Composer Alfred Schnittke Dead at 63

NPR's Dean Olsher has an appreciation of composer Alfred Schnittke, one of the former Soviet Union's most prolific composers, who died today in Hamburg at the age of 63. He was known as a creator of "polystylism," or mixture of musical forms, and his music was spurned in his homeland at the beginning of his career. By the 1980s, he had won over Soviet cultural authorities and critics worldwide. Schnittke's long list of compositions includes five symphonies, a piano concerto, four violin concertos, five concerto grossos, two concertos each for viola and cello, two oratorios, six ballets, numerous choral, chamber, and instrumental pieces, and arrangements of works by Shostakovich, Berg, Scott Joplin, and others.

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