What a brilliant and absorbing read; Elizabeth Wilson’s ‘Shostakovich – A life Remembered’. Shostakovich lived during a period of immense political upheaval, spanning Tsarist and Soviet times. The book underlines how music provides solace and respite in some of the toughest settings; for individuals and communities. We learn too about the remarkable bravery and humour of the man; his music and work placed him in great peril, he was a whisker away from probable execution under Stalin. Luckily the man tasked with ‘sorting’ Shostakovich was himself bumped off on the eve of Shostakovich’s planned arrest. Humbling stuff.