It is not unusual for composers to experience unfair and incompetent criticism. However, being named "an enemy of the people" as Shostakovich experienced in 1936, and being told that his music was "vulgar, formalistic, neurotic", is, fortunately, not very common. The composer's answer to this criticism was to write a new symphony, no 5, which received a full half-hour of applause. This could well have saved his life and his career.
Edouard Lalo's Violin Concerto "Symphonie Espagnole" has become one of the most popular large-scale violin works of the Romantic era.
Christian Vasquez from Venezuela is the Chief conductor of Stavanger Symphony Orchestra.