Mstislav Rostropovich and Influence on Cello Literature Research Paper

Mstislav Rostropovich and Influence on Cello Literature
An overview of the musical career of Mstislav Rostropovich and his relationship with composers Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and Britten.
# 153929 | 1,455 words | 0 sources | 2008 | US
Published on Jun 22, 2014 in Music Studies (History) , History (Russian) , Music Studies (Composers)

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"In the world of 20th century composition, few musicians were more influential and admired than Mstislav Rostropovich. Born in Baku, Azerbaijan in 1927, Rostropovich began studying piano at the age of four and shortly after began learning cello from his father (who had worked with Pablo Casals).. A few years later, he moved on to study at the Moscow Conservatory where he met Dmitri Shostakovich, with whom he studied orchestration for three years. Rostropovich gave his first public concert in 1940 and by the end of the Second World War he had won several European competitions and was awarded the Stalin Prize (the highest honor in the U.S.S.R. at the time) for his 1951 performance of the Bach Suites. In 1955, Rostropovich married Galina Vishnevskaya, a soprano at Moscow's Bolshoi Opera. Rostropovich's also had an interest in conducting and made his debut in 1961 in Gorky. He went on to conduct most of the world's leading orchestras, including the London Symphony and Chicago Symphonies.
"For Rostropovich's entire childhood, and the beginnings of his professional career, the Soviet Union was controlled by Joseph Stalin and the Communist Party. Rostropovich was never forced from the country or blacklisted by the government, but left the Soviet Union, with Galina Vishnevskaya, of his own accord in 1974. Sixteen years later, they returned and became increasingly active with national affairs and human rights. Until his death in 2007, Rostropovich remained very active as both a cello soloist, piano accompanist to his wife, conductor, human rights activist, and educator.
"During his lifetime, Rostropovich premiered dozens of works by his contemporaries, many of which were written for him. Among the composers who wrote for Rostropovich were Henri Dutilleux, Leonard Bernstein, Alfred Schnittke, Aram Khachaturian, Astor Piazzolla, Olivier Messiaen, Witold Lutos awski, Krzysztof Penderecki, Sofia Gubaidulina and Arthur Bliss. The three with whom he maintained the closest and most fruitful relationships were Dmitri Shostakovich, Sergei Prokofiev, and Benjamin Britten."

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