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Heroes in Literature, Science, and Music

Students will learn about heroic composers, musicians, and other artists who overcame challenges to keep their art alive. Includes links to resources about Soviet-era artists such as: composer Dmitri Shostakovich, conductor/cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, theatrical director/producer Vsevolod Meyerhold, novelist/playwright Mikhail Bulgakov, novelist/activist/dissident Alexander Solhenitsyn, poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, and many others who were not as fortunate. Also includes links to the eThemes resources on the writer Ayn Rand, the physicist Albert Einstein, and the Classical epic poem “The Odyssey” by Homer.


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Students can explore the "Timeline," "The Series," or "Reference".
See a catalogue of the Soviet composer's works and learn about the historical context of his Fifth Symphony.
This site has a "collection of documents and photographs relating to the 20th century's greatest composer."
Watch this hour-long episode of "Keeping Score" about Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony and decide for yourself the meaning of this revolutionary piece of music. Click on the box labeled "Keeping Score: Watch this Episode" to view the video.
Click on the "Play" icon above the photograph to listen to this story about Shostakovich's later works. Scroll down to "Related NPR Stories" and click on any of the links to hear other stories in the "Shostakovich at 100" series.
Learn about the life of composer Dmitri Shostakovich. Includes several videos about his life and works. NOTE: This site includes ads and sponsored links. NOTE: The site includes several YouTube videos.
Students can read this biography and a list of Shostakovich's works.
The Emerson Quartet is interviewed about Shostakovich's music.
Learn about the Soviet composers who did not fare as well as Shostakovich under the rule of Stalin. NOTE: This site includes sponsored links.
This site has an audio clip of Rostropovich playing. NOTE: The site includes ads.
Click on the "Listen" icon at the top of the page to listen to this story about the master cellist and conductor Rostropovich.
Read this biography and watch several movies about Slava (Rostropovich's nickname).
Students can read this encyclopedia entry on Meyerhold. NOTE: The site includes ads.
Learn about the difficulties faced by the novelist and playwright Mikhail Bulgakov who lived in Soviet Russia. NOTE: This site includes sponsored links and links to social networking sites.
Read about the writer and Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn and his book "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" which was influential in the downfall of the Soviet Union. NOTE: This site includes banner ads, other ads, and sponsored links.
Read about this Russian poet. NOTE: The site includes ads.
These websites are about the epic poem "The Odyssey" and the poet Homer. Included are interactive games and quizzes, study tools, information about Greek life and the Greek gods, as well as a full-text version of the poem.
These sites are about the Russian born author Ayn Rand that wrote "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged." Learn about her life and writings as well as her philosophy on objectivism.
Learn about one of the greatest physicists of the 20th century – Albert Einstein. Read about his life, discoveries, and theories. Learn here about two parts of the Relativity Theory: Special Relativity and General Relativity. Many of these sites include audio files, quizzes, animations, 3D simulations, and photographs. There is a link to an eThemes resource on Physics: Theory of Relativity.

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