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Mstislav Rostropovich
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    (March 27, 1927-April 27, 2007)
    Born in Baku, Azerbaijan
    Cellist and conductor
    Known for his interpretations of concertos by Dvorak, Haydn, Prokofiev and Shostakovich
    Exiled from the Soviet Union (1974-90)
    Received the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1987)
    Critics of his conducting said that he became so carried away with the music that he let the performance get out of control.
    He sometimes surprised his accompanists by pasting the centerfolds from men's magazines in the pages of their scores.
    At a tribute to Isaac Stern, he played Saint-Saens' 'The Swan' wearing a ballet tutu, red lipstick and a swan-like headdress.
    He was married to Galina Vishnevskaya for 52 years until his death.
    He commissioned over 100 new works for the cello.
    His travel visa was suspended after he sheltered Alexander Solzenitsyn at his home (1970).
    He performed an impromptu concert during the fall of the Berlin Wall.
    During an attempted coup by Communist hardliners, he flew to Moscow and joined Boris Yeltsin inside the beseiged parliament building (1991); the next day, an admirer told him, 'It was because you were there that they did not storm the parliament.'

Credit: C. Fishel

    In 2018, Out of 1 Votes: 100% Annoying
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    In 2010, Out of 17 Votes: 35.29% Annoying
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