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Modern-day Shostakovich. Marking 110 years since the composer was born


September 25 marks 110 years since Dmitriy Shostakovich’s birthday. The world-famous composer from Leningrad, with a difficult biography. His seventh Symphony became the ray of hope for those who survived the Great Patriotic War. A lot has been sad about his achievements. Our correspondent Alexandra Lee imagined what it would have been like if the composer lived today.


How exactly Shostakovich-the politician, once a deputy of the Supreme Council in two terms, would have agitated to vote for him now - is a matter of debate. But one thing is important- he would have probably taken part in the voting and would've been guaranteed a place in the State Duma. His authority is unquestionable. And he would've definitely devoted himself to solving people’s problems. That's what he was like - the conscious of the nation, toughened in the Soviet times.

Yuriy Temirkanov, artistic director of St. Petersburg’s State Philharmonic: “We could not even sneeze without talking politics. That's why he could not give proper answers to the questions of the era. That's why he was Shostakovich. I can't imagine what he would have been like in other circumstances. If he lived in a decent country, he probably would've made a much less scary music. But he was not living in a decent country.

And he had to endure a lot in the country he lived in. Just like the rhythm of his compositions - Shostakovich was both praised and slapped on the wrist.

He's critique of the policies being not constructive took "Lady Macbeth" off the repertoire of the Mariinskiy Theatre in 1936. Even before that- in 1931- the premiere of the "Bolt" ballet show did not happen. It was replaced by “Don Quixote”. Not the musical images were questioned, but the real ones. Time eventually set the record straight, making characters and the music popular. Meanwhile, young Shostakovich celebrated a successful preshow, as seen on the photo.

Dmitriy Dmitryich in the center, Tatyana Vecheslova is on his hands. In such a light, frivolous pose.

And you cannot describe Shostakovich as frivolous. Both in his life, and in his work. If he lived today, he would have hardly posted a picture like this on Instagram. An unstylish youngster, round glasses of intelligentsia, stern and modest outlook - something almost gone from the younger generation of today.

Oleg Komok, music expert: “He was not a hipster, rather a nerd. He was a poisonous sharp wit, a young show off, while being shy and modest at the same time. Very clever. And probably girls had a hard time talking with him, I think

How would the fate of the formalist, slammed against the wall in 1948, have been today? Would he have accepted this role, just so to avoid becoming an outcast? Would the world have heard his Leningrad symphony, if the city fell during those horrible years of the blockade?

Would he have lived alongside those who considered him as a genius? Could he have imagined that his “Golden Age” - the first ballet taken off the repertoire - would be reincarnated only on his hundredth birthday, and under a different name?

Alexandra Lee, reporter: “Shostakovich loved Dinamo and football in general until the last breath. It's a well-known fact. But the love for that club transformed into love for Zenit. I can only imagine how strong it would've been today. Once Shostakovich received a call regarding a rehearsal at Kamernyi musical theater. His wife picked it up. With a low voice she asked the caller to call back in 20 minutes. Zenit was playing Spartak.

From Dmitry Shostakovich personal notes: "I come in and find out that Zenit has already missed two chances. But then Shelagin scores a beauty into Razumovsky's goal from 15 meters. The ball went into the top corner. After which comes intense attack by Lokomotiv, and Grishenko saves a hundred-percent strike from Kartsev. Passes to Bodrov, Bodrov to Shishaev, Shishaev to Shelagin and he hits an unstoppable low-corner shot from 25 meters.

If he was alive today, the composer would have written the football anthem, which he had been dreaming of for many years. There is no such figure as Shostakovich today. Only after 110 years the world sees his genius. Although there is still hope that a boy like him lives among us.