Dmitri Shostakovich (September 25 1906–August 9, 1975) was a Russian composer of the Soviet period. He is considered to be one of the great 20th century composers and his music is widely played.
Living through a turbulent time of Revolutions, Wars and State Oppression, his music expresses the highs and lows of his both his own life, and those of his fellow countrymen. During his adult life, his truefull portrayal of Soviet life and the oppression faced by soviet citizens led him to come to conflict with the Stalinist regime
Shostakovich wrote 15 Symphonies. The 5th and the 10th are often considered the pick of the bunch. ...
For Shostakovich, the genre of the string quartet was as important a form as the symphony. It should be no supprise then to hear that he wrote 15 of them which include some of his best work. Favourites include the 3rd, 5th, 8th and the 11th
The composer wrote much film music, mainly to please the authorities (Stalin was supposedly a fan of such works). Some have criticised the composer for writing the scores for films which glorify Stalin and the bureaucracy, but for Shostakovich it was a way of getting food on the table and deflecting attention away from his more important works such as his symphonies, which defied the wishes of the Stalinist leadership with their bleak themes, sadness and failure to project a positive uplifting view of life in the Soviet Union.