23), is performed for the first time, in the Working Youth Theatre, Leningrad.
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October 27, 1930: The Golden Age, a ballet by Dmitri Shostakovich (24) to a scenario by Ivanovsky, is performed publicly for the first time, at the Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet, Leningrad. Two days ago there was a matinee preview and yesterday a private performance. It is extremely successful. See 19 March 1930.
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April 8, 1931: The Bolt, a ballet by Dmitri Shostakovich (24) to a scenario by Smirnov, is performed for the first time, in the Academic (Kirov) Theatre of Opera and Ballet, Leningrad. It is a failure. See 17 January 1933.
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May 9, 1931: Incidental music to Piotrovsky’s play Rule, Britannia! by Dmitri Shostakovich (24) is performed for the first time, in the Working Youth Theatre, Leningrad.
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October 2, 1931: Incidental music to a stage revue of Voyevodin and Riss, Conditionally Killed, by Dmitri Shostakovich (25), is performed for the first time, in the Leningrad Music Hall.
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October 10, 1931: Alone, a film with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (25), is shown for the first time, at the Splendid Palace Cinema, Leningrad.
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November 6, 1931: The Golden Mountains, a film with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (25), is shown for the first time, in the Khudozhestvenny Cinema, Leningrad.
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May 13, 1932: Dmitri Shostakovich (25) marries Nina Vasilyevna Varzar, daughter of a lawyer and an astronomer, in a civil ceremony in Detskoye Selo near Leningrad. The families are not informed before the deed.
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May 19, 1932: Incidental music to Shakespeare’s (tr. Lozinsky) play Hamlet by Dmitri Shostakovich (25) is performed for the first time, in Vakhtangov Theatre, Moscow.
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November 7, 1932: The film Counterplan, with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (26), is shown for the first time, in Leningrad on the fifteenth anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution.
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January 17, 1933: Works by Dmitri Shostakovich (26) are performed for the first time, in the Leningrad Philharmonic Bolshoy Hall: The first eight of the 24 Preludes op.34 for piano, performed by the composer, Passacagli for organ, and an orchestral suite from his ballet The Bolt. See 8 April 1931 and 24 May 1933.
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May 24, 1933: Dmitri Shostakovich (26) plays the first complete performance of his 24 Preludes op.34 for piano in the Moscow Conservatory Malyi Hall. See 17 January 1933.
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October 15, 1933: Piano Concerto no.1 op. 35 by Dmitri Shostakovich (27) is performed for the first time, in the Philharmonic Bolshoy Hall, Leningrad the composer at the keyboard.
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January 22, 1934: Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, an opera by Dmitri Shostakovich (27) to words of Preys after Leskov, is performed for the first time, at the Malyi Opera Theatre, Leningrad. It will be performed again in two days in Moscow. The opera is a resounding success with audiences and critics.
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March 24, 1934: Suite for Jazz Orchestra no.1 by Dmitri Shostakovich (27) is performed for the first time, in Leningrad.
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April 1, 1934: Incidental music to Sukhotin’s (after Balzac) play The Human Comedy op.37 by Dmitri Shostakovich (27) is performed for the first time, in the Vakhtangov Theatre, Moscow.
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December 25, 1934: Cello Sonata op.40 by Dmitri Shostakovich (28) is performed for the first time, in Leningrad Conservatory Malyi Hall, the composer at the piano.
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January 27, 1935: The Youth of Maxim, a film with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (28), is shown for the first time, in Moscow.
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March 3, 1935: Love and Hatred, a film with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (28), is shown for the first time.
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April 13, 1935: Dmitri Shostakovich (28) begins a six-week piano playing tour of Turkey. He is one of the few Soviet artists allowed to travel to a capitalistic country.
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June 4, 1935: The Limpid Stream, a ballet by Dmitri Shostakovich (28) to a scenario by Lopukhov and Pyotrovsky, is performed for the first time, in the Malyi Opera Theatre, Leningrad.
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January 26, 1936: Dmitri Shostakovich (29) is ordered by the director of the Bolshoy Theatre to attend a performance of his opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District in Moscow. Present this evening are Stalin, Vyacheslav Molotov, Anastas Mikoyan and Andrey Zhdanov. He is not called to their box after the performance.
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January 28, 1936: An article appears in the Communist Party daily Pravda entitled “Muddle instead of music.” It is a scathing denunciation of Dmitri Shostakovich (29), his opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, and Soviet composers in general. “From the first moment, the listener is shocked by a deliberately dissonant, confused stream of sound. Fragments of melody, embryonic phrases appear--only to disappear again in the din, the grinding, the screaming of petty-bourgeois invocations...The music quacks, growls and suffocates itself. All this could end very badly. The danger of this trend to Soviet music is clear.” The lack of signature indicates that the article probably originates with Stalin.
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February 6, 1936: A second article denouncing Dmitri Shostakovich (29) appears in Pravda. This one is entitled “Falsehood in Ballet” and takes particular aim at the composer’s ballet The Limpid Stream.
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February 7, 1936: Dmitri Shostakovich (29) meets with Platon Mikhailovich Kerzhentsev, the chairman of the Soviet Committee on Arts Affairs. He passes on suggestions and questions that clearly come from Stalin. The composer should take up the collecting of folk songs (he never will), and submit libretti of future operas and ballets for approval (he will not complete another). Mostly, Stalin wants to know if Shostakovich has accepted the criticism of his work. Shostakovich’s answer is evasive.
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February 10, 1936: Members of the Moscow Union of Composers jam into their hall to denounce Dmitri Shostakovich (29) and plan the true path of Soviet music. The scene will be repeated on 13 and 15 February.
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February 19, 1936: The Girl Friends, a film with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (29), is shown for the first time.
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March 14, 1936: After being condemned in Pravda by high Soviet officialdom, and suffering the acquiescence in this of his peers, Dmitri Shostakovich (29) is strongly defended in a speech by the theatre director Vsevolod Emilyevich Meyerhold in Leningrad. His audience responds with strong and prolonged applause.
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November 23, 1936: Incidental music to Afinogenov’s play Hail, Spain by Dmitri Shostakovich (30) is performed for the first time, in the Pushkin Theatre of Drama, Leningrad.
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December 11, 1936: Under strong pressure from party officials, Dmitri Shostakovich (30) withdraws his Symphony no.4 scheduled for performance tonight in Leningrad.
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May 23, 1937: The Return of Maxim, a film with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (30), is shown for the first time.
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November 21, 1937: The Symphony no.5 by Dmitri Shostakovich (31) is performed for the first time, in the Leningrad Philharmonic Bolshoy Hall. One-half hour of applause greets the completion of the performance. The work reinstates Shostakovich to official favor, although many see it as a description of and reaction to the Stalinist terror.
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January 20, 1938: Volochayevka Days, a film with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (31), is shown for the first time.
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January 25, 1938: An article signed by Dmitri Shostakovich (31) appears in Evening Moscow called “My Creative Answer.” Here is the first mention that his Symphony no.5 is “a constructive creative answer of a Soviet artist to just criticism.”
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February 13, 1938: The Great Citizen, a film with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (31), is shown for the first time.
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September 20, 1938: Suite for Jazz Orchestra no.2 by Dmitri Shostakovich (31) is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of Moscow Radio.
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October 1, 1938: The Friends, a film with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (32), is shown for the first time.
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October 10, 1938: String Quartet no.1 by Dmitri Shostakovich (32) is performed for the first time, in Leningrad Conservatory Malyi Hall.
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November 1, 1938: The Man With a Gun, a film with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (32), is shown for the first time.
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February 2, 1939: The Vyborg Side, a film with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (32), is shown for the first time.
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May 23, 1939: Dmitri Shostakovich (32) is appointed a professor at Leningrad Conservatory.
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November 21, 1939: Symphony no.6 op.54 by Dmitri Shostakovich (33) is performed for the first time, in the Leningrad Philharmonic Bolshoy Hall. The audience requires the finale to be repeated.
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November 27, 1939: The Great Citizen (series 2), a film with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (33), is shown for the first time.
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February 2, 1940: The Russian theatre director Vsevolod Meyerhold is executed in Moscow after a secret trial and torture by the NKVD. He was an open defender of other artists, especially Dmitri Shostakovich (33).
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May 20, 1940: Dmitri Shostakovich (33) wins the Order of the Red Banner of Labor for his work in films.
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September 13, 1940: The Silly Little Mouse, a film with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (33), is shown for the first time.
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November 11, 1940: The Adventures of Korzinkina, a film with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (34), is shown for the first time.
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November 16, 1940: Violin Concerto by Aram Khachaturian (37) is performed for the first time, in Moscow. Sergey Prokofiev (49) and Dmitri Shostakovich (34) attend along with a host of Soviet musical luminaries. It is a tremendous success.
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November 23, 1940: Piano Quintet op.57 by Dmitri Shostakovich (34) is performed publicly for the first time, in the Moscow Conservatory Malyi Hall, the composer at the keyboard. This work wins Shostakovich a Stalin Prize.
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December 8, 1940: Four Romances on Poems by Pushkin op.45 for voice and piano by Dmitri Shostakovich (34) are performed for the first time, in Polytechnic Museum Hall, Moscow the composer at the piano.
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March 16, 1941: The announcement that Dmitri Shostakovich (34) has won the Stalin Prize for his Piano Quintet is published in Pravda.
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March 24, 1941: Incidental music to Shakespeare’s play King Lear by Dmitri Shostakovich (34) is performed for the first time, in the Gorky Bolshoy Dramatic Theatre, Leningrad.
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May 10, 1941: Glavrepertkom, the state committee in charge of approving theatre productions, telegraphs Dmitri Shostakovich (34) that the libretto on which he intends to compose an opera, Mariengof’s Katyusha Maslova, has been banned.
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June 23, 1941: Dmitri Shostakovich (34) volunteers for active service in the Red Army but is refused because of poor eyesight.
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July 2, 1941: After his application to join the Red Army is rejected, Dmitri Shostakovich (34) applies for a second time today. This will also be rejected, so the composer volunteers for the Home Guard. “I am going to defend my country and am prepared, sparing neither life nor strength, to carry out any mission I am assigned.”
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July 19, 1941: In Leningrad, Dmitry Shostakovich (34) begins composing his Seventh Symphony.
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July 29, 1941: Photographs of fireman Dmitri Shostakovich (34) are taken at his post on the roof of the Leningrad Conservatory. These are disseminated around the world as a symbol of Soviet resistance against Nazi aggression.
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August 16, 1941: Soviet officials offer to evacuate Dmitri Shostakovich (34) from Leningrad. He refuses.
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August 22, 1941: Members of the Leningrad Philharmonic are evacuated by train from the city.  Dmitry Shostakovich (34) goes to the Moscow Station to see off his friend, the director Ivan Sollertinsky.
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September 8, 1941: World War II: Finnish troops cut the Murmansk-Leningrad railway at Lodeynoye Polye. German troops reach Lake Ladoga. Leningrad is effectively surrounded. German planes drop over 6,000 incendiary bombs on Leningrad.  In the midst of the bombardment, Dmitry Shostakovich (34) begins work on the second movement of his Seventh Symphony. The Soviet authorities begin the evacuation of 600,000 ethnic Germans whose ancestors have lived on the River Volga for two centuries.
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September 17, 1941: Dmitri Shostakovich (34) speaks on Leningrad radio to bolster the morale of the city. He arrives at the studio only at the last minute, having to take refuge along the way from German artillery. “All of us are now standing militant watch. As a native of Leningrad who has never abandoned the city of my birth, I feel all the tension of this situation most keenly. My life and work are completely bound up with Leningrad.” This evening, several musicians gather at the Shostakovich apartment to hear him play through two completed movements of his Seventh Symphony. In the middle, as air raid sirens begin, Shostakovich brings his wife and children to an air raid shelter, then returns to complete his performance.
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October 22, 1941: World War II: Most of the Soviet government, diplomatic corps, and numerous important cultural figures including Dmitri Shostakovich (35) and Aram Khachaturian (38) arrive from Moscow by train in Kuibyshev.
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March 5, 1942: Symphony no.7 “Leningrad” op.60 by Dmitri Shostakovich (35), written in honor of his besieged native city, is performed for the first time, at the House of Culture, Kuibyshev. The concert is broadcast across the country and the world.  It is an enormous success.
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April 9, 1942: 25 meters of microfilm is placed on board a plane in Kuibyshev (Samara), USSR for shipment to New York.  The microfilm contains the score to the Symphony no.7 of Dmitry Shostakovich (35).  See 1 June 1942.
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April 11, 1942: Published today is the announcement that Dmitri Shostakovich (35) has won a Stalin Prize for his Seventh Symphony.
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June 1, 1942: An airplane from the USSR arrives in New York. Aboard is a box of microfilm containing the score and parts of the Symphony no.7 “Leningrad” by Dmitri Shostakovich (35). See 19 July 1942.
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June 22, 1942: The Symphony no.7 “Leningrad” of Dmitri Shostakovich (35) is performed for the first time outside the Soviet Union, in London.
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July 2, 1942: Leningradskaya Pravda announces that the score to the Symphony no.7 of Dmitry Shostakovich (35) recently arrived by plane in Leningrad.
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July 19, 1942: Arturo Toscanini, by the composer's wish, conducts the American premiere of the Symphony no.7 “Leningrad” by Dmitry Shostakovich (35) over the airwaves of the NBC radio network, originating in Studio 8-H of Radio City, New York. Hired as an extra horn player for the concert is Gunther Schuller (16). Among the radio listeners is Igor Stravinsky (60). See 1 June 1942.
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July 20, 1942: On the cover of the issue of Time magazine dated today appears a portrait of Dmitri Shostakovich (35) in fireman’s helmet.
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August 9, 1942: The Symphony no.7 “Leningrad” by Dmitri Shostakovich (35) is performed for the first time in the besieged city for which it was named. The score was sent by a transport plane bringing medical supplies. The number of musicians living in the city is too small to perform the work so musicians serving on the Leningrad front are released for the performance and retired musicians are pressed into service. They are given extra rations to ensure their strength. The hall is filled and the concert is broadcast on speakers throughout the city. Just before the performance, Soviet commanders bombard the Germans to ensure their silence, and speakers are set up so that the enemy troops can hear the music.
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October 15, 1942: Incidental music to Native Country by Dmitri Shostakovich (36) to words of Alymov, is performed for the first time, in the Dzerzhinsky Central Club, Moscow. See 7 November 1942.
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October 18, 1942: In his review of the Symphony no.7 by Dmitri Shostakovich (36), Virgil Thomson (45) calls the music “unoriginal and shallow.”
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November 4, 1942: Three Romances on Texts by Burns for voice and piano, part of op.62 by Dmitri Shostakovich (36), are performed for the first time, in Kuibyshev. See 6 June 1943.
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November 7, 1942: The orchestral suite Native Leningrad by Dmitri Shostakovich (36), an arrangement of his music for Native Country, is performed for the first time, in the Dzerzhinsky Central Club, Moscow. See 15 October 1942.
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March 3, 1943: Dmitri Shostakovich (36) arrives in Moscow to take up permanent residence. He and his family have finally been granted a Moscow apartment. They will arrive later this month.
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June 6, 1943: Two works by Dmitri Shostakovich (36) are performed for the first time, in the Moscow Conservatory Malyi Hall: Piano Sonata no.2 op.61 and Six Romances on Verses by British Poets op.62 for voice and piano to words of Raleigh, Burns, and Shakespeare (tr. Pasternak and Marshak). The composer is at the keyboard in both works. Of the six romances, three were already performed last November. See 4 Novembern1942.
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November 4, 1943: Symphony no.8 op.65 by Dmitri Shostakovich (37) is performed for the first time, in the Moscow Conservatory Bolshoy Hall. Critical response is mixed.
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March 6, 1944: Eight British and American Folk Songs for voice and orchestra by Dmitri Shostakovich (37) is performed for the first time, in Moscow.
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November 14, 1944: Two chamber works by Dmitri Shostakovich (38) are performed for the first time, in the Leningrad Philharmonic Bolshoy Hall: Piano Trio no.2 op.67, with the composer at the keyboard, and String Quartet no.2 op.68.
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November 22, 1944: Zoya, a film with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (38), is shown for the first time.
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March 11, 1945: An orchestral suite of music from the ballet The Limpid Stream op.39a by Dmitri Shostakovich (38) is performed for the first time, in Moscow.
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April 17, 1945: Incidental music to the stage spectacle Russian River by Dmitri Shostakovich (37) to words of Dobrovolsky is performed for the first time, in Moscow Dzerzhinsky Central Club.
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September 4, 1945: Symphony no.9 by Dmitri Shostakovich (38) is performed for the first time, in a reduction for two pianos, in Moscow Philharmonic Hall, by Svyatoslav Richter and the composer. See 3 November 1945.
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November 3, 1945: Symphony no.9 by Dmitri Shostakovich (39) is performed for the first time in its full score, in Leningrad Philharmonic Bolshoy Hall in a nationwide broadcast. The audience requires the last three movements to be repeated. See 4 September 1945.
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May 8, 1946: Incidental music for the concert spectacle Victorious Spring by Dmitri Shostakovich (39) is performed for the first time, in Moscow Dzerzhinsky Central Club.
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June 29, 1946: Seven scenes from The Young Guard, a film with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (39), are shown for the first time, at the All-Union State Institute for Cinematography. See 11 & 25 October 1948.
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December 16, 1946: String Quartet no.3 by Dmitri Shostakovich (40) is performed for the first time, in Moscow Conservatory Malyi Hall.
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February 1, 1947: Dmitri Shostakovich (40) begins teaching at the Leningrad Conservatory, commuting one day a week from Moscow.
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February 9, 1947: Dmitri Shostakovich (40) is appointed a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR.
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December 16, 1947: Pirogov, a film with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (41), is shown for the first time.
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January 10, 1948: Andrey Zhdanov, First Secretary of the Leningrad Communist Party, convenes a meeting of musicians at the Party Central Committee in Moscow. He launches an all-out assault on “formalists”, Sergey Prokofiev (56), Aram Khachaturian (44), Dmitri Shostakovich (41) (all three of whom are present) and others. Their music is likened to a dentist’s drill. They are accused of elitism, and of abandoning “true” Soviet forms.
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February 10, 1948: At a ceremony in the Kremlin, Sergey Prokofiev (56) is raised to the status of People’s Artist of the USSR. At the same time, the Central Committee of the CPSU is voting a resolution attacking Prokofiev, Dmitri Shostakovich (41), Aram Khachaturian (44), and other leading composers of the USSR. See 5 November 1947 and 11 February 1948.
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February 11, 1948: An article appears in the Communist Party daily Pravda entitled “On the opera The Great Friendship by Muradeli.” It attacks Sergey Prokofiev (56), Dmitri Shostakovich (41), and others who “persistently adhere to formalist perversion and many undemocratic tendencies. These include atonalism, dissonance, contempt for melody, and the use of chaotic and neuropathic dischords--all of which are alien to the artistic tastes of the Soviet peoples.”
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February 14, 1948: Order no.17 of the Chief Direction in Control of Representations and Repertoire of the Commission in Charge of the Arts under the Auspices of the Council of Ministers of the USSR is issued. It bans a long list of music by Sergey Prokofiev (56), Dmitri Shostakovich (41), and many other prominent Soviet composers. See 16 March 1949.
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April 19, 1948: The first All-Union congress of Soviet Composers meets in Moscow. They condemn Benjamin Britten (34), Gian-Carlo Menotti (36), and Olivier Messiaen (39) as being “impregnated with extreme subjectivism, mysticism, and disgusting facetiousness.”  Of those condemned on 10 February, only Dmitry Shostakovich (41) and Vano Muradeli attend the entire congress.  Sergey Prokofiev (56) and Aram Khachaturian (44) are there for the first day only.
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April 24, 1948: Dmitri Shostakovich (41) addresses the First All-Union Congress of Soviet Composers. He repents the sin of “formalism” and accepts the direction of the Party vowing to make folkloric melody the foundation of all his future works.
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April 26, 1948: Despite vigorous efforts, the Union of Soviet Composers refuses to add Dmitry Shostakovich (41), Aram Khachaturian (44), and four others to its governing board.
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August 2, 1948: The Soviet Ministry of Finance issues a resolution on Muzfond in the name of Comrade Stalin. Several audits have discovered widespread abuses in the composers’ funding organization, involving some of the most important composers including Sergey Prokofiev (57), Dmitri Shostakovich (41), and Aram Khachaturian (45). Muzfond will be reorganized and closely monitored. Henceforth, all loans or allowances will be approved by the Council of Ministers.
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September 1, 1948: In an official effort to end “formalism” in Soviet music, Dmitri Shostakovich (41) is removed from his positions at the Leningrad and Moscow Conservatories effective today.
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September 25, 1948: From Jewish Folk Poetry, a cycle for three solo voices and piano by Dmitri Shostakovich (48), is performed for the first time, privately at a party celebrating his 42nd birthday. A public performance is unlikely in the current official mood of anti-Semitism. See 15 January 1955.
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October 11, 1948: The Young Guard, Part 1, a film with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (42), is shown for the first time.
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October 25, 1948: The Young Guard, Part 2, a film with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (42), is shown for the first time.
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January 1, 1949: Michurin, a film with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (42), is shown for the first time.
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March 16, 1949: After a telephone conversation with Dmitri Shostakovich (42) about three weeks ago, Comrade Stalin personally issues Order no.3197 of the Council of Ministers of the USSR. It declares the blacklist of 14 February 1948 illegal and reprimands the State Repertoire Committee (Glavrepertkom) for issuing such a decree.
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March 16, 1949: The Meeting on the Elbe, a film with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (42), is shown for the first time.
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March 24, 1949: Dmitry Shostakovich (42) arrives in New York as part of a three-man Soviet delegation to the “Cultural and Scientific Conference for World Peace” held under the auspices of the National Council of Arts, Sciences, and Professions. They are met by 70 cameramen and reporters.  Aaron Copland (48) is the only composer allowed to meet him at the airport. During the conference, Shostakovich delivers a speech (actually by an interpreter in his name) attacking the west.
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March 27, 1949: Aaron Copland (48) addresses the Waldorf Peace Conference in New York on “The Effect of the Cold War on the Artist in the United States.” He laments the current practice of having to choose between “the mass-appeal music of a Shostakovich (42) and the musical radicalism of a Schoenberg (74).”
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March 27, 1949: Before 18,000 people in Madison Square Garden, New York, Dmitri Shostakovich (42) plays a piano reduction of the scherzo from his Fifth Symphony, thus bringing the Waldorf Peace Conference to a close.
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April 3, 1949: The Soviet delegation, including Dmitry Shostakovich (42), to the Waldorf Peace Conference in New York takes off from La Guardia airport heading for Stockholm.
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April 4, 1949: The issue of Life magazine dated today includes an article on the Waldorf Peace Conference, including photos of Aaron Copland (48) and Dmitri Shostakovich (42). The magazine tells its readers that the sponsoring group, the National Council of the Arts, Sciences, and Professions is “dominated by intellectuals who fellow-travel the communist line.” Copland’s picture is placed under the words “Dupes and Fellow Travelers Dress Up Communist Fronts.”
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April 19, 1949: The US House Un-American Activities Committee releases its report on the Waldorf Conference recently held in New York featuring Aaron Copland (48), Marc Blitzstein (44), Dmitri Shostakovich (42), Leonard Bernstein (30), and Lukas Foss (26). It lists names of the participants and describes the “threat” posed by the conference which they call “a supermobilization of inveterate wheelhorses and supporters of the Communist Party and its auxiliary organizations...”
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November 10, 1949: Incidental music to Mikhalkov’s play Iliya Golovin by Aram Khachaturian (46) is performed for the first time, in Gorky Art Theatre, Moscow. It is a satire of “formalist” composers. The main character is a caricature of both Sergey Prokofiev (58) and Dmitri Shostakovich (43).
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November 15, 1949: The Song of the Forests op.81, an oratorio by Dmitri Shostakovich (43) to words of Dolmatovsky, is performed for the first time, in Leningrad Philharmonic Bolshoy Hall.
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January 21, 1950: The Fall of Berlin, a film with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (43), is shown for the first time. See 10 June 1950.
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March 8, 1950: Dmitri Shostakovich (43) wins a Stalin Prize for his Song of the Forests and music to the film The Fall of Berlin.
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May 15, 1950: String Quartet no.4 by Dmitri Shostakovich (43) is performed before a small gathering including the composer and his wife, other composers and Alyeksandr Kholodilin, chairman of the music division of the state Committee for Artistic Affairs. The decision is made to withhold the quartet from performance, probably because of Jewish elements in the music and a climate unfavorable to absolute chamber music. See 3 December 1953.
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June 10, 1950: An orchestral suite from music for the film The Fall of Berlin by Dmitri Shostakovich (43) is performed for the first time, in Moscow. See 21 January 1950.
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March 31, 1951: Dmitri Shostakovich (44) plays twelve of his 24 Preludes and Fugues at the Composers’ Union, Moscow. He has just finished composing them and has not had time to learn them. He is nervous, especially about the political atmosphere, and does not play well. Those who speak are not complimentary. The same thing happens with the second twelve tomorrow. See 18 November 1951.
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October 10, 1951: Ten Poems on Texts by Revolutionary Poets for boys’ chorus and chorus by Dmitri Shostakovich (45) is performed for the first time, in Moscow Conservatory Bolshoy Hall.
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November 18, 1951: Four of the 24 Preludes and Fugues op.87 for piano by Dmitri Shostakovich (45) are performed for the first time, in Leningrad Glinka Hall by the composer. The entire cycle will be performed on 23 and 28 December 1952.
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December 8, 1951: An article in Izvestia attacks Dmitri Shostakovich (45) and his 24 Preludes and Fugues for piano as a backward step from the “realistic position” he took in 1948.
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May 3, 1952: The Unforgettable Year 1919, a film with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (45), is shown for the first time.
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November 6, 1952: The Sun Shines Over our Motherland op.90, a cantata for boys’ chorus, chorus, and orchestra by Dmitri Shostakovich (46) to words of Domatovsky, is performed for the first time, in Moscow Conservatory Bolshoy Hall.
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December 23, 1952: Twelve of the 24 Preludes and Fugues op.87 for piano by Dmitri Shostakovich (46) are performed for the first time, in Glinka Hall, Leningrad.
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December 28, 1952: Twelve of the 24 Preludes and Fugues op.87 for piano by Dmitri Shostakovich (46) are performed for the first time, in Glinka Hall, Leningrad.
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March 7, 1953: A memorial service for Sergey Prokofiev is held in Moscow at the Central Composers’ Home, attended by Dmitri Shostakovich (46), Aram Khachaturian (49), and other prominent Soviet composers and musicians.
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June 4, 1953: Belinsky, a film with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (46), is shown for the first time.
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November 13, 1953: String Quartet no.5 op.92 by Dmitri Shostakovich (47) is performed for the first time, in Moscow Conservatory Malyi Hall.
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December 3, 1953: String Quartet no.4 op.83 by Dmitri Shostakovich (47) is performed for the first time, in Moscow Conservatory Malyi Hall.
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December 17, 1953: Symphony no.10 op.93 by Dmitry Shostakovich (47) is performed for the first time, in Leningrad Philharmonic Bolshoy Hall. It is a great success.  In the audience is a very impressed Alfred Schnittke (19).
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March 27, 1954: Dmitri Shostakovich (47) is named a Peoples Artist of the USSR.
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March 31, 1954: Incidental music to Shakespeare’s play Hamlet by Dmitri Shostakovich (47) is performed for the first time, in the Pushkin Theatre, Leningrad.
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September 4, 1954: Dmitri Shostakovich (47) is awarded the International Peace Prize, in Moscow.
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September 17, 1954: The Song of the Rivers, a film with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (47), is shown for the first time, in Berlin.
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November 6, 1954: Festive Overture op.96 for orchestra by Dmitri Shostakovich (48) is performed for the first time, in the Bolshoy Theatre, Moscow for the 37th anniversary of the October Revolution.
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November 8, 1954: Concertino op.94 and Tarantella, both for two pianos four-hands by Dmitri Shostakovich (48) are performed for the first time, in Moscow Conservatory Malyi Hall. Playing one of the parts is the composer’s 14-year-old son, Maxim.
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December 4, 1954: Nina Vasilyevna Varzar, wife of Dmitri Shostakovich (48), undergoes an emergency operation on a cancerous colon, in Yerevan, Armenia. Traveling from Moscow, the composer arrives to find her in a coma after surgery. She dies today. Though they each had an open liaison with another person, their marriage was relatively harmonious.
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January 15, 1955: From Jewish Folk Poetry, a cycle for three solo voices and piano by Dmitri Shostakovich (48) is performed publicly for the first time, in Glinka Concert Hall, Leningrad the composer at the keyboard. See 25 September 1948 and 19 February 1964.
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April 12, 1955: The Gadfly, a film with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (48), is shown for the first time.
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October 29, 1955: Violin Concerto no.1 by Dmitri Shostakovich (49) is performed for the first time, at the Leningrad Philharmonic Bolshoy Hall, with David Oistrakh as soloist. It is a smashing success and the last movement is repeated.
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January 15, 1956: Dmitri Shostakovich (49) receives the Diploma of Santa Cecilia, Rome.
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March 12, 1956: A commission from the Ministry of Culture assembles in the Moscow apartment of Dmitri Shostakovich (49) to hear him play through his revision of Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District. After hearing the entire opera, they vote unanimously not to allow a production.
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April 29, 1956: The First Echelon, a film with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (49), is shown for the first time.
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May 16, 1956: Five Romances on Verses of Yevgeni Dolmatovsky op.98, a cycle for voice and piano by Dmitri Shostakovich (49), is performed for the first time, in Philharmonic Hall, Kiev.
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May 19, 1956: Poem of the Motherland op.74, a cantata for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra by Dmitri Shostakovich (49) to words of various authors, is performed for the first time. It was intended for the 30th anniversary of the October Revolution.
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August 25, 1956: Simplefolk, a film with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (49), is shown for the first time. The film was banned in 1946 because it depicts child labor.
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October 7, 1956: String Quartet no.6 by Dmitri Shostakovich (50) is performed for the first time, in Glinka Concert Hall, Leningrad.
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May 10, 1957: Piano Concerto no.2 op.102 by Dmitri Shostakovich (50) is performed for the first time, in Moscow Conservatory Bolshoy Hall, the composer’s son Maxim at the piano on his 19th birthday. A two-piano reduction of this work was performed in April, in Moscow, by the composer and his son. It is his last composition for piano.
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September 17, 1957: Symphony no.11 “1905” by Dmitri Shostakovich (50) is performed for the first time, in a two-piano reduction in the House of Composers, Leningrad the composer at one keyboard. See 30 October 1957.
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October 30, 1957: Symphony no.11 “1905” by Dmitri Shostakovich (51) is performed for the first time, in Moscow Conservatory Bolshoy Hall. The work was performed in a two-piano reduction in Leningrad on 17 September.
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November 24, 1957: Two Russian Folksongs op.104, a setting for chorus by Dmitri Shostakovich (51), is performed for the first time, in Moscow Conservatory Bolshoy Hall.
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April 14, 1958: Van Cliburn plays at a reception at the Kremlin attended by General Secretary Nikita Khrushchev, President Kliment Voroshilov, First Deputy Prime Minister Anastas Mikoyan and a visitor, Dowager Queen Elizabeth of Belgium. At the concert hall, certificates are passed out to Cliburn and the other winners of the Tchaikovsky competition by Dmitri Shostakovich (51).
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April 22, 1958: Dmitri Shostakovich (51) is awarded the Lenin Prize for his Symphony no.11.
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May 28, 1958: The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union amends its declaration of 10 February 1948 with a decree entitled “On the Correction of Errors in the Evaluation of The Great Friendship, Bogdan Khmelnitsky and From All My Heart ”. It lifts criticism of Sergey Prokofiev (†5), Aram Khatchaturian (54), Dmitri Shostakovich (51), and others.
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October 9, 1958: Dmitri Shostakovich (52) is awarded the Sibelius Prize by the Wihuri Foundation.
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January 24, 1959: Moskva, Cheryomushki, an operetta by Dmitri Shostakovich (52) to words of Mass and Chervinsky, is performed for the first time, at the Moscow Operetta Theatre. There was an open dress rehearsal on 20 January. Critics find the music generally good, the libretto generally bad.
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May 23, 1959: A film of Modest Musorgsky’s (†78) opera Khovanshchina, with music reorchestrated by Dmitri Shostakovich (52), is shown for the first time, in Leningrad.
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September 11, 1959: Leonard Bernstein (41) conducts the New York Philharmonic in their last performance during the current tour to the USSR, in Tchaikovsky Hall. In attendance is Dmitri Shostakovich (52) (whose Symphony no.5 is performed), and his son Maxim, Boris Pasternak, Dmitri Kabalevsky, and Kiril Kondrashin.
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September 21, 1959: A reduction for cello and piano of the Cello Concerto no.1 by Dmitri Shostakovich (52) is performed for the first time, at the USSR Composers’ Club, Moscow by Mstislav Rostropovich and the composer. See 4 October 1959.
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October 4, 1959: Cello Concerto no.1 op.107 by Dmitri Shostakovich (53) is performed for the first time, in the Leningrad Philharmonic Bolshoy Hall. See 21 September 1959.
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October 22, 1959: Dmitri Shostakovich (53) and five other Soviet musical luminaries begin a tour of seven American cities as part of a cultural exchange program sponsored by the United States State Department. They will be in US until 21 November.
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November 15, 1959: A television program called “Aaron Copland meets the Soviet Composers” is shown for the first time, over the airwaves of WGBH television in Boston. It is a discussion between Copland (59), Nicholas Slonimsky, five visiting Soviet composers, including Dmitri Shostakovich (53), and the Soviet musicologist Boris Yarustovsky.
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March 25, 1960: The first rehearsal of the Soviet tour of Aaron Copland (59) and Lukas Foss (37) takes place in Bolshoy Hall of Moscow Conservatory. The program is the Symphony no.3 of Aaron Copland, Piano Concerto no.2 of Lukas Foss, the composer as soloist, and Symphony no.9 of Dmitri Shostakovich (53). At the conclusion, Copland presents Shostakovich with honorary membership in the National Institute of Arts and Letters.
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March 26, 1960: Aaron Copland (59) and Lukas Foss (37) again meet with young Soviet composers and hear their music, including the oratorio Nagasaki by Alfred Schnittke (25). In the evening they dine at the home of Dmitri Shostakovich (53). Foss and Dmitri Kabalevsky play a Haydn symphony four-hands on the piano.
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April 9, 1960: Dmitri Shostakovich (53) is elected First Secretary of the new Composers’ Union of the RSFSR.
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May 15, 1960: String Quartet no.7 op.108 by Dmitri Shostakovich (53) is performed for the first time, in Glinka Concert Hall, Leningrad.
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September 21, 1960: The Cello Concerto of Dmitri Shostakovich (53) is given its British premiere in Royal Festival Hall, London. Since Benjamin Britten’s (46) music is also on the program, Britten was invited by Shostakovich to join him in his box. Afterwards, Britten meets the soloist, Mstislav Rostropovich, who pleads with him to write something for cello.
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September 27, 1960: Novorossisk Chimes for orchestra by Dmitri Shostakovich (54) is performed for the first time, at the Flame of Eternal Glory, Heroes Square, Novorossisk. The leaders of the city government asked Shostakovich to select appropriate pieces from the classical repertoire for a tape to be played at the monument. They were astonished and pleased when the composer wrote a work especially for this purpose. The recording is played every hour at the flame.
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October 2, 1960: String Quartet no.8 by Dmitri Shostakovich (54) is performed for the first time, in Glinka Concert Hall, Leningrad. The work is dedicated “to the memory of the victims of fascism and war.”
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November 25, 1960: Khovanshchina, an opera by Modest Musorgsky (†79) to his own words, is performed for the first time in an arrangement completed and orchestrated by Dmitri Shostakovich (54). See 23 May 1959.
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February 22, 1961: Satires, a cycle for voice and piano by Dmitri Shostakovich (54) to words of Chorny (pseud. Glücksberg), is performed for the first time, at Moscow Conservatory Malyi Hall. The audience requires the singer, Galina Vishnevskaya, to repeat the entire cycle twice.
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April 12, 1961: Major Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin becomes the first human to orbit the earth. His one orbit aboard Vostok I takes one hour and 48 minutes, blasting off from Baikonur, Kazakhstan and landing near Smelovka in the Saratov Region. Upon feeling the return of gravity, the cosmonaut sings My homeland hears, my homeland knows where in the skies her son soars on, a melody by Dmitri Shostakovich (54), the first music produced by a human in outer space.
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September 8, 1961: Symphony no.12 “1917” by Dmitri Shostakovich (54) is performed for the first time, in a reduction for two pianos, at the RSFSR Composers’ Union. See 1 October 1961.
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September 14, 1961: Dmitri Shostakovich (54) is confirmed as a full member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union at a meeting at the Union of Composers, Moscow convened for that purpose.
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October 1, 1961: Symphony no.12 “1917” by Dmitri Shostakovich (55) is performed for the first time in its full score, simultaneously in Kuibyshev and Leningrad Philharmonic Bolshoy Hall. Actually, the Leningrad performance takes place two hours after Kuibyshev. See 8 September 1961.
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November 23, 1961: Five Days, Five Nights, a film with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (55), is shown for the first time, in Moscow.
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December 30, 1961: Symphony no.4 op.43 by Dmitri Shostakovich (55) is performed for the first time, at Moscow Conservatory Bolshoy Hall, 25 years after it was composed. The work was scheduled to be performed in 1936 but was cancelled during the “Lady Macbeth” affair. The air in the hall is of great emotion for all present. After hearing his symphony, the composer deems it more interesting than all of his symphonies which followed.
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January 7, 1962: An orchestral suite from the music to the film Five Days, Five Nights by Dmitri Shostakovich (55) is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of Radio Moscow. See 23 November 1961.
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March 18, 1962: Dmitri Shostakovich (55) is elected a deputy to the Supreme Soviet for Leningrad.
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September 26, 1962: Igor Stravinsky (80) makes his first appearance in his homeland since the revolution as he conducts a concert of his own music in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. The audience is filled with many musicians, including Dmitri Shostakovich (56) and Aram Khachaturian (59).
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October 1, 1962: At an evening reception given by the Soviet Minister of Culture, Igor Stravinsky (80) meets with leading Soviet composers including Dmitri Shostakovich (56) and Aram Khachaturian (59). According to Robert Craft, this is “the most extraordinary event of the trip.”
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October 10, 1962: At a dinner at the Metropole in Moscow, Igor Stravinsky (80) is seated near Dmitri Shostakovich (56). The two speak amiably, but not in great depth.
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November 12, 1962: At a festival of his music in Gorky, Dmitri Shostakovich (56) conducts his music in public for the first and only time, in performances of the Festive Overture and the Cello Concerto no.1.
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December 18, 1962: Symphony no.13 “Babi Yar” for bass, male chorus, and orchestra by Dmitri Shostakovich (56) to words of Yevtushenko, is performed for the first time, in Moscow Conservatory Bolshoy Hall. In the afternoon, Party and government officials attend a dress rehearsal. They apply strong pressure on Shostakovich, Yevtushenko, and the conductor, Kiril Kondrashin to cancel the performance. All refuse. At the evening concert, the words, some mildly critical of the government, are not printed in the program and television coverage of the event is cancelled. But there is an overflow crowd which is swept into wild, rhythmic applause at the conclusion of the performance, bringing the composer and poet out for bows several times. When Shostakovich returns home he finds KGB agents outside.
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December 19, 1962: The Communist Party daily Pravda reports yesterday’s premiere of Symphony no.13 by Dmitri Shostakovich (56) in one sentence.
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January 8, 1963: Katerina Izmailova, a “rehabilitation” of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, the opera by Dmitri Shostakovich (56) to words of Preys after Leskov, is performed for the first time, in Moscow. See 26 December 1962.
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October 10, 1963: Overture on Russian and Kirghiz Folksongs op.115 by Dmitri Shostakovich (57) is performed for the first time, in Moscow Conservatory Bolshoy Hall.
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February 19, 1964: From Jewish Folk Poetry op.79a, a cycle arranged for three solo voices and orchestra by the composer, Dmitri Shostakovich (57), is performed for the first time, in Glinka Concert Hall, Leningrad the composer at the keyboard. See 15 January 1955.
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April 24, 1964: Hamlet, a film with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (57), is shown for the first time, in Moscow.
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November 20, 1964: String Quartets nos.9 and 10 by Dmitri Shostakovich (58) are performed for the first time, in Moscow Conservatory Malyi Hall.
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December 28, 1964: The Execution of Stepan Razin op.119, a cantata for solo voice, chorus, and orchestra by Dmitri Shostakovich (58) to words of Yevtushenko, is performed for the first time, in Moscow Conservatory Bolshoy Hall.
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March 24, 1965: A Year is Like a Lifetime, a film with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (54), is shown publicly for the first time, in the Rossiya Cinema, Moscow. There was a screening for the press on 18 March.
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April 26, 1965: Five Fragments for orchestra op.42 by Dmitri Shostakovich (58) is performed for the first time, in Leningrad, 30 years after it was composed.
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March 25, 1966: String Quartet no.11 op.122 by Dmitri Shostakovich (59) is performed for the first time, privately, in a meeting of the USSR Composers’ Club, Moscow. See 28 May 1966.
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April 24, 1966: Six Romances on Japanese Poems for tenor and orchestra by Dmitri Shostakovich (59) is performed for the first time, in Glinka Concert Hall, Leningrad, over thirty years after they were composed.
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May 28, 1966: Two works for voice and piano by Dmitri Shostakovich (59) are performed for the first time, in Glinka Concert Hall, Leningrad the composer at the keyboard: Five Romances on Texts from Krokodil op.121, and Preface to My Collected Works and a Short Reflection Upon this Preface to words of the composer. On the same program is the first public performance of his String Quartet no.11. This is his last performance as a pianist. See 25 March 1966.
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May 29, 1966: After a week of feeling ill, Dmitri Shostakovich (59) suffers a heart attack. He will be hospitalized for two months.
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August 5, 1966: Dmitri Shostakovich (59) is released from hospital in Leningrad after suffering a heart attack on 29 May.
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October 5, 1966: Dmitri Shostakovich (60) is awarded the Order of Lenin.
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July 9, 1967: At the Fifth International Film Festival in Moscow, The Tale of a Priest and His Servant Balda, with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (60), is shown for the first time. Only 50 meters survived the German bombing of the Leningrad Film Studio in 1941.
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September 13, 1967: Violin Concerto no.2 op.129 by Dmitri Shostakovich (60) is performed for the first time, in the Palace of Culture, Bolshevo, near Moscow, by its dedicatee, David Oistrakh. This is a run-through in preparation for the “official” premiere on 26 September.
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September 16, 1967: October op.131, a symphonic poem by Dmitri Shostakovich (60), is performed for the first time, in Moscow Conservatory Bolshoy Hall.
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September 18, 1967: Dmitri Shostakovich (60) fractures his right leg and is hospitalized.
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September 26, 1967: Violin Concerto no.2 op.129 by Dmitri Shostakovich (61) is performed “officially” for the first time, in Bolshoy Hall of Moscow Conservatory, by its dedicatee, David Oistrakh. See 13 September 1967.
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October 23, 1967: Seven Romances on Poems of Alyeksandr Blok op.127 for soprano, violin, cello, and piano by Dmitri Shostakovich (61) is performed for the first time, at Moscow Conservatory, by Galina Vishnevskaya, David Oistrakh, Mstislav Rostropovich, and Moisei Vainberg. The audience requires the entire piece to be encored. The work will be officially premiered on 28 October in Moscow.
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October 24, 1967: Funeral-Triumphal Prelude in Memory of the Heroes of the Battle of Stalingrad op.130 for orchestra and band by Dmitri Shostakovich (61) is performed for the first time, in Moscow.
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June 14, 1968: String Quartet no.12 op.133 by Dmitri Shostakovich (61) is performed for the first time, privately at the USSR Composers’ Club, Moscow. See 14 September 1968.
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September 14, 1968: String Quartet no.12 op.133 by Dmitri Shostakovich (61) is performed publicly for the first time, in Moscow. See 14 June 1968.
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November 5, 1968: Dmitri Shostakovich (62) is awarded the Glinka State Prize for The Execution of Stepan Razin.
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January 8, 1969: Sonata for violin and piano op.134 by Dmitri Shostakovich (62) is performed for the first time, privately before the Union of Soviet Composers in Moscow. See 3 May 1969.
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May 3, 1969: Sonata for violin and piano op.134 by Dmitri Shostakovich (62) is performed publicly for the first time, in Moscow Conservatory Bolshoy Hall by David Oistrakh and Sviatoslav Richter. See 8 January 1969.
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June 21, 1969: Symphony no.14 op.135 for soprano, bass, strings, and percussion by Dmitri Shostakovich (62) to words of Garcia Lorca, Apollinaire, Küchelbecker, and Rilke, is performed for the first time, privately in Moscow Conservatory Malyi Hall. During the performance, musicologist, party functionary, and Shostakovich-tormentor Pavel Ivanovich Apostolov suffers a heart attack. Many Russians take this to be a sign from heaven. See 29 September 1969.
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September 29, 1969: Symphony no.14 op.135 for soprano, bass, strings, and percussion by Dmitri Shostakovich (63) to words of Garcia Lorca, Apollinaire, Küchelbecker, and Rilke, is performed publicly for the first time, in the Hall of the Glinka Academy Choir, Leningrad. It is greeted with a thunderous ovation. The work is dedicated to Benjamin Britten (55). See 21 June 1969.
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January 18, 1970: During the intermission of a performance of My Fair Lady in the Moscow Operetta Theatre, a young Belgian named Viktor van Brantegen handcuffs himself to a balcony railing, shouts support for political dissidents and throws hundreds of leaflets into the audience. The leaflets call on Dmitry Shostakovich (63) to support the release of Major General Pyotr Grigoryevich Grigorenko, a dissident declared insane by the Soviet government, and other dissidents.
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February 27, 1970: Dmitri Shostakovich (63) enters the Kurgan orthopedic clinic in the Urals under the care of Dr. Gavriil Ilizarov to treat a condition diagnosed as poliomyelitis. He will stay until 9 June.
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June 14, 1970: Benjamin Britten (55) conducts the first performance outside the USSR of the Symphony no.14 by Dmitri Shostakovich (63). The symphony is dedicated to the conductor.
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August 27, 1970: For the second time, Dmitri Shostakovich (63) enters the Kurgan orthopedic clinic in the Urals under the care of Dr. Gavriil Ilizarov to treat a condition diagnosed as poliomyelitis. He will stay until 27 October.
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September 18, 1970: Dmitri Shostakovich (63) suffers a second heart attack in Moscow.
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November 9, 1970: Soviet Militia op.139 for band by Dmitri Shostakovich (64) is performed for the first time, in the House of the Soviets’ Hall of Columns, Moscow.
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December 5, 1970: Loyalty op.136 for male chorus by Dmitri Shostakovich (64) to words of Dolmatovsky is performed for the first time, in Estonia Concert Hall, Tallinn.
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December 11, 1970: String Quartet no.13 op.138 by Dmitri Shostakovich (64) is performed for the first time, privately at the USSR Composers’ Club, Moscow. See 13 December 1970.
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December 13, 1970: String Quartet no.13 op.138 by Dmitri Shostakovich (64) is performed publicly for the first time, in Glinka Concert Hall, Leningrad. See 11 December 1970.
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December 30, 1970: Dmitri Shostakovich (64) and Aram Khatchaturian (67) sign a letter along with eight other Soviet intellectuals asking clemency for Angela Davis who is currently on trial in California.
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February 4, 1971: King Lear, a film with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (64), is shown for the first time.
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September 17, 1971: Dmitri Shostakovich (64) suffers a second heart attack, shortly after completing his Symphony no.15.
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October 18, 1971: Ten Russian Folksongs for various groupings of voices and piano by Dmitri Shostakovich (65) are performed for the first time, in Magnitogorsk.
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January 8, 1972: Symphony no.15 op.141 by Dmitri Shostakovich (65) is performed for the first time, in Moscow Conservatory Bolshoy Hall. It is a popular and critical success.
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June 16, 1973: Northwestern University confers an honorary doctorate on Dmitri Shostakovich (66) in Chicago.
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September 3, 1973: Nuclear physicist Andrei Sakharov is officially condemned by the Soviet Union. A letter appears in Pravda signed by twelve prominent Soviet musicians supporting the condemnation. Among the signatories are Dmitri Shostakovich (66) and Aram Khachaturian (70).
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October 30, 1973: String Quartet no.14 op.142 by Dmitri Shostakovich (67) is performed for the first time, privately at the USSR Composers’ Club, Moscow. See 12 November 1973.
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November 12, 1973: Two works by Dmitri Shostakovich (67) are performed for the first time, in Glinka Concert Hall, Leningrad: String Quartet no.14 op.142 (first public) and Six Songs on Poems of Marina Tsvetayeva op.143 for alto and piano.  See 30 October 1973.
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November 30, 1973: Six Romances on Verses by British Poets op.140 for voice and orchestra by Dmitri Shostakovich (67) is performed for the first time, in Moscow Conservatory Bolshoy Hall.
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October 25, 1974: String Quartet no.15 by Dmitri Shostakovich (68) is performed for the first time, privately at the Leningrad Composers’ Club. See 15 November 1974.
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November 15, 1974: String Quartet no.15 by Dmitri Shostakovich (68) is performed publicly for the first time, in Glinka Concert Hall, Leningrad. See 25 October 1974.
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November 16, 1974: Ballet Suite no.1 by Dmitri Shostakovich (68) is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of the BBC, at least 20 years after it was composed.
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December 23, 1974: Suite on Verses of Michelangelo op.145, a cycle for bass and piano by Dmitri Shostakovich (68) to words translated by Efros, is performed for the first time, in Glinka Concert Hall, Leningrad. It is a great success with the public.
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May 10, 1975: Four Verses of Captain Lebyadkin op.146 for bass and piano by Dmitri Shostakovich (68) to words of Dostoyevsky is performed for the first time, in Moscow Conservatory Malyi Hall. This is the composer’s last public appearance.
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July 1, 1975: While at his dacha outside Moscow, Dmitri Shostakovich (68) suffers a severe heart attack and is hospitalized.
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August 1, 1975: Dmitri Shostakovich (68) returns home after a month in the hospital with a heart ailment. He is very weak.
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August 4, 1975: After choking on a peach causing further deterioration of his heart, Dmitri Shostakovich (68) re-enters the Kremlin Hospital.
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August 9, 1975: 18:30 Dmitry Dmitryevich Shostakovich dies in the Kremlin Hospital, Moscow, USSR of lung cancer, aged 68 years, ten months, and 15 days. Although his heart ailment was well known, Shostakovich had kept his cancer secret.
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September 25, 1975: Viola Sonata op.147 by Dmitri Shostakovich (†0) is performed for the first time, privately at his home on what would have been his 69th birthday. See 1 October 1975.
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October 1, 1975: Viola Sonata op.147 by Dmitri Shostakovich (†0) is performed publicly for the first time, in the Glinka Concert Hall, Leningrad. It was his last work, completed a month before his death. See 25 September 1975.
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December 5, 1975: Prelude in Memory of DD Shostakovich (†0) by Alfred Schnittke (41) is performed for the first time, in Moscow.
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January 19, 1976: The Dreamers, a ballet by Dmitri Shostakovich (†0), is performed for the first time, at the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Theatre, Moscow.
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June 23, 1976: Pravda announces that a “magnificent monument” has been erected over Babi Yar with the inscription: “Here in 1941-42 German fascist invaders executed over 100,000 citizens of the city of Kiev and prisoners of war.” The erection of the monument is due to the fantastic popularity of Yevgeny Yevtushenko’s poem Babi Yar which begins “No monument stands over Babi Yar.” The poem was one of five Yevtushenko poems set to music by Dmitri Shostakovich (†0) in his Symphony no.13. The official Soviet monument fails to mention that the vast majority of those murdered at Babi Yar were Jews.
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February 2, 1977: Two Fables by Krylov op.4 for voice and orchestra by Dmitri Shostakovich (†1) are performed for the first time, in Estonia Concert Hall, Tallinn 55 years after they were composed.
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September 18, 1978: The Gamblers, an unfinished opera by Dmitri Shostakovich (†3) after Gogol, is performed for the first time, in Leningrad Philharmonic Bolshoy Hall, 36 years after it was composed.
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October 31, 1979: An autobiography by Dmitri Shostakovich (†4) called Testimony is published in the West. Smuggled out of the Soviet Union, its veracity is (and still is) a matter of fierce debate.
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February 11, 1981: The Big Lightning, an unfinished operetta by Dmitri Shostakovich (†5) to words of Aseyev, is performed for the first time, in Leningrad Conservatory Bolshoy Hall 49 years after it was composed. Also premiered is Shostakovich’s Scherzo in E flat op.7 for orchestra 57 years after it was composed.
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October 9, 1983: Krzysztof Penderecki (49) receives the Sibelius Prize in Helsinki from the Wihuri Foundation. Previous winners include Jean Sibelius (†26), Igor Stravinsky (†12), Paul Hindemith (†19), Dmitri Shostakovich (†8), Olivier Messiaen (74), Witold Lutoslawski (70), and Benjamin Britten (†6).
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October 2, 1984: Two Romances on Verses by Lermontov op.84 for voice and piano by Dmitri Shostakovich (†9) is performed for the first time, in Duisburg, 34 years after they were composed.
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October 24, 1986: Moderato for cello by Dmitri Shostakovich (†11) is performed for the first time, in Hamburg, around 50 years after it was composed.
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January 12, 1989: The Struggle Between the Realistic and Formalistic Trends in Music, a “pedagogical cantata” for four basses, chorus, and piano by Dmitri Shostakovich (†13), is performed for the first time, in the Kennedy Center, Washington approximately 41 years after it was completed.
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September 25, 1989: The first complete performance of The Struggle Between the Realistic and Formalistic Trends in Music, for four basses, speaker, chorus, and piano by Dmitri Shostakovich (†14) takes place in the Bolshoy Hall of the Moscow Conservatory on the 83rd anniversary of the composer’s birth.
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September 1, 2001: Suite on Finnish Themes for two vocalists and chamber ensemble by Dmitri Shostakovich (†26) is performed, apparently for the first time, in Kaustinen, Finland.