PEOPLE

Peter Stumpf

Tuesday, 05 November 2013

The principal cellist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic recalls an inspiring meeting with Rostropovich

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

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