Year     Shostakovich: Life And Works      Contemporary Soviet Music           Contemporary Soviet Culture       Contemporary Soviet Life            
                                                                                                                                                     
1926     19-20. April: recommended for     Shcherbachov: Symphony No.2 (Blok)  Zamyatin's We published in        Height of NEP. Stalin inches        
         higher degree course. May 12:     Mosolov: Nocturnes; Quartet No.1;   Prague. Zabolotsky founds         quietly towards total power.        
         premiere of Symphony No.1 in        Blok Poems                        Dadaist Oberiu group in           July: Zinoviev expelled from        
         Leningrad. Great success. May     Deshevov: The Rails                 Leningrad. October 2:             Politburo. Kirov becomes            
         26: plays pf reduction of 1st     Krein: Lenin Ode                    Mayakovsky demands legal          Leningrad boss. Death            
         of Symphony for Myaskovsky in     Shaporin: Zamyatin Songs            reprisals against Bulgakov's      Dzerzhinsky, head of GPU.           
         Moscow. Summer: during creative                                       play The Days of the Turbins.     (Replaced by Menzhinsky.)           
         crisis, destroys juvenilia,                                           Pudovkin: Mother (film) Babel:    October: new legal code attacks     
         incl. Fantasy for 2 pfs; In the                                       Red Cavalry (stories) Katayev:    'bourgeois family'. October 23:     
         Forest for pf; The Gipsies                                            The Embezzlers (novel) Fadeyev:   Trotsky and Kamenev expelled from   
         (opera); Rusalochka (ballet);                                         The Rout (novel) Mayakovsky: To   Politburo.                          
         Revolutionary Symphony. Autumn:                                       Esenin (poem) Tsvetayeva:                                             
         Piano Sonata No. 1, Op.12.                                            Rat-Catcher (poem)                                                    
                                                                                                                                                     
1927     20-21. January 9: plays First     Myaskovsky: Symphonies Nos. 9 and   Bulgakov's The Days of the        Stalin creates 'war scare' to       
         Piano Sonata in Moscow. January   10 Popov: Chamber Concerto          Turbins and Olesha's novella      cover his campaign against his      
         28-30: competes in First          Zhivotov: Suite for Orchestra       Envy the literary sensations of   enemies. Great tension in the       
         International Chopin              Mosolov: Piano Concerto No. 1       the year. Berg's Wozzeck staged   country. Summer: United             
         Competition (Warsaw). Lev         Glier: The Red Poppy (ballet)       in Leningrad.  Eisenstein:        Opposition (Trotsky, Zinoviev,      
         Oborin wins. February: to         Knipper: Symphony No. 1             October (film) Pudovkin: The      Kamenev) criticise Stalin in the    
         Berlin. Meets Bruno Walter.       Kabalevsky: 3 Poems of Blok         End of St Petersburg (film)       Central Committee. Autumn:          
         Tours Poland. Returns to                                              Shub: The Fall of the Romanovs    protesting low prices, peasants     
         Leningrad and meets Prokofiev.                                        (film) Dovzhenko: Zvenigora       hoard their grain. September:       
         April: meets Sollertinsky.                                            (film) Leonov: The Thief          climax of political feud.           
         Aphorisms for pf, Op.13. June:                                        (novel) Pasternak: The Year       Demonstrations in Moscow.           
         Symphony No. 2 in B, Op.14 ('To                                       1905 (poem) Babel: Odessa         November 12: Trotsky and Zinoviev   
         October'). Becomes musical                                            Stories; Sunset (play)            expelled from the Party.            
         director of TRAM. Begins The                                                                            December: Zinoviev and Kamenev      
         Nose. August: meets Nina                                                                                banished to Kaluga. Stalin reigns   
         Varzar. November 5: premiere of                                                                         supreme. End of legal opposition;   
         Second in Leningrad. November                                                                           unification of Party and state.     
         22: Walter conducts First                                                                                                                   
         Symphony in Berlin.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                     
1928     21-22. Spring: stays in Moscow    Mosolov: Steel (ballet, including   Summer: Central Committee         January: Trotsky internally         
         with Meyerhold as head of his     The Iron Foundry); Symphony No. 1   resolution against creative       exiled to Alma-Ata. Stalin visits   
         music department. Writes Act II   Zhivotov: Fragments for nonet       'backsliding'. Eisenstein and     Siberia and orders 'extraordinary   
         of The Nose. Returns to           Shaporin: The Flea (suite)          Pudovkin call for 'ideological    measures' for seizing grain.        
         Leningrad. May: finishes The      Kabalevsky: Piano Concerto No. 1    dictatorship' in the cinema.      May-July: Shakhty case (first       
         Nose, Op.15. July: completes      Polovinkin: Last Sonata             The cultural revolution begins.   show trial since 1922) of 53        
         post-graduate course. Autumn:     Roslavets: October (cantata)        Gorky returns to Russia.          'wreckers' from the Donbass.        
         Tahiti Trot, Op.16; 2 Scarlatti                                       December: Central Committee       Press whips up hate campaign        
         Pieces, Op.17; first three                                            decrees Communist hegemony in     against the accused. July:          
         Japanese Romances (see 1932).                                         art. RAPP ascendant in            Comintern condemns Social           
         November 2: Stokowski gives US                                        literature.  Pudovkin: Storm      Democrats as 'social fascists'.     
         premiere of First Symphony in                                         Over Asia (film) Katayev:         October 1: official beginning of    
         New York. November 25: suite                                          Squaring the Circle (play) Ilf    1st Five Year Plan. November:       
         from The Nose performed in                                            and Petrov: The Twelve Chairs     food shortages again. Bread-cards   
         Moscow.                                                               (novel) Erdman: The Suicide       in Leningrad.                       
                                                                               (play)                                                                
                                                                                                                                                     
1929     22-23. February: New Babylon,     Myaskovsky: 3 Pieces, Op.32         January: Voronsky arrested.       'Super-industrialization' heralds   
         Op.18 and The Bedbug, Op.19.      Shebalin: Symphony No. 2 Knipper:   May: Bulgakov's plays banned.     Russia's new Iron Age.              
         The latter causes a furious       Symphony No. 1 Polovinkin:          Propagation of religion becomes   Collectivism is the watchword in    
         scandal. March. Cinema            Symphony No. 1                      crime against state. Christians   every sphere of Soviet life.        
         orchestras refuse to play New                                         hounded. Summer: leading          'Shockworkers' appear. January:     
         Babylon. Score shelved till                                           historians arrested. Autumn:      Trotsky exiled from USSR. April:    
         Marius Constant performs it in                                        orchestrated campaign of          Stalin announces Shakhtyites        
         Paris in 1975. March: 2 pieces                                        vilification against Zamyatin     ('bourgeois wreckers') at work in   
         for Dressel's Columbus, Op.23.                                        and Pilnyak. They are forbidden   all branches of industry - they     
         May: announces engagement to                                          publication and their works are   must be 'rooted out'. Party         
         Nina. June: attends First                                             banned. December: proletarian     purged. November: Stalin defeats    
         All-Russian Musical Conference                                        groups awarded supreme power      right wing. Bukharin expelled       
         in Leningrad. June 16: concert                                        over Soviet culture. Mayakovsky   from Politburo. December 21:        
         performance of The Nose                                               joins RAPP. Commisariat for       extraordinary national              
         provokes savage controversy.                                          Enlightenment abolished.          'celebrations' of Stalin's 50th     
         July: Symphony No. 3 in E flat,                                       Eisenstein: The General Line      birthday. Foundation of the 'cult   
         Op.20 ('First Of May'). August:                                       (film) Dovzhenko: Arsenal         of personality'. December 27: End   
         The Shot, Op.24 (lost).                                               (film) Romanov: Comrade           of NEP. Stalin announces 'total     
         September: begins The Golden                                          Kislyakov (novel) Pilnyak:        collectivization' and               
         Age.                                                                  Mahogany (novel, banned)          'liquidation of the kulaks as a     
                                                                                                                 class'.                             
                                                                                                                                                     
1930     23-24. January: controversial     Knipper: The North Wind (opera)     Height of Cultural Revolution.    January-February: 6 million         
         premieres of The Nose and Third   Deshevov: Ice and Steel (opera)     Stalin writes in Pravda,          peasants expropriated. They         
         Symphony in Leningrad.            Myaskovsky: Quartets Nos. 1-3       demanding end to non-Bolshevik    slaughter their livestock in        
         February: finishes The Golden     Kabalevsky: Poem of Struggle        literature. Proletarians take     protest and a drastic meat          
         Age, Op.22. March: declines       Zhelobinsky: Symphony No. 1         over universities and             shortage ensues. March 2:           
         commission from Bolshoi Theatre                                       conservatories. Serapion          Stalin's Dizzy with Success         
         to write opera Battleship                                             Brothers, Pereval, Oberiu, and    temporarily halts                   
         Potemkin. April: Soil, Op.25                                          ACM repressed. All pre-1917       collectivisation. May: end to       
         (lost). July: holiday on Black                                        culture outlawed. March:          trips abroad for Soviet citizens.   
         Sea coast. Begins The Bolt.                                           Mayakovsky's The Bathhouse a      Russia's borders sealed.            
         September: begins Alone.                                              failure. He is howled down        September: closed trial of          
         October: begins work on                                               during a recital at the House     'Famine Organizers' (agronomists    
         libretto for Lady Macbeth. The                                        of Komsomol. April 14:            accused of wrecking meat            
         Golden Age premiered in                                               Mayakovsky shoots himself.        industry). All shot.                
         Leningrad.                                                            November: Gorky's If The Enemy    November-December: show-trial of    
                                                                               Does Not Surrender, He Must Be    the 'Industrial Party' (group       
                                                                               Destroyed. Kharkov Congress on    accused of wrecking factories and   
                                                                               Proletarian Art calls for an      plotting to overthrow Stalin).      
                                                                               end to 'individualism'.           All shot.                           
                                                                                                                                                     
1931     24-25. January: finishes The      Shebalin: Lenin Symphony            Under proletarian rule, Soviet    Treason, wrecking, espionage        
         Bolt, Op.27 and film score        Shcherbachov: Symphony No. 3        art is battered into              'discovered' everywhere.            
         Alone, Op.26. April: Rule,        Knipper: Symphony No. 2             compliance. Babel adopts 'genre   Persecution of technical            
         Britannia!, Op.28. The Bolt       Korchmarev: Symphony No. 2          of silence'. Pilnyak and Olesha   intelligentsia superseded by        
         premiered in Leningrad            (October) Polovinkin Symphony No.   conform. Nonconformist            hounding of 'gold-hoarders'.        
         (failure). Summer: film score     2                                   Mandelstam thrown out of          Torture now institutionalized.      
         Golden Mountains, Op.30 and                                           Leningrad. Zamyatin writes to     January: major Party purge          
         revue Allegedly Murdered,                                             Stalin asking permission to       begins. March: show-trial of        
         Op.31. S. pulls out of theatre                                        emigrate; Gorky intercedes -      'All-Union Bureau of Mensheviks'    
         contracts (including TRAM) and                                        permission granted. Zamyatin      (non-existent subversive party      
         goes on holiday to the Black                                          goes to Paris. Bulgakov's         supposedly engaged in sabotaging    
         Sea. October: Alone released.                                         similar request denied.           the planning sector). August:       
         Becomes international hit,                                            Afinogenov: Fear (play)           bread-queues in every city. G. B.   
         largely due to S.'s score.                                            Shaginian: Hydrocentral (novel)   Shaw, on flying visit, remarks      
         November: finishes Act I of                                           Leonov: Sot (novel) Ilf and       'there is no hunger in Russia'.     
         Lady Macbeth. 4th Japanese                                            Petrov: The Golden Calf (novel)   September: beginning of ill-fated   
         Romance. December 20:                                                 Olesha: A List of Assets (play)   White Sea Canal project. October:   
         interviewed by New York Times                                                                           Stalin usurps control of Party      
         in Leningrad.                                                                                           ideology and history.               
                                                                                                                                                     
1932     25-26. February: begins           Myaskovsky: Symphonies Nos. 11      Gorky advises Stalin to           Last year of the 1st Five-Year      
         symphony From Karl Marx To Our    and 12 (Collective Farm) Mosolov:   dissolve the proletarian          Plan. Exhaustion and disillusion    
         Own Days. March: finishes Act     Piano Concerto No. 2 Dzerzhinsky:   artistic organizations. Stalin    set in (mood of rebellion similar   
         II of Lady Macbeth. April:        Piano Concerto No. 1 Zhivotov:      orders private performance of     to that of early 1921). February:   
         finishes 6 Japanese Romances,     West (choruses) Kabalevsky:         Bulgakov's Days of the Turbins.   Stalin introduces                   
         Op.21. Joins new Composers'       Symphony No. 1 Knipper: Symphony    Gorky leads 'brigade' of          wage-differentials, condemning      
         Union. Abandons Karl Marx. May    No. 3 (To the Far Eastern Red       writers on propaganda trip to     equal pay as 'egalitarianism'.      
         13: marries Nina Varzar. May      Army) Mosolov: Symphony No. 2       White Sea Canal. April 23:        Summer: only Party protest is       
         19: premiere of Hamlet, Op.32,    Polivinkin: Symphony No. 3          Central Committee resolution on   from the 'Ryutin Platform'.         
         at Vakhtangov Theatre, Moscow,    (Romantic) Popov: Symphony No. 1    restructuring of creative         Failing to move Politburo to have   
         causes scandal. June: film        Roslavets: Symphony No. 2 (Uzbek)   groups. Preferential treatment    protesters shot, Stalin             
         score Counterplan, Op.33. Score   Zhelobinsky: Symphony No. 2         offered to 'co-operative'         intensifies purge. August:          
         a popular success. August: Act                                        artists. Proletarian              death-penalty introduced for        
         III of Lady Macbeth. December:                                        organisations banned. May:        damaging state property.            
         finishes Lady Macbeth of                                              launch of five-year plan for      September: Pavlik Morozov           
         Mtsensk District, Op.29. Begins                                       the elimination of religion.      declared a hero for denouncing      
         24 Preludes.                                                          Dovzhenko: A Simple Case (film)   his father. December:               
                                                                               Sholokhov: Virgin Soil Upturned   introduction of internal            
                                                                               (Pt.1) (novel) Katayev: Time,     passports allows only townsfolk     
                                                                               Forward! (novel) Leonov:          to travel (peasants bound to        
                                                                               Skutarevsky (novel)               farms); prejudice against Soviet    
                                                                                                                 Jews is likewise                    
                                                                                                                 institutionalised by this measure   
                                                                                                                 (the notorious 'Point 5').          
                                                                                                                                                     
1933     26-27. March: finishes 24         Myaskovsky: Symphonies Nos. 13      Nobel Prize for Literature        Severe winter. Stalin continues     
         Preludes for pf, Op.34. Begins    and 14 Prokofiev: Symphonic Song;   awarded to emigré novelist Ivan   to export grain to raise
foreign    
         Tale of a Priest and His          Lieutenant Kije Knipper: Symphony   Bunin. Pasternak, appalled at     currency. Famine in the Ukraine     
         Servant Balda (see 1934) and      No. 4 (Poem of the Fighting         events in the USSR, stops         kills seven million. Eight          
         Piano Concerto No.1. April: The   Komsomol) Shaporin: Symphony No.    writing. August: Mandelstam's     million more die during             
         Age of Gold criticised in         1 Kabalevsky: Symphony No. 2        Journey to Armenia denounced by   collectivization. January: end of   
         Moscow press for frivolity.       Khrennikov: Piano Concerto No. 1    Pravda. November: Mandelstam      purge (one million victims since    
         July: finishes Piano Concerto     Polovinkin: Symphony No. 4          privately circulates his Poem     1931). Beginning of Second          
         No.1 in C minor, Op.35. Autumn:   Ivanovs: Symphony No. 1 (lost)      About Stalin, which describes     Five-Year Plan. March: show-trial   
         preparations for staging of                                           him as 'murderer and              of Metro-Vickers 'spies'. April:    
         Lady Macbeth. November: elected                                       peasant-slayer'.  Afinogenov:     White Sea Canal finished (at cost   
         deputy to Leningrad's                                                 The Lie (play) Pudovkin:          of a hundred thousand lives).       
         Oktyabrsky District soviet.                                           Deserter (film)                                                       
                                                                                                                                                     
1934     27-28. Winter: incidental music   Myaskovsky: Symphonies Nos. 15      May 14: Mandelstam arrested.      January: 17th Party Congress        
         for The Human Comedy, Op.37.      and 16 (Aviation) Dzerzhinsky:      Pasternak and Akhmatova           ('Congress of Victors'). Stalin     
         January: Lady Macbeth premiered   Piano Concerto No. 2 Shebalin:      protest. He receives three        declares all targets fulfilled      
         in Leningrad and Moscow.          Symphony No. 3; Quartet No. 2       years internal exile. August:     and Socialism achieved. His cult    
         Biggest success since First       Kabalevsky: Symphony No. 3 (Lenin   First Congress of Writers'        now gargantuan. Radek eulogizes     
         Symphony. February: Suite for     Requiem) A. Khachaturian:           Union. Mandelstam, Akhmatova,     him as 'great chief of toilers...   
         Danceband No.1. Summer: film      Symphony No. 1 Koval: Pushkiniana   Bulgakov, Platonov, and           wisest of the wise'. Zinoviev,      
         score Love and Hate, Op.38.       Tubin: Symphony No. 1               Zabolotsky are excluded. Gorky    Kamenev, and Bukharin are made to   
         August-September: S. argues                                           announces Socialist Realism as    confess that Stalin always right.   
         with Nina; temporarily they                                           the new Soviet aesthetic.         Sensing unease in the Party,        
         separate. Cello Sonata in D                                           Critic Viktor Shklovsky           Stalin prepares to move against     
         minor, Op.40. November:                                               denounces Dostoyevsky as a        it. July: GPU renamed NKVD under    
         finishes Tale of a Priest and                                         posthumous traitor to the         Yagoda. December 1: Stalin          
         His Servant Balda, Op.36.                                             Revolution.  Vertov: Three        engineers murder of rival Kirov     
         December: film score s Maxim's                                        Songs Of Lenin (film) Pogodin:    in Leningrad. Forty thousand        
         Youth, Op.41 No.1 and                                                 Aristocrats (play) Sholokhov:     Leningraders deported to Siberia    
         Girlfriends, Op.41 No.2.                                              And Quiet Flows The Don (novel)   for conspiracy to assassinate.      
         December 25: premiere of Cello                                        Ostrovsky: How The Steel Was      The Great Terror begins.            
         Sonata in Leningrad.                                                  Tempered (novel)                                                      
                                                                                                                                                     
1935     28-29. January: The Limpid        Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 2    Stalin decrees that 'life has     February: beginning of new purge    
         Stream, Op.39. February 4-6:      Shcherbachov: Symphony No. 4        become more joyful'. Optimism     of the Party. Mass-arrests,         
         angry debate on Soviet            (Izhorsk) Shebalin: Symphony No.    in art now compulsory.            shootings and deportations.         
         symphonism in Composers' Union.   4 (Heroes of Perekop) Zhivotov:     Akhmatova's husband and son       Gorky, arguing that Terror is       
         April 3: S. defends Lady          Kirov Elegy Khrennikov: Symphony    arrested. CP sponsors campaign    counter-productive, falls out of    
         Macbeth against charges of        No. 1 Koval: Tale of the Partisan   against 'Meyerholdism'. July:     favour with Stalin. Attempting to   
         Formalism in Izvestia. April      Kabalevsky: Piano Concerto No. 2    first gymnastic display in Red    leave the country, he finds his     
         26: 5 Fragments, Op.42. June:     Dzerzhinsky: Quiet Flows the Don    Square, following Nazi model.     visa withdrawn. May 1: huge         
         The Limpid Stream premiered in    (opera) Knipper: Symphony No. 5     December: Stalin declares         intensification of the              
         Leningrad. Success. September:    Ippolitov-Ivanov: Symphony No. 2    Mayakovsky 'the best, the most    Stalin-cult. Massive floral         
         concert tour of Turkey. Begins    Korchmarev: Symphony No. 3          talented'. The poet's cult        pictures of him carried in Red      
         Fourth Symphony. November: The    Ivanovs: The Blue Lakes (suite)     begins.  Dovzhenko: Aerograd      Square. New slogans portray him     
         Limpid Stream premiered in                                            (film) S./G.Vasiliev: Chapayev    as 'good and kind', 'Beloved        
         Moscow. December: new                                                 (film) Ermler: Peasants (film)    Leader', 'the great humanist',      
         production of Lady Macbeth                                            Medvedkin: Grabbers (film)        etc. August 30: shockworker A.      
         opens in Moscow.                                                      Serebryakova: Marx's Youth        Stakhanov overfulfills his norm     
                                                                               (novel) Mandelstam: First         by fifteen times (a publicity       
                                                                               Voronezh Notebook (unpublished)   stunt). Birth of the                
                                                                                                                 'Stakhanovite' movement.