Dmitrii Shostakovich was born on September 25, 1906.
Summer 1915: He started to learn to play the piano under his mother’s guidance.
Autumn: His first performance playing Tchaikosky’s “Children’s Album”.
“I was born on Septermber 25, 1906 in Leningrad into the family of Dmitrii Boleslavovich Shostakovich, Chief Inspector at the Board of Weights and Measures”
(From “Autobiography” written on June 16, 1926).
August 21, 1915.
“Dear Seryozha, I am sending you a new ditty:
Morning has now broken,
The Sun looks through the glass
Morning has played with the dog
The window shines like gold.
Seryozha, do let me know . I have already thought up a new ditty for you. We’re starting to get the better of the Germans. I am very interested in the war. <...>
Come and see us.
Yours Mitya Shostakovich.
(From a letter to S. Ilyashov).
“In childhood I showed no particular liking for music. It wasn’t the same for me as for other composers. At the age of three I did not creep up to the door to to listen to music being played, and when I did listen to it, I managed to sleep just as soundly as the night before.
I went to the theatre for the first time in the spring of 1915. We heard `The Legend of Tsar Saltan‘. I liked the opera, but it still did not get the better of my reluctance to
start learning music.
‘It was too much like hard work to learn to play’, I thought to myself.
Yet Mother still insisted and in the summer of 1915 she started to give me piano lessons.
That was how she ran things: as soon we reached the age of nine, it was off to the piano. That is how it had been with my two sisters, that is how it was with me. The lessons went well. I started to like music and to like the piano.”
Shostakovich, “Autobiography”, “Sovietskaya Muzyka”, 1966, No.9).