Guerrero leads Cleveland Orchestra in searing Shostakovich

Police in riot gear stood along the streets of downtown Miami, as concertgoers walked toward the Arsht Center for a Cleveland Orchestra performance that would, aptly,  include one of the most politically charged works of the 20th century.

Hundreds of demonstrators marched to the city’s Bayfront Park to protest the election of Donald Trump, as the orchestra prepared to play Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, a work composed during Stalin’s Great Terror of the late 1930s. As the police blocked off streets to clear the way for the peaceful protesters, it was impossible to not consider the contrast with life in the Soviet Union at the time of the symphony’s premiere, when a chance remark against the Communist authorities could result in deportation to a labor camp or worse.


Giancarlo Guerrero