Friday, April 27, 2007



Cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich has died at the age of 80.

He was the music director of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC, for many years, and I spent many an evening in the 1980s enjoying the NSO under his baton. I had the opportunity, also, to see him play cello several times. I have recordings of his performances with the NSO, and of him playing cello in everything from Bach and Haydn to Prokofiev and Shostakovich. I think tonight will be Slava night on the Leiba stereo.

His nickname, Slava, is short for Mstislav, of course, but it's also the Russian word for “glory”. He certainly brought a great deal of glory to music. Rest in peace, Slava.

1 comment:

The Ridger, FCD said...

And the Msti- element of his name means "vengeance". Quite an Old Testament sort of name, that: Vengeance and Glory.