A worthy highlight of the 2013 White Nights Festival, Russia's Atrium Quartet performs the complete cycle of the 15 Shostakovich String Quartets. And while his symphonies represented his public persona and often conflicted relationship with the Soviet authorities, it was in Dimitri Shostakovich's fifteen string quartets that he was able to express his innermost thoughts and feelings.
Composed over a period of more than three decades from his early thirties to his penultimate year, the quartets therfore document the Soviet composer's creative life. More uniform than the symphonies, by virtue of their consistent scoring, and more private, the quartets have been generally understood as autobiographical – and indeed, Shostakovich (b. 1906 - d. 1975) made this explicit in the case of his Eighth Quartet (1960), in which he made frequent use of his musical monogram D–S–C–H (i.e. D–E flat–C–B) and quoted from several of his own works.
27 May Shostakovich: String Quartets Nos 1, 3, 4, 10, 12
28 May Shostakovich: String Quartets Nos 2, 5, 7, 9, 13
29 May Shostakovich: String Quartets Nos 6, 8, 11, 14, 15
Alexei Naumenko, violin
Anton Ilyunin, violin
Dmitry Pitulko, viola
Anna Gorelova, cello
Mariinsky Theatre Website
Detailed schedule information: