It was the 9th of August 1975 - 43 years ago- when one of the 20th century's giants of music died. He was Dmitri Shostakovich, the great Soviet composer and pianist who left his indelible mark on Russian and international culture.
Born in Saint Petersburg in 1906, Shostakovich was a child of the Great October Socialist Revolution of 1917 from which he was deeply inspired. Throughout his life, he set his talent in the service of the people who were building the socialist society. For that he received numerous awards and decorations, both in the Soviet Union and abroad.
Shostakovich was the first musician who was awarded the Hero of the Socialist Labour honorary title, while he received the Order of Lenin three times (1946, 1956, 1966).
His orchestral works include 15 symphonies, as well as music for opera, ballet, theatre and cinema. He is rightly regarded as one of the Soviet Union's most significant composers who successfuly combined the music legacy of Europe's prominent composers (Beethoven, Bach, Mussorgsky) with Russia's folk tradition.