On view at Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis, Minnesota – October 13 – 14, 2023

On view at The Museum of Russian Art October 21 – November 26, 2023

The Museum of Russian Art presents this exhibition in conjunction with the performance of Dmitry Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony at Orchestra Hall October 13 – 14, 2023. Drawing upon TMORA’s unique collections, the display features artifacts from the 1930s, providing a historical backdrop for the creation and performance of the Symphony in 1936–1937.

A rare piece on display is the 1937 Soviet Art newspaper with Dmitry Kabalevsky’s review of Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony.  The Fifth was composed in 1937, shortly after the harsh governmental criticism of Shostakovich’s earlier works that put him on the verge of destruction. 1937 was the worst year of Stalinist repressions that destroyed the lives of many, including some of Shostakovich’s friends and relatives.

 “What lesson did Shostakovich learn from the Pravda articles?” asks Kabalevsky in this review, and then condescendingly admits, “Shostakovich has demonstrated that he is capable of recognizing his erroneous formalist ways . … He has overcome the temptations … he pulled himself together … and resisted being lured into the trap of formalism.”        

1937 USSR Postage Stamp:
Soviet Flag on the North Pole
Collection of The Museum of Russian Art
1937 USSR Postage Stamp
USSR Pavilion at the 1937 World Expo, Paris
Collection of The Museum of Russian Art

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