Soviet-Russian composer and piano virtuoso Dmitri Shostakovich died on this day in 1975, aged 68.
One of the prominent figures of 20th-century Western art music, his output includes 15 symphonies, 15 string quartets, six concerti, a piano quintet, two piano trios, and two string octets.
He is remembered for his complex relationship with the Soviet Union during a time when Stalin and Soviet officials denounced art — including Shostakovich's — that they deemed unaligned with their national vision.
During his lifetime, Shostakovich wrote music in implicit protest of Soviet rule as well as intensely nationalistic works and navigating a double life between an artist under Stalin and a private composer of tragic, defiant, and often death-obsessed music.
He died from lung cancer and is buried in the Novodevichy Cemetery, in Moscow.
VADIM REPIN | SHOSTAKOVICH VIOLIN CONCERTO NO. 1 IN A MINOR | PAAVO JÄRVI & ORCHESTRE DE PARIS
Shostakovich: Symphony Nos. 5 & 9
New York Philharmonic
Release Date: September 21, 1999