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Explore music from a composer oppressed but far from silenced

Queen Elizabeth Hall, London


This is a story of radical resistance and musical brilliance all at once.

Galina Ustvolskaya joined the composition class of Dmitri Shostakovich at Leningrad State Conservatoire in St Petersburg, and immediately won his esteem, with the elder predicting 'world fame'. 

However, the conditions couldn't have been much worse: it was the time of 'Great Terror', the Soviet Union's clamp down on any radical thinkers and artists who veered from the communist line. 

Ustvolskaya, writes Kate Molleson, 'was not the only one having to weigh up the balance between asserting a creative voice and staying alive.' Her teacher was probably the best known musical dissident of the Soviet Union and made a virtue of disguising political dissent as party-line music. 

Explore the extraordinary progressive work of a composer, oppressed but far from silenced by an autocratic regime. 

Galina Ustvolskaya  Symphony No.3 (Jesus Messiah, Save Us!) 
Galina Ustvolskaya  Symphony No.2 (True and Eternal Bliss)

London Sinfonietta

Sound Within Sound is a Southbank Centre festival inspired by the book Sound Within Sound by journalist and BBC Radio 3 broadcaster Kate Molleson. The event series spotlights the lives and works of ten composers from the 20th century whose work has been overlooked in the main classical canon. 

The work of the London Sinfonietta is supported by Arts Council England and the John Ellerman Foundation.
Sound Within Sound: Ustvolskaya is kindly supported by the Garfield Weston Foundation. 


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  • From £20

    Venue: (view map)

    Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre

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