Year     Shostakovich: Life And Works      Contemporary Soviet Music           Contemporary Soviet Culture       Contemporary Soviet Life            
                                                                                                                                                     
1906     September 25: Born in St                                                                                                                    
         Petersburg.                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                     
1915     8-9. First piano lessons.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                     
1916     9-10. Joins Gliasser's class.                                                                                                               
         The Soldier (Ode To Liberty)                                                                                                                
         for pf (not written down).                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                                     
1917     10-11. Bored by Gliasser's        Prokofiev: Symphony No. 1           February: Bogdanov founds         February: workers' protests lead    
         pedantic approach, studies with   (Classical)                         Proletkult with main base in      to creation of Provisional          
         Rozanova at her house on the                                          Moscow. November: Lunacharsky     Government under Kerensky in        
         Fontanka. Gives first recital                                         made Commissar for                Petrograd. March: Tsar abdicates.   
         at Stoyunina's grammar school.                                        Enlightenment. Mandelstam         October 21-25: Bolshevik coup.      
                                                                               publishes poem supporting         December 7: formation of the        
                                                                               Kerensky and calling Lenin        Cheka, Lenin's secret police.       
                                                                               'October's upstart'. Press        Winter: unrestrained anarchy in     
                                                                               censorship introduced.            the cities - many killed.           
                                                                                                                                                     
1918     11-12. Playing for family         Myaskovsky: Symphonies Nos. 4       May: Mayakovsky demands           January: Lenin orders summary       
         friends. Fedin (hearing him at    and 5                               abolition of libraries,           shooting of 'bourgeois              
         Grekov's): 'The bony boy is                                           theatres, and galleries. July     recalcitrants'. January 5: 50,000   
         transformed at the piano into a                                       16: Lenin suppresses Gorky's      students, civil servants, and       
         bold musician with a man's                                            journal New Life for              middle-class professionals march    
         strength and arresting rhythmic                                       criticising the Bolsheviks. All   towards Petrograd's Tauride         
         drive'. Early works: The                                              non-Party papers and              Palace, protesting Lenin's          
         Gipsies (opera) and Rusalochka                                        periodicals banned. December      announced plans to dissolve the     
         (ballet), both destroyed in                                           11: birth of Solzhenitsyn.        democratically elected              
         1926. January: according to                                           Blok: The Twelve (poem)           Constituent Assembly. Red troops    
         Boris Lossky, S's Funeral March                                                                         machine-gun them. March:            
         For the Victims of the                                                                                  Brest-Litovsk peace treaty.         
         Revolution for pf (not written                                                                          April: Civil War breaks out.        
         down) is 'probably' composed in                                                                         June: first concentration camps.    
         memory of those killed by Red                                                                           July: general collapse of           
         troops during the protest march                                                                         industry. Tsar and family           
         of 5th January (see col. 4).                                                                            executed in Ekaterinburg. Allied    
                                                                                                                 military intervention commences.    
                                                                                                                 August 31: attempt on Lenin's       
                                                                                                                 life provokes Red Terror; Cheka     
                                                                                                                 sets out 'to exterminate the        
                                                                                                                 bourgeoisie'.                       
                                                                                                                                                     
1919     12-13. Accepted full-time at      Golyshev: 'Anti-Symphony'           March: 'war against               War Communism brings food and       
         Conservatoire (pf under           Lyatoshinsky: Symphony No. 1        superstition'. Churches sacked    fuel shortages. Cities              
         Nikolayev). Summer: privately                                         and closed. November: programme   depopulate. Spring: Tambov          
         coached by Petrov in                                                  of 'social  prophylaxis' brings   Rebellion begins. March:            
         composition. Autumn: accepted                                         mass-arrests of intelligentsia    foundation of Communist             
         into Steinberg's composition                                          in Petrograd.   Ehrenburg:        International (Comintern).          
         class. Winter: Scherzo for                                            Julio Jurenito (novel)            Summer: peasant revolts all over    
         orchestra in F sharp minor,                                                                             Russia. Genocidal suppression of    
         Op.1 (ded.: Steinberg).                                                                                 Don Cossack uprising. Autumn: Red   
                                                                                                                 Army victorious on all fronts.      
                                                                                                                 Liquidation of the Cadets.          
                                                                                                                                                     
1920     13-14. Spring: 8 Preludes,        Roslavets: Quartet No. 3            Meyerhold Theatre opens in        January: Entente blockade lifted.   
         Op.2. (1st ded.: Kustodiev,       Myaskovsky: Piano Sonata No. 3      Moscow. November 7: Yevreinov's   April 23: Lenin's 50th birthday     
         2nd-5th ded.: sister Maria,                                           Storming of the Winter Palace     marks beginning of his cult.        
         6th-8th ded.: Natasha Kuba,                                           (spectacle). December: Lenin      April-October: war with Poland.     
         first girlfriend). Glazunov                                           bans Proletkult.  Zamyatin: We    November: Civil War ends. Peasant   
         awards S. grant from Borodin                                          (novel, unpublished)              War continues. Ten million have     
         Fund for student composers. May                                       Mayakovsky: 150 Million (poem)    died since 1918.                    
         8: portrait painted by Boris                                          Akhmatova: Anno Domini MCMXI                                          
         Kustodiev.                                                            (poems) Esenin: Mass for the                                          
                                                                               Dead (poem)                                                           
                                                                                                                                                     
1921     14-15. Suffers malnutrition.      Shcherbachov: Inventions (suite)    Zamyatin and Malevich complain    January: bread ration reduced.      
         Glazunov requests extra rations   Myaskovsky: Verses by Blok          of restrictions. Gorky goes       Riots and strikes. Mass-arrests     
         for S. from Lunacharsky. 2                                            abroad. Voronsky deputed to       follow. February: martial law in    
         Krylov Fables for mezzo and                                           humour Fellow Travellers.         Petrograd. March: Kronstadt         
         orchestra, Op.4. Orchestrates                                         Serapion Brothers form. August    Uprising and Tambov Rebellion put   
         Rimsky-Korsakov's I Waited For                                        7: Blok dies, disillusioned       down by Tukhachevsky. Peasant War   
         Thee In A Grotto. Winter:                                             with the Revolution. August:      ends. Left Opposition liquidated.   
         begins Op.3.                                                          Akhmatova's husband, poet         Lenin decrees New Economic Policy   
                                                                               Nikolai Gumilev, shot for         (NEP) at Tenth Party Congress.      
                                                                               alleged involvement in            Summer-Winter: famine kills five    
                                                                               Kronstadt Uprising.  Pilnyak:     million.                            
                                                                               St Petersburg (novel)                                                 
                                                                                                                                                     
1922     15-16. Spring: finishes Theme     Roslavets: Symphony No. 1           General suppression of the        Harvest good. NEP brings recovery   
         and variations in B flat, Op.3    Avraamov: 'Symphony of (Factory)    church. 8,000 priests, monks,     in the countryside. Kulaks,         
         (ded.: N. Sokolov, polyphony      Horns'                              and nuns die. Chagall leaves      repressed in 1918, reappear as      
         teacher); 3 Fantastic Dances                                          Russia. February: Orgburo         consequence of surplus              
         for pf, Op.5. March: death of                                         resolution against 'bourgeois     incentive-schemes. Markets and      
         S.'s father. Suite in F sharp                                         ideology' in literature. May:     entrepreneurial economy return to   
         for 2 pfs, Op.6, composed in                                          further purge of intellectuals.   cities. Life regains its colour.    
         his memory. S.'s mother gets                                          Tsvetayeva leaves Russia,         February 6: Cheka renamed the       
         job as a cashier; sister Maria                                        denouncing Bolshevik barbarism.   GPU. March: attending his final     
         obtains pianist's diploma and                                         August: new censorship body       Congress, Lenin observes that the   
         finds employment at College of                                        Glavlit bans Zamyatin's We.       Party has enough political and      
         Choreography, thereby enabling                                        Autumn: deportation of            economic power - 'what is lacking   
         S. to go on studying.                                                 'reactionary intelligentsia'.     is culture'. April 2: Stalin        
                                                                               Pasternak: My Sister Life         elected General Secretary of the    
                                                                               (poems) V. Ivanov: Armoured       Central Committee. May 26: Lenin    
                                                                               Train 14-69 (story)  Pilnyak:     suffers first stroke. June:         
                                                                               The Naked Year (novel)            show-trial of the SRs. December     
                                                                               Mandelstam: Tristia (poems)       16: Lenin's second stroke.          
                                                                               Vakhtangov's The Dybbuk           December 30: foundation of the      
                                                                               (theatre production)              USSR.                               
                                                                                                                                                     
1923     16-17. Spring: completes pf       Myaskovsky: Symphonies Nos. 6 and   Formation of proletarian          The 'scissors crisis': cost of      
         course and sketches symphony.     7 Kastalsky: Agricultural           literary group October            living in cities rises as that of   
         Unable to continue owing to       Symphony Shebalin: Quartet No. 1    (forerunner of RAPP). Centrist    the country falls. Wild             
         malnutrition and tuberculosis.    Korchmarev: Symphony No. 1          Pereval group founded. ACM set    fluctuation in prices. Chaos in     
         Summer: recovers in Crimean                                           up in Leningrad and RAPM formed   industry produces surge in          
         sanatorium. Meets Tanya                                               in Moscow to oppose it.           unemployment. March 3: Lenin's      
         Glivenko, his girlfriend till                                         Furmanov: Chapayev (novel) A.     third stroke ends his               
         her marriage in 1929. Autumn:                                         Tolstoy: Aelita (novel)           participation in government.        
         obliged to find a job, S.                                             Pasternak: Themes and             July: adoption of Constitution of   
         becomes accompanist in Bright                                         Variations (poems)                the USSR. August: wave of strikes   
         Reel cinema, Petrograd. Piano                                                                           and unrest among workers.           
         Trio No.1 in C minor, Op.8                                                                                                                  
         (ded.: Tanya). Winter: begins                                                                                                               
         Opp.7 and 9.                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                                     
1924     17-18. Spring: finishes 3         Myaskovsky: Piano Sonata No. 4      Students strike for right of      January 21: death of Lenin.         
         Pieces for vc and pf, Op.9        Shaporin: Piano Sonata No. 1        assembly and removal of           Stalin insists on embalming his     
         (lost). S.'s mother ill with      Mosolov: Piano Sonatas Nos. 1 and   indoctrination from university    body and building the Red Square    
         malaria. He plays in various      2                                   curricula. Many arrested in       mausoleum. Petrograd renamed        
         cinemas to support his family.                                        Leningrad.  Eisenstein: Strike    Leningrad. Leadership passes to a   
         Unable to compose. October:                                           (film) Fedin: Cities and Years    triumvirate of Zinoviev, Kamenev,   
         finishes Scherzo for pf and                                           (novel) Leonov: The Badgers       and Stalin. March: currency         
         orchestra in E flat, Op.7.                                            (novel) Serafimovich: The Iron    reform stabilizes economy. 'Lenin   
         Begins symphony again.                                                Flood (novel) Erdman: The         enrolment' swells Party by          
         November: S.'s mother attacked                                        Warrant (play) Bulgakov: The      two-thirds - step from elite        
         by robber outside family                                              White Guard (unpublished novel)   corps to mass organization          
         apartment. December: stops work                                       Mayakovsky: Vladimir Ilyich       capable of running the country.     
         on symphony to write Prelude                                          Lenin (poem)                      Summer: recovery. Confidence        
         for string octet, Op.11a, in                                                                            grows. December: Stalin's first     
         memory of his friend the young                                                                          reference to 'socialism in one      
         poet Volodya Kurchavov.                                                                                 country'.                           
                                                                                                                                                     
1925     18-19. February: stops cinema     Myaskovsky: Symphony No. 8          February: CP meeting on 'the      Permissiveness rules: free sex,     
         work. Opp.5, 10, and 11a          Mosolov: Piano Sonatas Nos. 4 and   problem of the intelligentsia'.   divorce and abortion, overruling    
         accepted for publication. March   5; Twilight (symphonic poem)        Bukharin calls for                of parental authority,              
         20: gives concert at Moscow       Shaporin: Paulina Goebel (opera)    'standardized intellectuals, as   educational experimentalism, etc.   
         Conservatoire (Opp.1, 6, and      Shebalin: Symphony No. 1 Gnesin:    though from a factory'. July:     April: Bukharin exhorts peasants    
         8). July 1: finishes Symphony     1905-1917 ('symphonic monument')    proletarian 'zealots' demand      to 'enrich' themselves. May:        
         No. 1 in F minor, Op.10.          Krein: Symphony No. 1               suppression of Fellow             'Menshevik students' arrested.      
         Graduates from Leningrad                                              Travellers. November 28:          September: Zinoviev attacks         
         Conservatoire. July: Scherzo                                          'people's poet' Esenin hangs      'moral degeneracy' of NEP.          
         for string octet, Op.11b.                                             himself.  Eisenstein:             October: Stalin's crony             
                                                                               Battleship Potemkin Kuleshov:     Voroshilov replaces Frunze as       
                                                                               Death-Ray (film) Gladkov:         Minister of War. Winter: Zinoviev   
                                                                               Cement (novel) Bulgakov: Heart    (Leningrad; for workers' world      
                                                                               Of A Dog (story, published        revolution) versus Stalin           
                                                                               1987) Sholokhov: Tales from the   (Moscow; for peasants and           
                                                                               Don Zamyatin: The Flea (play)     socialism in one country).