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Mstislav Rostropovich

(1927-2007), Cellist

Sitter in 6 portraits
The virtuoso cellist Rostropovich was taught by Shostakovich from 1943. He met Britten in 1960, who inspired him to write Sonata in C for cello and piano (1961), Cello Symphony (1963) and three Suites for Cello (1964-71). His own technique inspired Shostakovich, Britten and Prokoviev to compose new work, enlarging the classical cello repertoire. Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, Rostropovich's advocation of human rights brought him into conflict with the Soviet Union authorities. In 1974 he was exiled as a dissident and settled in America with his wife, Opera Soprano Galina Vishnevskaya, and daughters. He returned as communism collapsed, performing Bach cello suites throughout the night as the Berlin Wall came down.

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Mstislav Rostropovich; Benjamin Britten, possibly by Maria Donata ('Marion') (née Stein), Countess of Harewood (later Mrs Jeremy Thorpe) - NPG x15244

Mstislav Rostropovich; Benjamin Britten

possibly by Maria Donata ('Marion') (née Stein), Countess of Harewood (later Mrs Jeremy Thorpe)
snapshot print, June 1964
NPG x15244

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