With the album ‘Outcast’, Matangi makes its case for artistic freedom and musical expressiveness. This is an ode to musical troublemakers and outsiders; three Soviet-Russian composers who wrote music that went dangerously against the tastes of the regime under which they lived. Described as ‘avant-garde’ or ‘western’, they stuck their necks out with their work, risking their careers or - in the case of Dmitri Shostakovich under Stalin - even their personal freedom. Shostakovich for instance always had a packed suitcase in readiness for his possible arrest by the KGB. Alfred Schnittke was also severely held back by his own government. His work was viewed with suspicion and performances were regularly thwarted. In addition to his musical oeuvre, the Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov is known for his political opposition to the rulers of the former Soviet Union and present-day Russia. The Matangi Quartet is an ardent advocate of Silvestrov’s music and has developed a special personal and musical bond with him. In 2017 he was Artist in Residence of Matangi’s own (Un)heard Music Festival.