Fun Facts

  • Shostakovich's musical education began at age nine, with piano lessons from his mother.

  • Though Shostakovich and his wife Nina divorced, they soon remarried.

  • Under the thumb of Stalin's regime, Shostakovich's withdrawal of his Fourth Symphony may have saved his life.

  • Shostakovich is especially famous for his fifteen symphonies.

  • A certified soccer referee, Shostakovich loved to watch his favorite club play.

  • Shostakovich's Festive Overture was used as the theme music for the 1980 Summer Olympics.

  • Shostakovich's Eighth String Quartet contains his musical monogram, in honor of himself.

  • Shostakovich composed scores for thirty-six films.

  • As a young man, Shostakovich played the piano in theaters for silent films.

  • Although Shostakovich's opera, Lady Macbeth, was fairly successful, after being denounced by Stalin it was condemned and withdrawn.

  • A peninsula in Antarctica is named after Shostakovich.

  • Nervous and fragile, Shostakovich was obsessed with cleanliness, kept all his clocks synchronized, and sent cards to himself to make sure the postal service was working.

  • Much of Shostakovich's career was dominated by the communist dictatorship in Soviet Russia. 

More Resources

Fun Facts

Check out our collection of interesting and (some) little known facts about Shostakovich.