Slava died today

The world lost a great man today. Mstislav Rostropovich died today in Moscow. The New York Times has a warm and loving obituary (assuming you have a free login to read it). I re-joined the San Francisco Symphony Chorus in large part to sing with Slava - his widely used nickname - performing Babi Yar, a piece written by his teacher & mentor Dmitri Shostakovich.

Not only was Slava a great conductor, and a tremendous cellist, but he was also a world citizen who suffered the consequences of criticizing his mother Russia (whilst defending the writer & dissident Aleksander Solzhenitsyn). When the Berlin Wall fell, Slava flew there immediately, and gave an impromptu solo recital.

It was a tremendous honor to sing under his baton, and I will miss him greatly.

Comments:

Yes, very sad news indeed. It was an honour and a joy to work with him last year. He seemed to spend as much time telling us stories of his perilous times in old Russia as he did rehearsing the piece with us! Rest well, Slava.

Posted by Stew Murrie on April 27, 2007 at 02:51 AM PDT #

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