When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something.
Football is the ballet of the masses.
Real music is always revolutionary, for it cements the ranks of the people; it arouses them and leads them onward.
It's about the people, who have stopped believing because the cup of evil has run over.
People knew about Babi Yar before Yevtushenko's poem, but they were silent. And when they read the poem, the silence was broken. Art destroys silence.
I feel eternal pain for those who were killed by Hitler, but I feel no less pain for those killed on Stalin's orders. I suffer for everyone who was tortured, shot, or starved to death.
I live in the USSR, work actively and count naturally on the worker and peasant spectator. If I am not comprehensible to them I should be deported.
A creative artist works on his next composition because he is not satisfied with his previous one. When he loses a critical attitude toward his own work, he ceases to be an artist.
What can be considered human emotions? Surely not only lyricism, sadness, tragedy? Doesn't laughter also have a claim to that lofty title? I want to fight for the legitimate right of laughter in serious music.
If they cut off both hands, I will compose music anyway holding the pen in my teeth.
A great piece of music is beautiful regardless of how it is performed. Any prelude or fugue of Bach can be played at any tempo, with or without rhythmic nuances, and it will still be great music. That's how music should be written, so that no-one, no matter how philistine, can ruin it.
What do you think of Puccini? No, Ben, you are wrong. He wrote marvellous operas, but dreadful music.
The Allies enjoyed my music, as though trying to say: Look how we like Shostakovich's symphonies, and you still want something more from us, a second front or something.
I write music, it's performed. It can be heard, and whoever wants to hear it will. After all, my music says it all. It doesn't need historical and hysterical commentaries. In the long run, any words about music are less important than the music.
The majority of my symphonies are tombstones.