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Dmitri Shostakovich – great composer

Dmitri Shostakovich – great composer

Dmitri Shostakovich – great composer

Dmitri Shostakovich was a Russian composer, pianist, public figure, Doctor of Arts, teacher, professor; People’s Artist of the USSR (1954), Hero of Socialist Labor (1966), winner of the Lenin Prize (1958), five Stalin Prizes (1941, 1942, 1946, 1950, 1952), the USSR State Prize (1968).
One of the greatest composers of the XX century is the author of 15 symphonies, six concerts, three operas, three ballets, numerous works of chamber music, music for film and theater productions.
He was one of the outstanding composers of the Soviet Union and perhaps the last great symphonist of music history.
Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich was born on September 12, 1906 in St. Petersburg.
Overnight Shostakovich rose to fame with a rousing performance of his first symphony in 1926. He was seen as a beacon of hope in Soviet music.

Shostakovich was not only a famous composer, but also a remarkable teacher. He worked in the Moscow and Leningrad conservatories and continued to teach music even during the Great Patriotic War. His pupils were composers such as Vadim Bibergan, Revol Bunin, Herman Galynin, Karen Khachaturian and many others.
Dmitri Shostakovich died on August 9, 1975 in Moscow.

Portrait of Mitya Shostakovich by Boris Kustodiev, 1919

Portrait of Mitya Shostakovich by Boris Kustodiev, 1919

Personal life
Nina Shostakovich (nee Varzar) (1909-1954) was his first wife. She was an astrophysicist but gave up a scientific career and devoted herself entirely to the family.
His son, Maxim Shostakovich, was born in 1938. He is a conductor and pianist. The couple also had a daughter, Galina.
Margarita Kaynova, an employee of the Central Committee of the Komsomol, became his second wife. Their marriage was short-lived.
From 1962 to 1975 Irina Antonovna Supinskaya (Shostakovich), an editor of Soviet Composer publishing house, was the wife of Shostakovich.

Nina Shostakovich (Varzar), 1929. Picture by I.V. Varzar

Nina Shostakovich (Varzar), 1929. Picture by I.V. Varzar

Tatiana Glivenko and Dmitry Shostakovich
It is curious that, having an amazing musical talent, the gift of the virtuoso pianist, having achieved fame and recognition, Dmitri Shostakovich was very insecure and shy with women.
The boy was born into a family of a chemist and a pianist. Since childhood he was fascinated by music.
Contemporaries remembered that Mitya was a “skinny boy with thin, pursed lips, with a narrow, slightly hooked nose, wore glasses, and was completely wordless… When he sat at huge piano… skinny boy at the piano turned into a very daring musician …”
At the age of thirteen he fell in love with a ten-year girl Natalia Cuba and dedicated a little foreplay to her. Young Shostakovich thought that the feeling would stay with him for a lifetime and never went away from his romantic and fragile heart. However, the first slowly faded away, but the desire to compose and dedicate his works to his beloveds didn’t leave him.
After studying in a private school, the young man entered the Petrograd Conservatory and successfully graduated from it in 1923. At the same time there was a girl in a composer’s life, whom he loved with a new youthful passion.
Tatiana Glivenko was the same age as Shostakovich, good-looking, well-educated, lively and cheerful. 17-year-old Mitya fell in love with her. In the year of their meeting Dmitry began creating the First Symphony. This musical work was premiered three years later in Leningrad.
The depth of the sentiments expressed by the young composer in the symphony was caused by the onset of the disease, which appeared as a result of sleepless nights and love experiences.
Years passed, but Dmitri avoided speaking about marriage and family. Twenty-eight-year-old Tatiana wanted children and lawful husband. And one day she openly said Dmitry that she was going to marry another suitor. In early 1929 Tatiana married young chemist Berlin. The composer did not even try to stop Tatiana.
However, the composer could not forget Tatiana. He met her in the streets, wrote passionate and enthusiastic letters, talked about love. Three years later he asked Glivenko to leave her husband and marry him, but she did not take the proposal seriously. In addition, she was waiting for the baby. In April 1932, Tatiana gave birth to a son and asked Shostakovich to delete her from his life.
In May of the same year, the composer married young student Nina Varzar. They were together more than twenty years. Nina gave birth to a son and a daughter.
After the death of Nina Shostakovich married two more times: Margaret Kayonova and Irina Supinskaya
Why did not Shostakovich marry his true love Tatiana Glivenko? There was no answer.
Two young persons were not destined to create a strong family unit, but this love inspired him to create the famous First Symphony and Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello, dedicated to Tatiana Glivenko.

Dmitri Shostakovich – great composer