Shostakovich is one of the most celebrated and controversial composers of the twentieth century. What are we to make of his alienation from the younger generation of musicians, writers and artists who spoke out against the oppression of Stalin’s regime? This alienation reached a peak when a letter publicly denouncing the eminent scientist Andrei Sakharov was published in Pravda over the signatures of a dozen major cultural figures including that of D. Shostakovich.
Wendy Lesser has written a critically acclaimed book that weaves together interviews with the composer's friends, family and colleagues as well as musicians who have played the quartets. For a portrait of the man and the music this event is not to be missed.
The Arthur-Leblanc Quartet is widely recognized as one of Canada's finest string ensembles, recently making their debut at Carnegie Hall. As of September 2005, the QAL proudly assumed the role of quartet-in-residence at the Université Laval in Quebec City and is just about to release the first-ever Canadian recording of the complete Shostakovich quartets.
Wendy Lesser appears with support from the Embassy of the United States of America