The Leningrad première of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 took place on 9
August 1942 during the Second World War, while the city (now Saint
Petersburg) was under siege by Nazi German forces. Dmitri Shostakovich
(pictured) had intended for the piece to be premièred by the Leningrad
Philharmonic Orchestra, but they had been evacuated because of the
siege, along with the composer, and the world première was instead held
in Kuybyshev. The Leningrad première was performed by the surviving
musicians of the Leningrad Radio Orchestra, supplemented with military
performers. Most of the musicians were starving, and three died during
rehearsals. Supported by a Soviet military offensive intended to silence
German forces, the performance was a success, prompting an hour-long
ovation. The symphony was broadcast to the German lines by loudspeaker
as a form of psychological warfare. The Leningrad première was
considered by music critics to be one of the most important artistic
performances of the war because of its psychological and political
effects. Reunion concerts featuring surviving musicians were convened in
1964 and 1992 to commemorate the event.
Today’s selected anniversaries:
Nez Perce War: Both Nez Perce and United States Army sides
suffered numerous casualties as they fought to a stalemate in the Battle
of the Big Hole.
World War I: France launched its first attack of the war in an
ultimately unsuccessful attempt to recover the province of Alsace from
The region of South Kasai seceded from the Republic of the
Malaysia expelled the state of Singapore (flag pictured) from
its federation due to heated ideological conflict between their
respective ruling parties.
A white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri killed an 18-year-
old African-American male, resulting in widespread protests and unrest.
Wiktionary’s word of the day:
(Singapore) An imaginary creature with the head of a lion and the body
of a fish, which is one of the national symbols of Singapore.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
I’ve found that people aren’t really as different as they
sometimes seem. We all have joy and tragedy in our lives. So it only
follows that if I write something from my heart and stay true to myself,
others will easily identify.
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