On This Day

Dmitri Shostakovich

Composer Dmitri Shostakovich

Profession: Composer

Soviet Union

Biography: The Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich was one of the most celebrated composers of the 20th Century. He composed a wide range of music but is particularly remembered for his 15 symphonies, concerti and chamber works. He also produced opera, ballets and music for films.

Shostakovich worked under the Russian Soviet regime and while lauded in the Soviet Union he was also subject to various restrictions and controls by the state. In 1934 under Joseph Stalin the composer was criticized and his 4th symphony withdrawn.

While he later returned to favor with his 5th Symphony in 1937, he was once again denounced with other composers for western style formalism in 1948. His reputation and status returned after the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953.

Born: September 25, 1906
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia

Generation: Greatest Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Horse
Star Sign: Libra

Died: August 9, 1975 (aged 68)
Cause of Death: Lung cancer

Married Life

  • 1932-05-13 Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich marries Nina Varsar

Historical Events

  • 1926-05-12 Dmitri Shostakovich's 1st Symphony premieres in Leningrad
  • 1926-12-12 Dmitri Shostakovich's 1st Piano concert premieres in Leningrad
  • 1927-01-09 Dmitri Shostakovich' Octet opus 11 premieres in Moscow
  • 1927-05-05 Dmitri Shostakovich's 1st Symphony premieres in Berlin
  • 1927-12-04 Dmitri Shostakovich's 2nd Symphony premieres in Moscow
  • 1928-11-02 Dmitri Shostakovich's 1st Symphony premieres in US with Leopold Stokowski leading the Philadelphia Orchestra at The Academy of Music, Philadelpha
  • 1929-03-18 Dmitri Shostakovich's "The new Babylon" premieres in Leningrad
  • 1930-01-18 Dmitri Shostakovich's satirical opera "The Nose" premieres in Leningrad
  • 1930-10-26 Dmitri Shostakovich's ballet "Zolotoy Vyek" premieres in Leningrad
  • 1931-04-08 Dmitri Shostakovich's ballet "The Arrow" premieres
  • 1933-05-24 Dmitri Shostakovich's Preludes premieres in Moscow
  • 1934-01-22 Dmitri Shostakovich's opera "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District" debuts in Leningrad
  • 1934-01-24 Dmitri Shostakovich's opera "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District" is performed in Moscow; roundly criticized by the Communist Party, it was banned in the Soviet Union until 1961
  • 1936-01-26 Joseph Stalin views Dmitri Shostakovich's opera "Lady Macbeth" but he and his officials leave early and the play is denounced in state press
  • 1936-01-28 Pravda criticizes Dmitri Shostakovich's opera "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District"
  • 1936-02-06 Pravda criticizes Dmitri Shostakovich's ballet "Clear Brook"
  • 1936-04-26 Dmitri Shostakovich completes his 4th Symphony
  • 1937-11-21 Dmitri Shostakovich's 5th Symphony premieres in Lenningrad, with the ovation lasting over an hour
  • 1938-09-20 Dmitri Shostakovich's Suite for jazz orchestra, premieres
  • 1938-10-10 Premier of Dmitri Shostakovich's 1st String Quartet
  • 1939-05-23 Dmitri Shostakovich appointed professor at conservatory of Leningrad
  • 1939-12-03 Dmitri Shostakovich's 6th Symphony premieres
  • 1941-03-16 Russian composer and pianist Dmitri Shostakovich receives the Stalin Prize
  • 1941-10-01 Dmitri Shostakovich evacuated by plane to Moscow
  • 1941-12-27 Dmitri Shostakovich completes his 7th Symphony in Siberia
  • 1942-03-05 World première of Dmitri Shostakovich' 7th Symphony in Kuybyshev, Russia
  • 1942-06-22 European broadcast première of Dmitri Shostakovich's 7th Symphony in London conducted by Sir Henry J. Wood and the London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • 1942-07-19 US première of Dmitri Shostakovich' 7th Symphony in NYC by the NBC Symphony Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini in a concert broadcast nationwide on NBC radio
  • 1942-07-20 Time puts Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich on its cover
  • 1942-08-09 Dmitri Shostakovich's 7th Symphony, dedicated to city of Leningrad, performed in Leningrad by starving musicians and broadcast to German forces over loudspeakers during siege by Nazi forces
  • 1943-11-03 Dmitri Shostakovich's 8th Symphony premieres in Moscow
  • 1944-04-02 Dmitri Shostakovich's 8th Symphony premieres in NY
  • 1945-08-30 Dmitri Shostakovich completes his 9th Symphony
  • 1945-11-20 Dmitri Shostakovich's 9th Symphony under J Mravinski premieres
  • 1947-02-01 Dmitri Shostakovich named professor at conservatoire of Leningrad
  • 1949-02-15 Dmitri Shostakovich' "Song of the Woods" premieres in Leningrad
  • 1952-01-01 Dmitri Shostakovich completes his 5th string quartet
  • 1952-11-06 Dmitri Shostakovich's cantata "About our Fatherland" premieres
  • 1953-10-25 Dmitri Shostakovich completes his 10th Symphony
  • 1953-11-13 Dmitri Shostakovich's 4th String Quartet premieres
  • 1953-12-03 Premier of Dmitri Shostakovich' 5th String Quartet
  • 1953-12-17 Dmitri Shostakovich's 10th Symphony premieres in Leningrad
  • 1954-01-20 Dmitri Shostakovich's "Concertino opus 94" premieres
  • 1954-12-09 Dmitri Shostakovich appointed honored guest of Royal Swedish Academy of Music
  • 1955-01-15 Dmitri Shostakovich's "From Jewish Folk Poetry" premieres in Leningrad
  • 1956-01-15 Dmitri Shostakovich appointed honorary member of Academia Santa Cecilia
  • 1956-10-06 Dmitri Shostakovich's 6th Iron quartet premieres in Leningrad
  • 1957-02-05 Dmitri Shostakovich completes his 2nd Piano Concert
  • 1957-05-10 Dmitri Shostakovich's 2nd Piano concerto premieres in Moscow
  • 1957-10-30 Dmitri Shostakovich's 11th Symphony premieres in Moscow
  • 1958-01-02 Dmitri Shostakovich' 2nd Piano concert, premieres in NY
  • 1959-01-20 Dmitri Shostakovich's Moscow-Tsjerjomoesjki premieres in Moscow
  • 1959-01-24 Dmitri Shostakovich's comedy "Cheryomushk" premieres in Moscow
  • 1959-10-04 Dmitri Shostakovich's 1st Cello concert premieres in Leningrad
  • 1959-10-24 US premiere of Dmitri Shostakovich's 1st Cello concert
  • 1960-05-15 Dmitri Shostakovich's 7th String quartet premieres in Leningrad
  • 1960-09-14 Dmitri Shostakovich becomes member of Communist Party of USSR
  • 1960-11-02 Dmitri Shostakovich's 8th String quartet premieres in Leningrad
  • 1961-10-01 Premiere of Dmitri Shostakovich's 12nd Symphony
  • 1961-12-30 Premiere of Dmitri Shostakovich's 4th Symphony in Moscow (completed 1936)
  • 1962-03-18 Dmitri Shostakovich becomes member of Supreme Soviet of USSR
  • 1962-07-20 Dmitri Shostakovich completes his 13th Symphony
  • 1962-12-18 Dmitri Shostakovich's 13th Symphony premieres in Moscow
  • 1962-12-26 Dmitri Shostakovich's opera "Katerina Ismailova" premieres in Moscow
  • 1963-01-08 Dmitri Shostakovich' opera "Katharina Ismailova" premieres in Riga
  • 1964-05-28 Dmitri Shostakovich completes his 9th String quartet
  • 1964-07-20 Dmitri Shostakovich completes his 10th String quartet
  • 1964-11-20 Dmitri Shostakovich's 9th/10th String Quartet premieres in Moscow
  • 1964-12-28 Premier of Dmitri Shostakovich's cantata "The Execution of Stepan Razin"
  • 1966-01-30 Dmitri Shostakovich completes his 11th string quartet
  • 1966-04-27 Dmitri Shostakovich completes his 2nd Cello Concert
  • 1966-05-28 Dmitri Shostakovich's 11th String quartet premieres in Leningrad
  • 1966-06-25 Dmitri Shostakovich's 13th Symphony, premieres in Leningrad
  • 1966-09-25 Dmitri Shostakovich's 2nd Cello Concert premieres in Moscow
  • 1967-05-28 Dmitri Shostakovich completes his 2nd Violin concert
  • 1967-09-26 Dmitri Shostakovich's 2nd Violin concert premieres in Moscow
  • 1968-03-11 Dmitri Shostakovich completes his 12nd string quartet
  • 1968-09-14 Dmitri Shostakovich' 12th string quartet, premieres in Moscow
  • 1969-03-02 Dmitri Shostakovich completes his 14th Symphony
  • 1969-06-21 Dmitri Shostakovich's 14th Symphony premieres in Moscow
  • 1972-01-08 Dmitri Shostakovich' 15th Symphony premieres in Moscow
  • 1972-06-01 Dmitri Shostakovich's 15th Symphony, Dutch premieres in West Berlin
  • 1973-11-12 Dmitri Shostakovich's 14th String Quartet premieres
  • 1974-05-17 Dmitri Shostakovich completes his 15th String quartet
  • 1974-10-25 Dmitri Shostakovich' 15th String Quartet premieres in Leningrad
  • 1974-11-05 Dmitri Shostakovich completes Michelangelo songs
  • 1974-12-23 Dmitri Shostakovich' son cycle "Suite on Verses of Michelangelo Buonarroti" premieres in Leningrad
  • 1975-07-06 Dmitri Shostakovich completes Sonate for alto opus 147
  • 1975-08-14 Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich is buried at the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow

Famous Composers