College of Music Program Book 2011-2012: Ensemble & Other Performances, Volume 1 Page: 74
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Dmitry Shostakovich (1906-1975) began piano lessons at the age of nine and later
enrolled at the Petrograd Conservatory where he studied piano and composition. While at
the conservatory he wrote his Symphony No. 1 in F minor, which brought him world-wide
attention. During his early years following graduation in 1923, he wrote music to serve
the political needs of his country. After the period of the "Great Terror" in which many of
Shostakovich's friends and relatives were imprisoned or killed, he responded to the Soviet
government's denunciation by writing his famous Fifth Symphony. He incurred a second
government condemnation in 1948, but privately continued composing a series of serious
works, which surfaced after Stalin's death. Shostakovich composed in a variety of styles
using folk music, humor, altered harmonies, and many other compositional techniques. The
numerous honors he received included: The Order of Lenin, People's Artist of the U.S.S.R.,
Hero of Socialist Labor, honorary membership in the American Institute of the Arts, honorary
doctorate from Oxford University, and doctor of fine arts from Northwestern University.
Finale from Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Opus 47 (1937) is the recognizable fourth
movement from this popular symphony. Shostakovich wrote Symphony No. 5 to celebrate
the twentieth anniversary of the Russian Soviet Socialist Republic. It was first performed
at the Festival of Soviet Music in Leningrad on November 21, 1937, and was met with a
half hour ovation. Previous to this work, Shostakovich had been severely criticized for his
opera, Lady Macbeth, and the success of Symphony No. 5 restored Shostakovich to the good
graces of the Soviet leadership. Included as thematic material is his song "Vozrozhdemejle,"
written in 1937. The text for this song was from a poem by famed Russian poet Alexander
Pushkin and means literally "re-birth."
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University of North Texas. College of Music. College of Music Program Book 2011-2012: Ensemble & Other Performances, Volume 1, book, 2012; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc114723/m1/75/: accessed May 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Music Library.