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 Mstislav Rostropovich

Born:   March 27, 1927
Deceased:   April 27, 2007

outstanding musician and conductor


Mstislav Leopoldovich Rostropovich was born in Baku on March 27, 1927 into the family of musicians (his father was a well-known cellist Leopold Rostropovich).  The boy started learning music at the age of four. 

In 1937 he graduated from Musorgsky Musical College in Moscow, and at the age of 16 became a student of the Moscow Conservatory majoring in composition. Among his teachers there were Sergey Prokofiev and Dmitri Shostakovich. 
Rostropovich's performing style is remembered at once:  it combines emotional elation with intellectuality and an exclusively developed feeling for form.  Having become a very famous cellist, he performed many works for the first time.  More than a hundred works were composed specially for him. 
In 1974 for his dissident activity (in particular, his support of Solzhenitsyn) Mstislav Rostropovich and his family were compelled to leave the USSR. Four years later the Soviet Union authorities deprived the renowned musician and his wife, the talented singer Galina Vishnevskaya of nationality. 
The name of Mstislav Rostropovich, who was the head of the National Symphonic Orchestra of the USA for 17 years, came to be connected with rooting of the great Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich’ music in America. 
Rostropovich returned to Moscow after 16 years of exile in 1991, in connection with the events at the White House (August Coup). He was already a musician recognized all around the world. 
Rostropovich was awarded the title of the Doctor Honoris Causa in more than 50 universities worldwide, as well as state awards of 29 countries.
The musician was actively engaged in charity work. In 2003 Mstislav Rostropovich became the first Russian musician and the seventh musician in the world to take the prestigious Grammy “For Extraordinary Career of the Musician, for Life in Records”.
The great cellist Mstislav Leopoldovich Rostropovich died after a serious illness on April 27, 2007 in Moscow and was laid down to rest at the Novodevichy Cemetery.

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