Wolf Prize Laureate in Music 2004
“a cellist, conductor, pianist and exceptional human being, who has created a career of monumental proportions”.
Mstislav Rostropovich has nurtured an entirely new repertory for the violoncello and brought the joy of music to millions of people worldwide. Rostropovich is a living testimony to the way in which music can have a positive and transforming impact on the inhabitants of this bruised and troubled planet.
Internationally acclaimed as one of the great cellists and musicians of our time, Rostropovich has performed worldwide and has worked diligently to enlarge the cello repertory, by commissioning works from many of the 20th century’s great composers. His extraordinary technique and passionate performances have set a standard for cellists worldwide.
Rostropovich is one of the world’s most outspoken defenders of human and artistic freedom. In 1974, after a period of four years during which Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn resided in their home, Rostropovich and his wife, the celebrated soprano Galina Vishnevskaya, decided to leave the Soviet Union. Since then he has devoted much time, and given numerous performances, in support of humanitarian efforts around the world. His total involvement in both music and society makes him the quintessential citizen artist.
Rostropovich is one of the most active recording artists of the 20th century. He also won acclaim as an outstanding conductor, appearing with many of the world’s leading orchestras, as well as conducting and recording many operas.
As a musician and as citizen of the world, Mstislav Rostropovich personifies the triumph of artistic endeavor and humanity over social oppression.