MSTISLAV ROSTROPOVICH – CITIZEN OF THE WORLD
The greatest academic musician of the last century, Mstislav Rostropovich, not only had a unique performing talent, but was also a very principled person. He was not afraid to speak out against the totalitarian system of the Soviet Union, for which he was expelled from the country, and also deprived of citizenship. Abroad, Mstislav Leopoldovich became a global figure, taking one of the most significant places in the world of music.
Music from the cradle
Baku became his hometown for Mstislav Rostropovich, where he was born on March 27, 1927. His parents were musicians, they moved from Orenburg at the invitation of Uzeyir Hajibeyov, the founder of the professional musical art of Azerbaijan. From the first days of his life Mstislav was introduced to music. And from the age of five he is a musician Mstislav Rostropovich already studied in Moscow in a technical technical school. When the war began, the Rostropovichs again left for Orenburg. In 1942, Mstislav had to take responsibility for the family – his father died of a heart attack. The future outstanding cellist and conductor at a young age became a teacher at a music school to feed his mother and sister.
During this period he begins to compose music independently. He created a poem for cello, a piano concerto and a prelude for piano. In the war years, he also became a touring artist. Mstislav Rostropovich performed with the orchestra of the Maly Theater, gave numerous concerts in hospitals, military units and collective farms.
Not only gifted, but also already experienced, Mstislav became a student at the Moscow Conservatory at the age of 16 in order to perfect the art of playing the cello and acquire the skills of a composer. Rostropovich was lucky, the teacher Semyon Kozolupov immediately saw his enormous potential. Musician Mstislav Rostropovich taught Sergei Prokofiev and Dmitry Shostakovich the wisdom of composing skills. The last Mstislav showed the score of his piano concerto and performed it for clarity. Dmitry Dmitrievich appreciated the efforts of the young man and invited him to take individual lessons in order to raise the level. But in the future, Rostropovich never became a composer. The reason turned out to be simple. When Mstislav first heard the symphony No. 8 of Dmitri Shostakovich, the impression was so great that Rostropovich decided to give up his perspective on composing prospects. He realized that he could never reach the level of the great Shostakovich. And time has shown that the cellist has made the right choice, because the world has recognized an inimitable performer.
Mstislav Rostropovich earned his first professional award in 1945 at the All-Union competition of young performers. He was awarded musician Mstislav Rostropovich first prize. Such a success made a fifth year student out of a second year student. And after 5 years, he became the winner of an international competition in Prague. By that time he already had a conservatory and a graduate school. Mstislav Rostropovich very quickly became one of the prominent teachers. For more than a quarter of a century, he worked at the Moscow Conservatory and for several more years in Leningrad. During this time, he has trained more than a dozen world-renowned professionals. His students were Natalia Shakhovskaya, David Geringas, Natalia Gutman, Maris Villerush and others.
The creative life of Mstislav Leopoldovich had two clear directions. On the one hand, he was a great cellist with an impressive repertoire of works, and on the other hand, a brilliant symphonic and operatic conductor. Musician Mstislav Rostoropovich To understand all the power of his talent, it is worth mentioning that more than fifty famous composers created music specifically for Rostropovich. He became the first performer of over a hundred works for cello and gave premieres with the orchestra about 70 times.
Rostropovich-conductor debuted in 1957. Under the movement of his magic wand at the Bolshoi Theater, Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin was presented. Deafening success was not long in coming.
The conductor toured throughout the Soviet Union, and he also played in the same ensemble with Sviatoslav Richter and David Oistrakh.
Often, Mstislav Rostropovich performed on the same stage with his wife, opera singer Galina Vishnevskaya. They met in 1955 at the Prague Spring festival and have not parted from that day anymore.
Disgraced Mstislav Rostropovich
Being a fully developed man, Mstislav Leopoldovich communicated with people from different fields of activity. For example, musician Mstislav Rostropovich Alexander Solzhenitsyn linked him to warm friendly relations. When the Khrushchev thaw remained in the past, and Leonid Brezhnev came to power, the state machine tried to hunt down the author of famous works. Then Rostropovich settled Solzhenitsyn at his dacha and spoke in his defense with an open letter through the Pravda newspaper. Immediately followed by the reaction of the authorities. Mstislav Leopoldovich became restricted to leave, and working with large orchestras was forbidden for him. The press immediately turned away from the cellist.