Shostakovich: The Quartets in Context

FEBRUARY 21-22, 2011

Symposium program 


Morning: Conference begins at the Levis Faculty Center, 3rd Floor

1:30 P.M. Welcome and introductory remarks: Abbas Benmamoun (Director of the School of Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics)

1:45-2:45 P.M. 1st keynote: Simon Morrison, Princeton University, "Ghosts"

3:00-6:15 P.M. Panel: Shostakovich and his Cultural and Musical Context

Sheila Fitzpatrick, University of Chicago: "Who Calls the Tune? Music and Politics in the Soviet Union in Stalin's Time"

Katerina Clark, Yale University: "Early and Late Shostakovich; Responses to radically different Cultural Contexts"

Rebecca Mitchell, University of Illinois: "Music after Babi Yar: Dmitrii Shostakovich and the Jewish voice"

Richard Tempest, University of Illlinois: "Shostakovich and Solzhenitsyn"

Leah Goldman, University of Chicago: "Shostakovich's (Non)Appearances in the Composers' Union's Consultative Sections in the First Postwar Decade"

8-9:30 P.M. 2nd Keynote address, by Laurel Fay, Independent Scholar: "Thinking about Shostakovich" 

(Introduced by Prof. David Sansone, Classics [emeritus]), Levis Faculty Center, 3rd Floor


Morning events at Levis Faculty Center, 2nd Floor

9 A.M.-12:00 noon Panel: Shostakovich's Adaptations of Others, Adaptations by Others, and Reception History

Carl Niekerk, University of Illinois: "Texts, Images and Bodies in Martin Kušej's Staging of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (Amsterdam, 2006)"

Rosina Neginsky, University of Illinois at Springfield: "Shostakovich: Music and Literature"

Henry Fogel, Roosevelt University: "Shostakovich’s Gradual Entry into the Canon"

Robert Tierney, University of Illinois: "Shostakovich in Cold War Japan"

Gerard McBurney, Chicago Symphony Orchestra: '"An angry ape...': some preliminary thoughts about Orango")

Afternoon events at Levis Faculty Center, 3rd Floor

1:15-3:15. Panel: Focusing on the Quartets

Wendy Lesser, author & critic, editor of The Threepenny Review: "Different Kinds of Silence"

Judith Kuhn, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee: "'In its mood it is joyful, cheerful, lyrical’: How Shostakovich Spun His Quartets and Shaped Their Reception"

William Hussey, Roosevelt University: "Brothers Under the Skin:  Shostakovich's Thirteenth Quartet, King Lear and the Fourteenth Symphony"

Gilbert Rappaport, University of Texas at Austin, "'Seryozha dearest ...': The Fourteenth Quartet"

3:15-3:30 Coffee Break

3:30-4:45 Discussion forum with Pacifica Quartet performers

moderated by Henry Fogel of Roosevelt University.

Evening events at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

6:15-7:15 P.M. Pre-performance Keynote Address, Richard Taruskin, U of California at Berkeley

"Shostakovich: Some Post-Centennial Reflections"

(Introduction by Ruth Watkins, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences)

7:30 P.M. Pacifica Quartet Concert: Quartets 11, 13, 14 & 15

(tickets required)



*Link to symposium poster.

*Film screenings of, and short talks on: 

  • Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk

                        Tues. Feb. 8, 7 p.m., in Chemistry Annex 112.
                        Introduced by Matthew Sutton, Ph.D. student in Slavic Languages and Literatures.

This is a TV production of live performance from Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, 2008, conductor James Conlon, stage director is Lev Dodin, with roles of Boris Timofeyevich sung by Vladimir Vaneev, Zinoviy Borisovich sung by Vsevolod Grivnov, and Katerina Lvovna sung by Jeanne-Michele Charbonnet (copyright 2008 RAI Trade) 

  • Beyond the Score, on Shostakovich's 4th Symphony

                         Introduced by Prof. Carl Niekerk, Dept. of German
                         Thursday, February 17 at 4 p.m., Bevier Hall 242.

Designed not only for classical music aficionados, but also for newcomers looking to delve deeper into the world of classical music, the first half of each Beyond the Score® program offers a multimedia examination of the selected score-its context in history, how it fits into the composer's output of works, the details of a composer's life that influenced its creation-sharing the illuminating stories found "inside" the music. Written and created by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's creative director, and Shostakovich symposium participant Gerard McBurney.

*Preconcert talks on Shostakovich and his Quartets, at Krannert Center prior to the performances of the Pacifica Quartet:

  • December 7, Rebecca Mitchell (Ph.D. student in History, University of Illinois):

            "Between the Personal and the Political: Shostakovich's String Quartets"

  • January 27, Leah Goldman (Ph.D. student in History, University of Chicago):

            "Tuning Up, Scaling Down: Expression in Shostakovich’s Late Quartets"

This conference and the allied events are made possible by generous support from the following University of Illinois units: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities; the School of Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics; Krannert Center for the Performing Arts; the Russian, East European and Eurasian Center; the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures (the Anne M. Vekich Endowment Fund); the European Union Center; the Department of German Languages and Literatures; the Program on Jewish Culture and Society; the Program in Comparative and World Literature; and the School of Music.