UNCG Campus Weekly

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Dr. Joan Titus

photo of TitusDr. Joan Titus (Musicology) received new funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities for her project “Dmitry Shostakovich and Music for Stalinist Cinema, 1936-1953.”

Despite Dmitry Shostakovich’s celebrated reputation as a concert and stage composer, his film music only recently has garnered attention from audiences and scholars, the abstract notes. A history of his scoring for Soviet cinema, and generally of Russian film music, has yet to be substantively written. This research project will fill 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. This NEH Fellowship will be used to complete this manuscript and to create a video companion website.