backstage as Duane Funderburk, DMA, dean of the School
of Music, introduces “A Shostakovich Event,” Amy
Halverson ’03 breathes a sigh of relief.
hard work has come to fruition. Munson Recital Hall bustles with
an attentive audience, and Halverson has done her homework. In a
few moments, she will step out on stage and offer the crowd an intimate
look into the life and music of her favorite composer, Dimitri Dimitriyevich
Shostakovich. Despite the aura of completion in the air, Halverson
thinks to herself, “Well God, this isn’t the end, is
It all began
with a story her conductor told when she was 14 years old. Simply
handing sheets of music to the eager, young musicians of the Colorado
Springs Youth Symphony would not do when it came to this composer.
A proper introduction to Dimitri Shostakovich meant speaking of
fear, anger, sarcasm, irony, and paranoia. Halverson was hooked:
Who was this great musician?
The question set Halverson on a path that led her to Azusa Pacific’s
contemporary music program and the opportunity to study the 20th
century composer in more depth. The answer became clearer after
her October 2, 2001 event. The special concert presented the historical
and cultural context that inspired Shostakovich’s music. In
choosing to study Quartet No. 8 Op. 110 and Sonata for
Viola and Piano Op. 147, Halverson built a perfect foundation
from which to explore the life of the composer.
Event” utilized many media to tell the stories behind Shostakovich’s
music. Three ceiling-to-floor screens projected photographs during
the program. “I showed a picture of bombed-out Dresden during
Quartet No. 8 to illustrate what the music was about,”
most exciting element of the event was the interview with Shostakovich’s
former student from the Moscow
Conservatory, Mikhail Boguslavsky. “Hearing firsthand
from someone who knew the composer brought the project to life for
us,” said Funderburk. For Halverson, Boguslavsky’s visit
not only bore witness to the personality of Shostakovich, but also
provided private viola lessons during his visit.
pursuing a master’s degree in music emphasizing the work of
Shostakovich, Halverson knows her future lies in teaching. After
all, had not a passionate conductor introduced her to an intriguing
composer named Shostakovich in a classroom?