prokofiev and stalin

this is an example of a very interesting relationship between a brilliant artist and a dictator. Prokofiev comes back to USSR from the US in 1936. In 1939 he writes his first Soviet opera, but right before the premiere Stalin arrests, tortures and eventually kills the opera house head, Meyerhold. WW2 starts in September, and in October Stalin commissions Prokofiev to write Здравица (Hail to Stalin) to celebrate Stalin's 60th birthday. And Prokofiev writes one of his best pieces of work - viciously sarcastic and insanely flattering at the same time. I don't know Stalin's reaction to Zdravitsa, but Prokofiev got six Stalin Prizes in the 1940s and 1950s. They both died on the same day on 5 March 1953

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCcXQBIjvM0

 prokofiev and stalin