Conductor Mariss Jansons led the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall Wednesday in Shostakovich's Symphony No. 7, "Leningrad." AJ Wilhelm for NPR hide caption

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The 'Leningrad' Symphony At Carnegie Hall
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Soviet composer Dmitri Shostakovich's once brilliant career took a dive after the official party paper criticized one of his operas in 1936. Shostakovich responded with his powerful Fifth Symphony. Central Press/Getty Images hide caption

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Power And Struggle In A Soviet Symphony
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Citizens of Leningrad collect water from a broken main in the winter of 1942, during a blockade of the Russian city by Nazis. AP hide caption

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Amid Hunger And Cold, An Unforgettable Symphony Premiere
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Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) presents the "Hero of Labour" award to conductor Valery Gergiev, head of the Mariinsky Theatre. AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Valery Gergiev, The Powerful And Polarizing Maestro
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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (left), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (center), and Speaker of the House John Boehner are three key lawmakers in the government shut down and debt ceiling crisis. Drew Angerer/Getty Images hide caption

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Conductor Christoph Eschenbach and the National Symphony Orchestra gave the final performance in this year's Spring for Music Festival at Carnegie Hall on May 11, 2013. The program was of all 20th-century Russian music: Shchedrin's Slava, Slava; Schnittke's Viola Concerto; and Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony. Torsten Kjellstrand for NPR hide caption

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Spring For Music: National Symphony Orchestra At Carnegie Hall
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Yannick Nezet-Seguin leads the Philadelphia Orchestra, in concert at Carnegie Hall. Torsten Kjellstrand/NPR hide caption

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The Philadelphia Orchestra At Carnegie Hall
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Soprano Galina Vishnevskaya was once caleld the "Russian Maria Callas" for her intense interpretations. Capitol Records, Inc, courtesy of EMI Classics hide caption

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The Houston Symphony and conductor Hans Graf presented an all-Shostakovich evening for their evening at the Spring for Music festival at Carnegie Hal on May 7, 2012. They played two rarely heard works in powerful performances: the bitingly satirical Anti-Formalist Rayok, with soloist Mikhail Svetlov (pictured), as well as the gargantuan Symphony No. 11. Torsten Kjellstrand/Torsten Kjellstrand for NPR hide caption

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