Contemporary music information centre

Contemporary music information centre

First and foremost the ‘DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH’ CONTEMPORARY MUSIC INFORMATION CENTRE is dedicated to the life and music of the most poignant composer of our century, Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich.

Open to researchers, musicians, students or fans worlwide, the Centre, based in the center of Saint-Germain des Prés (Paris), makes available duplicates of the composer’s family archives in addition to various other Western collections (including the world’s largest audio collection of the composer’s works).

In an attempt to add a geographical as well as artistic context to Dmitri Shostakovich’s vast musical heritage, the Centre takes in important documentation on other Russian musicians – interpreters and composers – from the earlier part of the 20th century as well as on young musicians from Russia today and from the former Soviet republics.

The Centre is the Western counterpart of the Moscow-based “Shostakovich Apartment-Museum”, based in the composer’s last-known work-place. It also acts as a focal point for the various Societies and Associations based in England, France, Japan, Germany and the USA, by means of the Internet and, more comprehensively, the twice-yearly DSCH Journal. Covering 50 countries, the first publications appeared in 1987 and have included articles by musicians, musicologists, and general writers on all subjects concerning Shostakovich’s life and work.

The Centre’s president is Mrs. Helene Ahrweiler, it’s vice-president, Mrs Irina Shostakovich, the composer’s widow.

The Shostakovich Centre, that’s 5000 recordings, 100 78 RPM, 2000 LPs, 1500 CDs, 150 films, 600 books, 200 scores, 50 facsimiles of manuscripts. The ‘Centre’ comprises 3 sections: Shostakovich, Music from Russia in the 20th century, Printed musical references.

Section I

Dimitri Chostakovitch

  • a collection of 98% of recordings of the composer’s work. This collection of around 2100 different recordings – the largest in the world – on all know disc forma. In addition, an important number of documents on tape, come mainly from Russia. Regular updates account for the 10 or so new recordings added each month
  • almost the entire output of musicological studies as well as biographies dedicated to Shostakovich principally in Russian, English, French, German, Bulgarian, Czech and Polish.
  • printed and handwritten scores
  • programmes from concerts around the world
  • around a hundred hours of film (documentaries, fiction, concerts)
  • articles and reviews, various iconographic documents, the composer’s obituaries
  • a computer database organised around the followings headings : chronology , discography , printed matter, genealogy.

Section II

Music from Russia in the 20th century

More than 400 composers of the 20th century are represented by documentary and/or recorded evidence. Musical and/or historical criteria justifying their inclusion.

Documents referring to Shostakovich’s close friends, pupils and teachers are dealt with separately, as are “special” interpreters of his music such as Rostropovich, Oborin, Yudina, Oistrakh, Vishnevskaya, Maxim Shostakovich, Mravinsky, Kondrashin, Rozhdestvensky, the Beethoven and Borodin Quartets etc. in addition to various writers, poets and other intellectuals such as Anna Akhmatova, Mikhail Zoshchenko, Ilf & Petrov, Ivan Sollertinsky, Marina Tsvetaeva.

Section III

Printed musical references

Including encyclopaedias, dictionaries, musical magazines…

Other useful information :

Others events organised by the Centre include : concerts – symposiums, conferences – exhibitions – film projections…

In terms of research opportunities the Centre can offer :
– consultation (at the Centre only) of the complete collection (see above)
– partial reproduction of certains documents (authorization required)
– iconographic research facilities, database consultation


Director: Emmanuel Utwiller Graphics: Françoise Hainard
Assistant: Tatiana Maximov Archivist: Line Mascrier