Date of Award

3-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Thesis

Department

History

First Advisor

James Briscoe

Abstract

Dmitri Shostakovich was one of the few Soviet musicians able to balance his creative perceptions while adhering to the party‟s needs. Through socio-musical trial and error, Shostakovich was able to become an honest, modernist composer in one of the most difficult environments to be a progressive artist. Each of Shostakovich‟s works contain a piece of his emotional and compositional struggle during his life. He was an honest musician because he valued a variety of different opinions and beliefs that circulated throughout the Soviet Era, and his music vividly reflects this wide array of inspirational material. Although it would be short-sighted to refer to Shostakovich as a truly Soviet composer, it would be incorrect to believe him to be a complete anti-Soviet. Unfortunately, much of the scholarly work discussing Shostakovich places him into the extreme of one category or the other, either as a Soviet apologist and political sympathizer or as a Soviet dissident.

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