Tag Archives: Shostakovich

Shostakovich, shrapnel, and chronic poliomyelitis

Michael Yafi Houston Texas, United States   Illustration by Elena Toponogova Pianist, London, U.K The life of Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) has fascinated artists, musicologists, and physicians who have tried to make a connection between his medical history and musical repertoire. Having once said, “When I hear about someone else’s pain, I feel pain too,” Shostakovich […]

Shostakovich and his mysterious neurologic disease

For most of his life Dmitri Shostakovich lived under the shadow of Joseph Stalin, the brutal dictator of the Soviet Union. In 1936, Stalin and some members of the Politburo attended a performance of Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. Stalin did not like it. The next day, the opera was criticized, denounced, and ridiculed in […]