"Free broadcast zones, concert programs and performances for the World Cup are great, but this presentation… When I picked up this book I was surprised to see how little we know about Shostakovich. A reputable master and composer whose music is played in concert halls all over Russia, and now this interesting facet: Shostakovich and football. This is a discovery and a revelation," Voronko remarked.
The book's author, Dmitry Braginsky, Ph.D. in Art Sciences, noted that one chapter was dedicated to Shostakovich's "football" works. When the composer was 22 years old, in August 1929, after the triumphant premiere of his First Symphony, he started working on a football ballet, originally called Dinamiada and later The Golden Age. In 1944, he composed the Football dance number.
According to Braginsky, Shostakovich is unique because he was the only composer in the world who also wrote articles about sports.
"I have managed to find at least two articles written by Shostakovich on football. One is dated 1942, it was published in the Krasny Sport newspaper — the main sports newspaper in the country, later called Sovetsky Sport. In 1944, Shostakovich wrote an article titled Proposing New Players," Braginsky said.
The composer was also interested in football statistics and filled several notebooks on that.
According to football historian Yury Lukosyak, Leningrad's FC Dynamo was Shostakovich's favorite, probably because of its playing style, which was based on esthetics instead of sheer pragmatism.