By Peter Korn on Apr 27, 2007
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.