The Great Purge of 1936. Suspicion, fear, repression and persecution ruled in Russia under Josef Stalin, as he sought to cleanse enemies of the State from "the people." No one was safe: not even artists. Once Dmitri Shostakovich was publicly denounced by Soviet newspaper Pravda, a brutal struggle between art and tyranny was launched. This month, the Los Angeles Philharmonic's festival "Shadow of Stalin" examines the difficulties imposed on creativity during this most pivotal and hostile time, with symposia, film screenings, exhibits and concert performances.In addition to the music of Shostakovich and his contemporary Sergei Prokofiev, the festival focuses on compositions by Russians Alfred Schnittke, Sofia Gubaidulina, Galina Ustvolskaya, Gavriil Popov, and Alexander Mosolov. The Iron Curtain moved beyond the confines of Russia, and the works of composers Karel Husa and Witold Lutoslawski are also prominently showcased.A major highlight is the screening of filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein's 1938 masterpiece "Alexander Nevsky," with a live performance of Prokofiev's re-constructed score. Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Pacific Chorale, joined by mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Gubanova.