Of all the strange elements in Dmitri Shostakovich's biography, perhaps the most jarring is the biographer's explanation of what the Soviet Union was; to the older citizen, how can there be any confusion regarding the definition of the USSR? The possibility of a younger generation not recognizing the Soviet Union begs the question: Will any of them know who Shostakovich himself was? His life parallels his homeland chronologically, just as his music echoed the Soviet Union's existence. Alternately exalted and stifled by his government for being a patriot and a dissonant element, Shostakovich is truly the Soviet composer of the twentieth century. Pianist Alla Voskoboynikova celebrates the centennial of his birth with a free performance of "Cello and Piano Sonata, Op. 40" and "Seven Romances on Poems by Alexander Blok" at 7:30 p.m. at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus (1 University Drive at Natural Bridge Road; 314-516-4198).
Mon., April 24