Shostakovich grave is vandalised

Shostakovich grave is vandalised


norman lebrecht

August 31, 2019

Anna Firstova visited the grave yesterday in Moscow.

She was shocked to find that the musical stave with the letters of the composers name had been prised or hacked off the tombstone at Novodevichy Cemetery.

Here’s the original gravestone:

Anna sent the following pictures of the vandalised tomb to DSCH journal:

Anna at grave.


  • Zelda Macnamara says:

    Yes, this is shocking, but it’s not in St Petersburg. He’s buried in Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow, along with many other Russian authors, musicians, playwrights, poets, actors, political leaders, and scientists. The most recent great musician to be buried there was Hvorostovsky.

  • Sandy says:

    Why would anyone want to do this? Probably none of those of who love music, but more like thugs who think they’re powerful by damaging property, even a grave.

  • ThrownOutOfTheKremlinForSinging says:

    Who would do such a thing? Maybe a violinist in despair after trying to play the first violin concerto?

  • Nick2 says:

    Dreadful vandalism! But surely the grave is in the Novodevichy Convent Cemetery in Moscow! I wonder if any of the other prominent graves of musical figures in the Cemetery – e.g. Rostropovich, Prokofiev and Chaliapin – were similarly vandalised.

  • 32VA says:

    What kind of drong would do this?

  • Ben G. says:

    Strange, I thought his grave was in Moscow. I visited it a

    few years ago in the Novodevichy Cemetery.

    How can there also be one in St.Petersburg? Please explain.

  • SL says:

    Shostakovich was interred in Moscow (in the Novodevichy Cemetery).

  • V.Lind says:

    AP wouldn’t have printed this story! )

  • Manuel Cabrera Manzanares says:

    Otro vandalismo de quienes quieren enterrar a la cultura y a su memoria histórica!

  • Edgar Self says:

    Thanks for reproducing the photos, Norman. If the inscriptions were in metal, say bronze, they could have been stolen for scrap as often happens in cemeteries.

  • Giampaolo says:

    Temo sia la solita, malata mania del fan che si è portato via un memorabilia di dubbio gusto. La madre dei cretini è sempre incinta…

  • Greg Bottini says:

    Shameful and despicable vandalism.
    But the body moulders and turns to dust.
    Grave markers erode and sink into the soil.
    The music lives forever.

  • Zak says:

    Actually, my first thought was not vandalism but perhaps a music lover obsessed with Shostakovich enough to want a piece of him all to themselves.

  • Scott Giles says:

    This is terrible! But luckily there are zillions of pictures of this grave; the missing pieces can be reproduced and the monument restored.

  • Matthew B Tepper says:

    Maybe it was the ghost of the guy who died at the premiere of the 14th Symphony.

  • Herbert von Solti says:

    I mean this was obviously recent right? My immediate first thought….after my outrage….was…old hardliner Stalinist Commies? Are there any at all left?? The man deserved a tomb with all the trimmings as a hero to all Russians who craved freedom in their art. The man suffered so much in life——leave him the F alone in death! I hope that his grave can be fixed. Would the city of Moscow pay for it? Are any of Shosty’s descendants still around?

  • J. Paradis says:

    Probably not a political or critical motive but merely theft of a copper or bronze marker, pried off and sold for scrap. It’s a common problem at burial sites and other public places these days where people routinely steal markers, urns, and other material for the scrap value of the metal. No less shocking but all too big a problem in society these days. Where I live people routinely “recycle” manhole covers and access ports and any other big piece of metal they can get their hands on.

  • jose Figueroa Casas says:

    I was at his tomb in October and they are again in his tomb.