August’s composer of the month is Dmitri Shostakovich.
Born: September 25, 1906
Died: August 9, 1975
• Shostakovich was a huge soccer fan. He was even a certified referee.
• His String Quartet No. 8 (later arranged into the Chamber Symphony) was written over the span of just three days.
• According to his daughter, the composer was a perfectionist and "obsessed with cleanliness." He would send cards to himself to test the efficiency of the postal service, and synchronized all the clocks in his apartment.
• Shostakovich got himself in trouble with his opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District. He was made an 'Enemy of the People' and the opera was described as "coarse, primitive and vulgar."
• He was also regarded as a great film composer, writing music for 36 films (including The Golden Mountains).
Three important works:
• Twenty-Four Preludes and Fugues (1932-33)
• String Quartet No. 8 (1960)
• Symphony No. 9 in E-flat major (1964)
Audio Backpack playlist: Dmitri Shostakovich