Alfred Garrievich Schnittke (Russian: Альфре́д Га́рриевич Шни́тке, Alfred Garriyevich Shnitke; 24 November 1934 – 3 August 1998) was a Russian composer of Jewish-German descent. Among the most performed and recorded composers of late 20th-century classical music, he is described by musicologist Ivan Moody as a "composer who was concerned in his music to depict the moral and spiritual struggles of contemporary man in [...] depth and detail."Schnittke's early music shows the strong influence of Dmitri Shostakovich. He developed a polystylistic technique in works such as the epic Symphony No. 1 (1969–1972) and his first concerto grosso (1977). In the 1980s, Schnittke's music began to become more widely known abroad with the publication of his second (1980) and third (1983) string quartets and the String Trio (1985); the ballet Peer Gynt (1985–1987); the third (1981), fourth (1984), and fifth (1988) symphonies; and the viola concerto (1985) and first cello concerto (1985–1986). As his health deteriorated, Schnittke's music started to abandon much of the extroversion of his polystylism and retreated into a more withdrawn, bleak style.