“There can be no music without idealogy … We, as revolutionaries, have a different conception of music from the composers of other [non Soviet-Russia] countries. Lenin himself said the “Music is a means of unifying people”. It is not a leader of the masses, perhaps, but certainly an organising force … I think an artist should serve the greatest possible number of people. I always try to make myself understood as widely as possible, and if I don’t succeed I consider it my own fault.
Cited in: Norris, Chistopher (ed.) (1982) Shostakovich the Man. London: Lawrence and Wishart, p. 221-222.