Works Orchestral Compositions

Overture on Russian and Kirghiz Folk Songs

Opus 114b Opus 116

Opus 115
1963 year

Orchestral Overtures of the 1950s-1960s. Scores.
Orchestral Compositions. Piano Scores


Moscow Conservatory Bolshoi Hall. Performed by the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of the USSR. Conductor K. Ivanov. 2 November 1963, Theatre of Opera and Ballet, Frunze (now Bishkek), Kirghizia.

first publication:

The score was published by “Muzfond” Publishers in 1963 and by “Muzyka” Publishers in 1967.


The hand-written score is in the Museum of the city of Frunze (now Bishkek). Drafts are in the archive of the composer’s family.

Duration:  9’

“Not only were we enchanted by the natural beauty of Kirghizia, but we also could see for ourselves how rapidly its culture was developing, how much you could meet at every turn that was new, bright and full of joy.”

Overture on Russian and Kirghiz Folk Songs
Op. 115

     The idea for this overture arose during Shostakovich’s stay in Kirghizia from 1 to 10 June 1963 as the head of a delegation of Russian musicians, composers and musicologists who came to celebrate the TenDay Festival of Russian Soviet Music.
     The precise dates the overture was written are not known—they are not given in the author’s manuscripts that have survived. We know from Shostakovich’s own words that the score was finished and sent to be typed at the beginning of October, which he reported in an interview to Literaturnaya gazeta on 12 October 1963. ‘Yesterday I sent my new, just finished work Overture on Russian and Kirghiz Folksongs to be typed.’
     The premiere of the overture was held on 2 November 1963 in Frunze, where it was performed by the Symphony Orchestra of the Kirghiz Opera Theatre under the baton of Asankhan Dzhumakhmatov. Following the Kirghiz premiere, the overture was performed on 10 November 1963 in the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory by the USSR State Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Konstantin Ivanov. In the same hall, on 27 February 1964, during Shostakovich’s concert-portrait, the overture was performed by the Symphony Orchestra of the Moscow Philharmonic under the baton of Kirill Kondrashin. On 18 April 1965, the overture was performed in Leningrad in the Small Hall of the Conservatory during a student festival dedicated to Shostakovich’s oeuvre; the composition was played by the Conservatory’s student orchestra under the baton of Stanislav Gorkovenko.
     The overseas premiere of the overture took place in Great Britain in 1972. It was performed on 14 December in the City Hall in Glasgow by an amateur orchestra of the Glasgow Orchestral Society conducted by John McLeod.
     Recordings of the overture during Shostakovich’s lifetime were done in 1964 by the Moscow Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Kirill Kondrashin (14 October 1964, Prague, live recording) and in 1972 by the Symphony Orchestra of All-Union Radio under the baton of Maksim Shostakovich. In subsequent years, the overture was recorded by Bernard Haitink and the Concertgebouw Orchestra, Neeme Järvi and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and others.
     The full score of the Overture on Russian and Kirghiz Folksongs was first published in 1963 (Muzfond, Moscow). The next publication appeared in 1967 (Muzyka Publishers, Moscow). In 1984, the score was published in Vol. 11 of Dmitri Shostakovich’s Collected Works (Muzyka Publishers, Moscow). Overseas editions of the score of the overture came out in the 1980s in the USA (Belwin Mills Publishers, Melville; Edwin F. Kalmus Publishers, New York). In 1990, the score and parts of the overture in an arrangement for Guy Duker’s wind ensemble were printed by American Publishers Hal Leonard (Milwaukee).


  • The Big Symphony Orchestra of the All-Union Radio and Television. Conductor: M. Shostakovich 1971 // HMV Melodiya ASD 2781, 1972
  • Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Batis E. 1990 // ASV DCA 707, 1990
  • Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra Conductor: Jarvey N. 1988 // Deutsche Grammophon DG 427 616-2, 1989