As Phillip Huscher includes in his program note, “Shostakovich composed most of his seventh symphony in Leningrad, his birthplace, during the siege of the city that ultimately took nearly a million lives — roughly one-third of its inhabitants — as a result of hunger, cold and air raids.”

On Aug. 22, 1942, less than six months after the world premiere, Frederick Stock led the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony — “which has aroused more interest than any other symphonic work in decades” — in a special concert for the benefit of Russian war relief at the Ravinia Festival.

Read more: Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony in Chicago