Mischa Maisky

January 10, 1948 - Riga (Latvia)

© Nicolas Brodard

Mischa Maisky is one of the best cellists in the world and one of the best ever performers of Bach suites. Find his music on medici.tv! 


Born in Riga (Latvia), Mischa Maisky was educated in Russia by the legendary cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. After his repatriation to Israel, the cellist  was enthusiastically received in London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, New York, and Tokyo, along multiple other major music centers. 

Mischa considers himself a citizen of the world: "I’m playing an Italian cello, with French and German bows, Austrian and German strings, my daughter was born in France, my oldest son in Belgium, the middle one in Italy and the youngest one in Switzerland, I’m driving a Japanese car, wear a Swiss watch, an Indian necklace and I feel at home everywhere where people appreciate and enjoy classical music." In fact, he shares his passion for music with at least two of his sons: the pianist Lily Maisky—to whom he dedicated his recording Meditations (DG Deutsche Grammophon)—and the violinist Sascha Maisky, who often performs alongside Mischa in his concerts.

As an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist, Mischa Maisky has made well over 30 recordings during the last 25 years with orchestras such as Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic and l’Orchestre de Paris: he has performed Shostakovich Concertos with the London Symphony Orchestra, Dvořák and Block with the Israel Philharmonic, the three Haydn Concertos with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Vivaldi and Boccherini’s Concertos with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Prokofiev and Miaskowski’s Concertos with the Russian National Orchestra.

One of the highlights of his career was the year 2000—it was mainly devoted to a worldwide Bach tour which included over 100 concerts! During this “Bach Marathon” in Zurich, he played all of Bach’s works for cello in three concerts in one day. In order to express his deep admiration for this great composer, Mischa Maisky also recorded Bach's solo suites for the third time with Deutsche Grammophon.

His recordings have enjoyed worldwide critical acclaim and have been awarded the prestigious Record Academy Prize in Tokyo five times, the Echo Deutscher Schallplattenpreis three times, Grand Prix du Disque in Paris and Diapason d’Or of the Year as well as the coveted Grammy nominations. In 2018, as Maisky was awarded the 46th Istanbul Music Festival Lifetime Achievement Award, he was lauded as “one of the greatest living cellists of our time” for his “profound artistry and devotion to music”. In 2019, he was awarded Honorary Membership of the London Royal Academy of Music. This honor is limited to 300 living people at a time, recognising Maisky alongside greats such as Mendelssohn, Liszt, Stravinsky, and the cellist Pablo Casals. Recently, he has become the second cellist ever to receive the title of “Accademico Onorario” of the Academy of Santa Cecilia, one of the oldest and most prestigious musical institutions in the world. He also received the Honorary Fellow Award of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. In 2021, Deutsche Grammophon released a set of his complete recordings with over 40 CDs.

A truly world-class cellist and regular guest at most major international music festivals, including the Salzburg and Verbier Festival, Mischa Maisky has collaborated with conductors including Leonard Bernstein, Carlo Maria Giulini, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Daniel Barenboim, James Levine, Charles Dutoit, Mariss Jansons, and Gustavo Dudamel and his partnerships have included artists such as Radu Lupu, Nelson Freire, Evgeny Kissin, Lang Lang, Peter Serkin, Yuri Bashmet, Vadim Repin, Maxim Vengerov, Joshua Bell, Julian Rachlin, and Janine Jansen to name just a few. During his career, he published many recordings, often in chamber ensembles, performing alongside pianist Martha Argerich and violinists Gidon Kremer and Sergio Tiempo.

Mischa Maisky pictured courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon GmbH.