How the Pandemic Taught Me to Love the Soviet Composers

Dmitri Shostakovich, Sergei Prokofiev and Aram Khachaturian

When I played the violin in college, I thought I hit my breaking point with a sonata by Sergei Prokofiev.

At the end of a semester, I played one of the Soviet composer’s pieces for a jury of music professors. It received a solid B-minus. I was surprised I did that well; the dissonant, atonal 20th-century music didn’t make any sense to me.