BORIS IVANOVICH TISHCHENKO (1939 - 2010)
Often considered the direct heir to the legacy of Shostakovich, Boris Ivanovich Tishchenko was born in Leningrad on 23rd March 1939. Studies with Galina Ustvolskaya, a one-time pupil of Shostakovich, and at the Leningrad Conservatory led to his taking a postgraduate course with Shostakovich during the years 1962 to 1965. Active as a pianist, both as a soloist and in chamber music, he has taught at the Leningrad—now once more the St Petersburg—Conservatory since 1965, becoming a professor there in 1986.
With a list of some 130 works to his credit, Tishchenko is a prolific composer who has contributed to all the major genres. Folk and ethnic music have both played their part in his thinking, together with composers as diverse as Monteverdi and Mahler, in an idiom whose undogmatic approach to tonal thinking won him the approval of Shostakovich early in his career. This is particularly evident in the Third of his eleven symphonic works (1966), which the older composer singled out for the “richness of its emotions, its clarity of thought and its structural logic”, and the First Cello Concerto, written for Rostropovich in 1963 and re-orchestrated by Shostakovich for more conventional forces in 1969. Such an empathy reached its apogee in the Fourth and Fifth Symphonies, composed before and after Shostakovich’s death in 1975, where an avowedly public symphonism is pursued in impressively large-scale terms.