What made Dmitri Shostakovich unique?

Shostakovich Benedetti

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Classical Music, Sunday 3 July 9pm. Catherine Bott is joined by Nicola Benedetti to discuss a 20th century giant.

Tonight, Catherine explores the music of one of the last century’s greatest composers, in the company of a very special guest, violinist Nicola Benedetti. They’ll ask together: “What made Dmitri Shostakovich unique?”

Shostakovich could turn his hand to writing anything his Soviet masters wanted, but the music that his heart told him to write was always getting him into big trouble. He was a complex and sensitive man, and a lot of his work is deeply personal, soul-searching.

Nicola Benedetti has just recorded his first Violin Concerto, and she talks about what his music means to her. She also includes a concerto by Shostakovich’s teacher, Glazunov, which we will also be hearing tonight.

WATCH: Nicola Benedetti thinks you need the Glazunov Violin Concerto in your life - and is here to tell you why >

A passionate advocate for music education, Nicola believes that Shostakovich’s String Quartet No.8 is a piece that all schoolchildren should become familiar with. Catherine plays that tonight, along with the full range of Shostakovich’s myriad moods.