John Riley works at the British Universities Film and Video Council. He has written and lectured widely and given radio broadcasts on Soviet music and film.
Moscow Times: "The renaissance in Russian and Soviet cinema studies continues with the appearance of two fine new books in IB Tauris's KINOfiles Filmmaker's Companions series." "these well-researched studies help to bring crucial dilemmas in Soviet cultural history into sharper focus." "Riley produces some wonderfully evocative descriptions of Shostakovich's work that show a sure grasp of musical logic and make us want to find the scores and recordings for ourselves" "analytic energy and wealth of anecdote" "excellent and highly readable" The Morning Star: "These film scores are not just incidental music but form an integral part of the direction and production of the films." "It is hoped that John Riley's excellent book will not only popularise Shostakovich's film music but also bring about a revival of interest in the films themselves..." Professor David Fanning - University of Manchester: "Thanks to John Riley we now have a much fuller picture of the tortuous fate of many of the films themselves, as well as a judicious weighing of their cinematic and musical merits. To all this the author brings not only his expertise as a film historian - drawing on Russian as well as Western sources - but also a wide-ranging musical knowledge and penetrating intelligence." 'This book fills a major gap in Shostakovich commentary and has much to offer anyone interested in Soviet culture.' - David Fanning, SEER MLR 'this is the first ever English-language study of Shostakovich's film music...automatically indispensable...undoubtedly pioneering work, and a major step in a fascinating new direction.'