Moscow has a statue to Khachaturian, none to Shostakovich

The great composer still causes mixed feelings among Russia’s rulers. Dmitri Shostakovich has a monument in his home town, St Petersburg (pictured), but none in the national capital, where he also lived. Moves are afoot to remedy that imbalance. Khachaturian himself would have been ashamed.

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    • Not a bad joke. But if you ever had to play for him when he conducted, he was no chicken, he was a tough cat and expected results.

  • Is a statue a fitting memorial for a composer?

    I’m not sure we have many composer statues in the US. There is one for Ellington and Sousa, a bust for Copland and Herbert, nothing for Gershwin…

  • Full marks to the Russians for their choice of music during the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics in Sochi. There was music by Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky (very effective), Khachaturian etc, but was there anything by Shostakovich? If so I must have missed it!

  • If you want to talk about another kind of memorial, in my two years in Moscow I must say I didn’t hear a lot of Shostakovich, either. Heard Gergiev conduct #7 and 10, Fedoseyev in #8, and just missed Rozhdestvensky in #4. And PC #1 with Matsuev. Also heard “The Song of the Forest,” one of his more “patriotic” ventures, and saw Lady MacBeth. But I think I heard more Mahler.

  • The Khachaturian statue is in the garden in front of Moscow’s House of Composers. Shostakovich has, instead, a greater basrelief fixed on the wall near the same house’s entrance. The Khachaturian statue is, actually, controversial and the family does not like it. It should have been finished in 2003, but this happened much later. The offcial centenary “inauguration” took place in front of an alibi-like, inscripted marble pedestal, which was later replaced by the bigger monument about 20 meters away. I have taken pictures of both, in case one needs…

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