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Elizabeth Wilson in an interview with the “taz” about Dmitri Shostakovich

Elizabeth Wilson, the British cellist and student of the Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, is a passionate interpreter of works by Dmitri Shostakovich. She was to have given a lecture on Shostakovitch at the Barenboim Academy in Berlin, at the opening of the “Edward Said Day”, which was inevitably cancelled due to the current corona virus crisis. The Berlin newspaper “Taz” seized the opportunity and asked Elizabeth Wilson to give a talk instead, which was published on 28 March 2020 under the title “He would have been constantly washing his hands now”.

She also speaks about the war years, which Shostakovitch experienced full of sorrow and came to some sort of terms with through numerous works such as the 7th Symphony. In conversation with journalist Julian Weber, Elizabeth Wilson says “Because he [Shostakovich] was a sensitive personality, he perceived the state of crisis all the more keenly and inscribed it in his music. What would Shostakovich have said about the coronavirus? Due to his experiences of poverty while growing, he was known for meticulous cleanliness. He would have been constantly washing his hands now. To all those who still suffering under a dictatorship, the innocent in prison, his unfaltering art serves as an enormous inspiration. (…)”

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