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As the Soviet Union's foremost composer, Shostakovich's status in the West has always been problematic. Regarded by some as a collaborator, and by others as a symbol of moral resistance, both he and his music met with approval and condemnation in equal measure. The demise of the Communist state has, if anything, been accompanied by a bolstering of his reputation, but critical engagement with his multi-faceted achievements has been patchy. This Companion offers a starting point and a guide for readers who seek a fuller understanding of Shostakovich's place in the history of music. Bringing together an international team of scholars, the book brings research to bear on the full range of Shostakovich's musical output, addressing scholars, students and all those interested in this complex, iconic figure.