Cellist, conductor and tireless campaigner for freedom of speech and human rights, Rostropovich was a musician like no other, one who used his supreme talent and prominence for the most humane purposes, from squeezing money from the Soviet Union of Composers for a starving Prokofiev to celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall with an impromptu recital of a Bach cello suite. Some of the greatest new works for cello were written expressly for him, including concertos by Lutosławski, Dutilleux and his teacher and lifelong friend Shostakovich, and together with his wife, the soprano Galina Vishnevskaya, he became for many years a fixture at the Aldeburgh Festival, where he gave frequent performances with Britten.
English Chamber Orchestra – Aldeburgh – 1969-1970
New Year's Eve Concert 1990
Edinburgh Festival 1964
Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Kirill Kondrashin
London Symphony Orchestra, Charles Groves (conductor), Bruno Rigutto, Vasso Devetzi (piano)