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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad

Young Adult Non-Fiction

VG/A  Anderson, M.T.  Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad.  Candlewick, 2015.  464p.  978-0-7636-6818-1.  24.99

M.T. Anderson’s first foray into young adult non-fiction is a love story to the city of Leningrad, just like the Shostakovich symphony that he writes about. World famous composer, Dmitri Shostakovich was born in St. Petersburg, Russia at a time of great turmoil in the country. After the Tsar was overthrown, it wasn’t long before the country was taken over by Lenin and Communism. While the book covers Shostakovich’s entire life, the focus is during World War II, when the city of Leningrad was under siege for 872 days. During the siege, Shostakovich wrote his Seventh Symphony for the city of Leningrad and miraculously it was performed in Leningrad even though the musicians were literally starving to death. His symphony performance was a turning point for the Russians, it was symbolic of their patriotism and spirit of survival. A fascinating read for history buffs and/or music lovers. Loren Spector, LAPL, Memorial Branch

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