Life Chronicles

The Council of the Petrograd Conservatory refuses to leave Shostakovich on an academic course (in graduate school) because of “youth and immaturity.”
Intention to move to Moscow.

Composition of Three Pieces for Cello and Piano (Op. 9)
Beginning of work on Symphony No. 1 (op. 10)

April 1924, Moscow

“My dear Mamma! Should I or should I not transfer to the Moscow Conservatoire? <...>
I should not have tried to act, had I not discussed all this with you before I left. You told me that, first of all, I should sort out my material position and only then should I start with the Conservatoire. That’s what I have done... I could turn my back on it all and enrol once more at the Leningrad Conservatoire, but it would be difficult for me.<...> and besides I have been promised a Lunacharsky grant worth 18 roubles a month. Love and kisses.”

April 8, 1924, Moscow

“My dear Mamma!
Yesterday at the Conservatoire they set up something like an exam for me. The professors there were Myaskovsky, Vasilenko, G. Konius, the Vice-rector and so on. I played my three cello pieces for them and the Trio. <...> The result was completely unexpected. I would have never been able to predict it. The Trio counted for my exam in sonata form and they immediately took me on to study free composition.This was wonderful. <...> In Leningrad they would never have counted my Trio for the exam in sonata form. Wretched formalists. Given that I had composed a Trio without attending the class in sonata form, how could they possibly let me pass the exam?! Now the situation is like this. If by the spring I manage to compose a symphony, I shall be considered a graduate of the Moscow Conservatoire in the Theory of Composition. I doubt whether I shall finish the symphony by the spring but I shall do so by the autumn, because some of it is already going round in my head. <...>
I am now working very hard... Everything is wonderful... By the way I shall have to be examined in Political Programmes and Social Policy. <...> I’ll pass somehow. Well, Mamma dear, don’t worry about me, just relax. <...>
P.S. <...> I already have one foot in the door of the Moscow Conservatoire, the other is still in mid-air but will soon follow. My feet are no longer going to be in the Leningrad one.”