Program Notes: Shostakovich to the New World

Piano Concerto No 2 Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) Shortly after Stalin’s death a large number of intellectuals, including Shostakovich, were ‘rehabilitated’ by the new Soviet regime. This was a short period, 1953-1960, of relative prosperity and security for Shostakovich. In 1957 he wrote the Piano Concerto No. 2. It was written for his son Maxim’s 19th birthday. Maxim premiered the work at his graduation from the Moscow Conservatory. Fellow composer Edison Devisov wrote that the work had no redeeming artistic merit. Other critics however praised it for its “charming simplicity, carefree spirit and lyrical warmth”. Unlike many of his other works that can be angst-ridden and serious, the P

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