Shostakovich's parents came from Siberia. His father was a biologist and engineer, and his mother was a pianist. They lived comfortably, although this was to change after the Revolution (1917). Shostakovich studied the piano and composition at the Petrograd Conservatory (St. Petersburg was called Petrograd between 1914 and 1924, after which it became Leningrad until 1991, when it became St. Petersburg again). After his mother died, the family were short of money, so young Dmitri had to earn money by playing the piano in cinemas for silent movies. He worked extremely hard and with a lot of concentration. He was very successful both as a pianist and a composer. His Symphony No. 1 was very popular. His music sounded very modern with lots of dissonant chords. His first dramatic works include an opera called The Nose and a ballet called The Golden Age.
Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich (born St Petersburg, September 25 1906; died Moscow August 9 1975) was a Russian-Soviet composer.
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