The name of one of the greatest cellists and conductors of the 20th century, Mstislav Rostropovich is known by many people. Baku is going to host the 8th International Mstislav Rostropovich Festival on May 17-24.
This festival follows an established tradition of excellence, presenting internationally renowned soloists and orchestras.
A grandiose performance by the Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra named after Uzeir Hajibeyli will open the ceremony at the Azerbaijan State Philharmonic – named after Muslim Magomayev. Its Artistic director and chief conductor is Rauf Abdullayev.
Olga Rostropovich, the daughter of Mstislav Rostropovich and the artistic director and president of the Mstislav Rostropovich Foundation, thanked President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva for their support.
“We are grateful to the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, President Aliyev and Mehriban Aliyeva for their big support and their dedication to honor the name of my father,” she said commenting on the event.
The festival will see the performance of many prominent music figures including famous Italian conductor Riccardo Muti, who will be accompanied by Orchestra Giovanile Luigi Cherubini.
Over the past years, the festival has hosted the world’s best symphony orchestras, choirs, and world-known soloists. Its programmes have been distinguished by their richness and variety, offering premières of new compositions, musical rarities, and works in different genres.
The Festival has also promoted the débuts of exceptionally gifted young musicians. Acclaimed by public and critics alike, the Mstislav Rostropovich Festival has acquired within a very short time an enviable international reputation, and today is recognized as one of the most important musical events.
The festival is jointly organized by the Mstislav Rostropovich Foundation and the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.
Rostropovich was born in Baku, Azerbaijan during the Soviet Union era in 1927. He was of mostly ethnic Russian ancestry, and his father was partly Polish.
Rostropovich was internationally recognized as a staunch advocate of human rights, and he was awarded the 1974 Award of the International League of Human Rights.
A five-time Grammy Award winner, he has become one of the West leading conductors. For 17 seasons, he was the permanent conductor and artistic director of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, which was included in the list of one of the best American orchestras. Rostropovich appeared regularly in the Berlin Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, as well as London Symphony Orchestra and the London Philharmonic.