The breadth of Rostropovich's expressive range was profoundly inspiring
When I was eleven, I attended a masterclass and concert given by Mstislav Rostropovich in Hartford, Connecticut. One thing I remember him saying was that before performing a piece, it was constantly on his mind – in the hotel getting ready to go to the hall and also as he was travelling to the performance. I’ve noticed that I often do that myself, but I don’t know if it’s because he mentioned it that day! That evening was the first time I ever heard him perform. He played the Saint-Saëns concerto and the Handel and Vivaldi ‘Double’ concertos, and the breadth of his expressive range was profoundly inspiring. In that moment, I decided to devote myself to the cello.
Originally published in The Strad, September 2011. Download the digital edition of the issue or subscribe to it as part of our 30-day free trial
Photo: courtesy Indiana University