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Mstislav Rostropovich died in Moscow.

The Washington Post has published a four-page obituary of the former National Symphony Orchestra conductor:

Cellist-Conductor Mstislav Rostropovich Dies at 80

as well as a slide show with remembrance by critic Tim Page.

The obituary in The New York Times:

Mstislav Rostropovich, Cellist and Conductor, Dies

with photos and an audio slide show

May he rest in peace.

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For my first job, I worked at Hurok Concerts, in New York. Since I spoke Russian, I got to work with many of the Russian artists and Mstislav Rostropovitch was one of them. Slava was everyone's favorite artist....he had a love of life and a love of people that was infectious. When he would arrive at the office, everyone would line up in their doorways to say hello and to get one of his enormous bear hugs. It is hard to express the love that all felt for him. He always took the time to say thank you and to make sure that your work was recognized by the boss.....on one occasion I was called in Mr. Hurok's office and walked in a little nervous. There sat Slava and Mr. H.....Slava asked me a question in Russian which I then answered. He then proceeded to praise my great talent in the Russian language to Mr. H and to let him know how wonderful I was. That was typical of him.

He will be missed by all whose lives he touched, both through his music and through his love of humanity and of that which was right.

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Thank you, Renata, for that remembrance. Rostropovich's warmth was palpable when he spoke, and we were lucky in Seattle to have him not only as a guest conductor, but as a seminar participant in the Symphony's Shostakovitch centennial programming.

Most of the tributes and obituaries mention that he was not as renowned a conductor as a cellist, but when it conducted the Seattle Symphony in Shostakovitch's Fifth Symphony a few years ago, it was the most vital performance I have heard from them. It was as if every pore on stage responded to him.

I've just found an obituary from The Boston Globe:


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Under the news report of Rostropovich's death on the BBC website is a list of remembrances:


This one is from Australia:

Towards the end of his concert he picked up his chair and put his back to the main audience to face the rows of seats looking down onto the stage from the rear as those seats had looked upon his back for almost the entire concert. He played especially for we students in the cheaper seats. The memory of his generous spirit has always stayed with me.
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In the Russian Orthodox tradition, Mstislav Rostropovich was buried three days after his death. The AP reported the funeral.


After the ceremony, Rostropovich's coffin was transported to the Novodevichy Cemetery, where his teachers Dmitry Shostakovich and Sergei Prokofiev, and his longtime friend Boris Yeltsin, the first leader of post-Soviet Russia, are also buried. Yeltsin died April 23.
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I was so sad to hear this news. I started listening to the recordings of him conducting some of Shostakovich's symphonies a few weeks ago and I think they're really amazing.

My parents and grandparents saw him conduct in DC many times, and my grandmother told me about meeting him once. It was after a panel discussion. My grandmother mentioned that she plays the cello, and he got up, gave her a big hug, and exclaimed, "A colleague!"

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The Washington Post link, that Helene posted about the funeral, quotes Natalya Solzhenitsyn's tribute to Mstislav Rostropovitch:

"He spent all of his life being in love. He was in love with the music he played, with those who listened to him, with his loved ones, with the halls he played in....And in this state of love one is capable of moving mountains. And he did."

A fitting tribute to this musical giant with a golden heart.

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