Shostakovich and Armenia: In-person talk by Dr Tara Wilson

Shostakovich and Armenia: In-person talk by Dr Tara Wilson

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Society For Co-operation In Russian & Soviet Studies Ltd

320 Brixton Road



United Kingdom

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Dmitri Shostakovich and Armenia: In-person talk by Dr Tara Wilson

About this event

Shostakovich and Armenia

The composer Dmitri Shostakovich made a number of visits to Armenia during the Sixties, staying not only in the capital city of Yerevan but also in the Soviet Composers’ Resort in Dilijan, in the Tavush Province in Northern Armenia, where he was resident on several occasions.

Attending musical premieres and making official engagements during these visits, including being present at the Armenian premiere (and first Russian language version) of Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex, he was also a regular guest at the home of the renowned Armenian artist, Martiros Sarian (1880 – 1972): Shostakovich having been the subject of what is now an internationally acclaimed Sarian artwork, painted in 1963. Of particular note is the friendship and correspondence between Shostakovich and Sarian’s son, Ghazaros (Russian: Lazar) Sarian (1920 – 1998); Ghazaros having been Shostakovich’s composition student at the Moscow Conservatoire during the Forties.

Writing in an easily recognizable Soviet-Armenian idiom, his style bears traces of Shostakovich’s influence, with there also being a number of parallels between Shostakovich’s later works and the more mature output of this Armenian composer.

Using a range of first and secondary sources, many of which are privately owned by the M. Sarian House-Museum in Yerevan, this lecture seeks to build a picture of Shostakovich’s association with Armenia. With 2020 being the centenary of Ghazaros Sarian’s birth, it also seeks to examine the influence of Shostakovich upon his compositional development.

Dr Tara Wilson is a British musicologist, having completed a PhD on Russian minimalist music at the Centre for Russian Music, Goldsmiths, University of London in 2015. Her research specialisms include Russian and Post-Soviet music, minimalist music, as well as theory and analysis, notably in relation to post-structuralist methods and music semiotics. Having carried out post-doctoral research in Moscow, she is the author of several publications in the UK, Europe and Russia. Contact E-mail:

This talk has been jointly organised by the SCRSS and DSCH Journal.

See and for more information about both organisations.

The photo of Dmitri Shostakovich above is from the SCRSS archive.

The painting of Dmitri Shostakovich below is by renowned Armenian artist, Martiros Sarian (1880 – 1972)

Shostakovich and Armenia: In-person talk by Dr Tara Wilson image