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Joan Marie Titus
University of North Carolina, Greensboro (Greensboro, NC 27412-5068)
Dmitry Shostakovich and Music for Stalinist Cinema, 1936-1953

Preparation of a book on the film music of Soviet composer Dmitry Shostakovich (1906-1975) from 1936 to 1953.

Despite Dmitry Shostakovich’s celebrated reputation as a concert and stage composer, his film music only recently has garnered attention from audiences and scholars. A history of his scoring for Soviet cinema, and generally of Russian film music, has yet to be substantively written. My proposed research project fills this gap. This project will be used to write a book, titled Dmitry Shostakovich and Music for Stalinist Cinema, which traces his development as one of the Soviet Union’s preeminent film composers from 1936 until Josef Stalin’s death in 1953. This book provides an examination of his scoring practices, his unique relationship with directors and with the film industry, and his engagement with cultural politics and audiences. It is based on archival materials, provides detailed musical and cinematic analysis, and provides a review of contemporaneous reception. The NEH Fellowship would be used to complete this manuscript, and to create a video companion website.

Project fields:
Film History and Criticism; Interdisciplinary Studies, Other; Music History and Criticism

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2017 – 7/31/2018