Mischa Maisky with concert in Sofia together with Symphony Orchestra of the Bulgarian National Radio

Photo: library BGNES

World-known cellist Mischa Maisky will be soloist of the Symphony Orchestra of the Bulgarian National Radio for a concert that would take place on January 27 in Bulgaria Hall starting 19:30. Said to be one of the brightest musicians of our time, Maisky is a student of two of the greatest cellists of the 20th century - Mstislav Rostropovich and Gregor Piatigorsky. His life reminds of a movie. Born in 1948 in Riga, Latvia, he started studying in the Leningrad conservatory in 1962. Three years later he debuted with the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra (Today’s Sankt Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra - Dmitry Shostakovich). After in 1966 he won the first prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition, Mstislav Rostropovich invited him to continue training under his guidance in Moscow. Later Maisky said Rostropovich was like a father to him, not just a teacher.

In 1966 Maisky became winner of state music contest. Three years later, his elder sister, who is a pianist moved to Israel. Soviet authorities decided that 22-year-old Michail would emigrate, too. In 1970 he was arrested for „currency crime." The student illegally bought foreign currency in order to purchase a tape recorder, as he wanted to record the lessons of Rostropovich and preserve them. But Instead of graduating from the conservatory he was put in jail for four months and then spent 14 months more in a labour camp. There every day he used to load ten tons of cement using a shovel. „I did not see the cello; I was playing the shovel. But I am still grateful to fate. This experience helped me develop as a person and a human being…” Mischa Maisky later said. However, he also says that he considered the date when he left the Soviet Union as the date of his birth. In November 1972 he arrived at the station in Vienna, not knowing the language or anybody there, having no money and no music instrument. In November 1973 he debuted at Carnegie Hall in New York with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and had such a triumph that after the concert an anonymous patron gave him a cello by Italian master Domenico Montagnana. Since then, the musician has been travelling the world with a ticket for two- the cello is always with him. In 1975 he won the first prize at the International Gaspar Casado Cello Competition in Florence and this marked the beginning of his international music career. He is an honorary guest of all major halls and has played with the best orchestras, with conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Mehta, Vladimir Ashkenazi, Daniel Barenboim... He also partnered with some of the most famous names, including Yuri Bashmet, Martha Argerich, Gidon Kremer and others. Maisky devoted year 2000 to Johann Sebastian Bach and had over a hundred concerts across the world with works of the great master. "I never have enough time to explore and play everything I want," he says.

On January 27, Mischa Maisky will perform "The Variations on a Rococo Theme for cello and orchestra" by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. On the same day the world celebrates 261 years since the birth of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. In tribute to the genius composer the concert program includes three of his works - Overture from the opera "Don Giovanni", "A Musical Joke" and Symphony № 40. Conductor will be Alexander Zemtsov known to the Bulgarian audience as virtuoso violist with numerous awards.

English: Alexander Markov

Audio contains the following works:

.  Lensky's Aria from Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, performed by Mischa Maisky and Lucerne Symphony Orchestra

.  Allegro ma non tanto, performed by Mischa Maisky and Martha Argerich

.  Presto – Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra in E-flat major, performed by Mincho Minchev, Alexander Zemtsov, BNR Symphony Orchestra, conductor Emil Tabakov.

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