Best Quotes from Mstislav Rostropovich

The cello is a hero because of its register – its tenor voice. It is a masculine instrument, whereas the violin is feminine because of its soprano pitch. When the cello enters in the Dvorak Concerto, it is like a great orator.

Mstislav Rostropovich

When I started learning the cello, I fell in love with the instrument because it seemed like a voice – my voice.

Mstislav Rostropovich

You know creators, composers, need a palette for life, a color for life.

Mstislav Rostropovich

It is my aim, my destination in life to make the cello as beloved an instrument as the violin and piano.

Mstislav Rostropovich

You must play for the love of music. Perfect technique is not as important as making music from the heart.

Mstislav Rostropovich

People are craving this great progress in electronics, going after computers, the Internet, etc. It’s a giant progress technologically. But they must have a balance of soul, a balance for human beauty. That means art has an important role.

Mstislav Rostropovich

Music is part of history, and our history has lessons that cannot be separated from our greatest music.

Mstislav Rostropovich

I never studied, but I had the best teachers.

Mstislav Rostropovich

Every man must have the right fearlessly to think independently and express his opinion about what he knows, what he has personally thought about and experienced, and not merely to express with slightly different variations the opinion which has been inculcated in him.

Mstislav Rostropovich

My mother carried me for 10 months. I asked her ‘Mother, you had an extra month, why you didn’t make me a beautiful face?’ and mother told me, ‘My son, I was busy making your beautiful hands and heart.’

Mstislav Rostropovich

Explain to me, please, why in our literature and art so often people absolutely incompetent in this field have the final word.

Mstislav Rostropovich

I played with the best conductors of the world.

Mstislav Rostropovich

The war years were the most difficult time of my life. There was real famine in Moscow. The water froze inside the houses. There was no heat.

Mstislav Rostropovich

In 1948 the first severe crash occurred in my life when Stalin put out his decree on ‘formalism.’ There was a bulletin board in the Moscow Conservatory. They posted the decree, which said Shostakovich’s compositions and Prokofiev’s were no longer to be played.

Mstislav Rostropovich

I listened to Pablo Casals, which was a big change for me. Without hearing Casals, I would never have advanced as I did.

Mstislav Rostropovich

I know that after my letter there will be undoubtedly an ‘opinion’ about me, but I am not afraid of it. I openly say what I think. Talent, of which we are proud, must not be submitted to the assaults of the past.

Mstislav Rostropovich

All my life I wanted to play music with love to every member of the audience.

Mstislav Rostropovich

I have a very deep religious belief.

Mstislav Rostropovich

Now I want to use money in a good way. I make foundations back home in Russia, I have sponsored vaccinations for more than one million children in my homeland and I have founded scholarships in the names of my great Russian compatriots – Oistrakh, Richter, Gilels, Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Schnittke.

Mstislav Rostropovich

Now I come to 75 years of age, I think what’s most important in life is your conscience. If you told a lie and made other people suffer, I think that’s very difficult when you reach this age.

Mstislav Rostropovich

I like coming to the United States because the United States played an important role in my life.

Mstislav Rostropovich

Of course, I know everything that happens in Russia. But even at the most dangerous moment or the most negative moment now, it’s still 10 times better than what it was in the communist state.

Mstislav Rostropovich

If I make a speech, I need a translator. But music does not need a translation. People understand me through the sound. That I think is very important. This is just one planet, like one family.

Mstislav Rostropovich

Baalbek is so beautiful. It is the heart of beauty in the Middle East – I want to embrace these people with my music. I will try so hard for them. Their president is a Christian, their prime minister is a Muslim. Music is for everyone.

Mstislav Rostropovich

I came to Moscow when I was 5 years old from Baku. To walk all night in Moscow will bring back my youth to me.

Mstislav Rostropovich