I don’t know. I’m surprised Aaron Copland didn’t get any votes for the difficulty of his pieces or Alexander Mosolov. How often do the percussionists get to pound on anvils with hammers these days?
Dmitri Shostakovich has topped our list, in the politics category. In 1936, he was slammed in the Soviet newspaperPravda — perhaps by Stalin himself — for his opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, which was denounced as “muddle instead of music.” Since then, the man and his music have not escaped political scrutiny. Was Shostakovich a Soviet patriot or a secret dissident? You decide.