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QCSO Film Screening with Mark Russell Smith
October 25, 2019 @ 7:00 pm CDT
Join the QCSO and Maestro Mark Russell Smith for a screening of the 2016 Documentary Leningrad & the Orchestra that Defied Hitler, which tells the story of the remarkable performance of Shostakovich’s 7th Symphony, featured on Masterworks II: Conflict, at the Philharmonic Hall in Leningrad in 1942 in the midst of the siege of the city. Before the film, the Maestro will present on this historic Symphony.
Additional Event Information
John Deere Auditorium at the Figge Art Museum
(Doors open at 6:30 pm)
Free and Open to the Public
Space is limited and is available on a first-come-first-serve basis.
In August 1942, a concert took place in Leningrad that defies belief. A year earlier, the Germans had begun the deadliest siege in history which would kill three-quarters of a million civilians. In the midst of the terror, a group of starving musicians assembled to perform Shostakovich’s 7th Symphony in what would become a defiant moment in the city’s ultimate survival. Historian Amanda Vickery and BBC Radio 3 presenter Tom Service reveal the extraordinary story of the triumph of the human spirit over unspeakable terror. Amanda shows how Leningrad was simultaneously persecuted by Stalin and Hitler, the ‘twin monsters’ of the 20th century. Meeting with siege survivors and uncovering diaries and photographs, she reveals the reality of life in Leningrad as it literally starved to death. Meanwhile, Tom explores the thin line walked by Dmitri Shostakovich as the composer came perilously close to becoming a victim of Stalin’s paranoia, and reveals how, as Leningrad starved, his 7th Symphony was performed around the world, uniting audiences against a common enemy before finally returning to the city. Shot entirely on location in St Petersburg, the story is interwoven with excerpts of the symphony performed by the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra conducted by Maxim Shostakovich, the composer’s son.
This program is made possible by anonymous lead and supporting sponsorships.
Mark Russell Smith