Great Composer Quiz – June 25, 2020

This time, it’s a Quiz born of an inner compulsion. This Great Composer is said to have been an obsessive individual. He was obsessed with cleanliness, according to his daughter. Clean, clean, all the time cleaning. He synchronized all the clocks in their home. He routinely sent cards to himself in the mail to see if the postal service was still working like it should. Friends often described him as fragile and nervous. But other times, he enjoyed sports, and was even a qualified football referee. So who was this clean and fragile man in the soccer pants, this Great Composer?

Shostakovich demonstrating to his son Maxim how to save a goal.

Time’s up, pencils down, the clean freak, nervous and frail Great Composer who ran the pitch as a referee. The answer is Dmitri Shostakovich, a lifelong fan of the Leningrad Football Club who saved stats and newspaper clippings of his favorite teams and frequently attended games. At 22, Shostakovich even wrote a football ballet, The Golden Age, which premiered in 1930, was banned by the Soviet government the next year, and did not receive a revival until five years after the composer’s death.


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