Rodion Shchedrin is internationally recognized as the pre-eminent contemporary composer of the Russian modern school. His autobiography looks back over an eventful life and provides a variety of stimulating insights behind the facade of the international music scene. Along the way Shchedrin elaborates highly personal views on the political situation and many other aspects of life in the former Soviet Union, turning an unsparing eye on the machinery of ideological repression exerted on artists as they struggled to interpret and conform to the constantly mutating diktats of the regime. A wealth of anecdotes and humorous observations offer the reader glimpses of the author’s essentially sanguine and life-enhancing disposition. Rodion Shchedrin was born in Moscow in 1932. He studied composition and piano at the Moscow Conservatoire and quickly made his way to international recognition in both disciplines. His ballets, symphonic works, piano concertos and chamber music compositions are regularly performed in the leading theatres and concert halls of the world. Rodion Shchedrin and his wife, the prima ballerina Maya Plisetskaya, today make their homes in Moscow and Munich, shuttling between the two although, as Shchedrin prepares to enter his ninth decade of life, his ceaseless travels around the globe show no sign of diminishing.