Man of infinite generosity and great charisma, Mstislav Rostropovitch
, nicknamed during his lifetime The Cello of the Century
, profoundly marked his time.
The composers Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Britten were among his many friends, and his mastery of the great repertoire was matched only by his passion for new music.
Forced to leave the Soviet Union in the 1970s for daring to defend freedom of expression, he will play an active role in Russia's transition from communism to democracy.
On November 11, 1989, Rostropovich moved the world by leaving his Paris apartment to play Bach, alone with his cello, in front of the wall of Berlin that just fell.
Rehabilitated in 1990 by Gorbachev, the cellist regains his nationality and is decorated by Putin, on the occasion of his 80th birthday in 2007. He dies a month later, following a cancer.
Brilliant cellist, Mstislav Rostropovich is above all a man who has fought all his life for freedom of thought and the defense of human rights.