Greetings from Olga Rostropovich
Now, for the Eighth time we come together in these springlike March days for the Mstislav Rostropovich International Festival.
I am extremely happy and proud that, during these last 7 festivals we have hosted over 80,000 people at our concerts, as well as presenting participants from the ranks of internationally renowned artists, and dozens of the world's most renowned orchestras and choirs. And it is namely the Rostropovich Festival that has accomplished the feat of bringing to Moscow not only world-class soloists but large musical groups, such as orchestras and choirs. That we have been able to do this is due to our shared love for Mstislav Rostropovich, the great musician, the great human being, – and a wonderful Father.
This year he would have celebrated his 90th birthday; he passed away 10 years ago. It is sometimes difficult to believe such numbers and dates. At home, I seem to hear – not only his voice, but hear him rehearsing, or working with a student, or joking about something. And it seems only yesterday that funeral music was played in his honour at the Grand Hall of the Conservatoire, under these vaults, where he so loved playing. Yet today he is here with us again. Indeed, the Festival's main aim is to unite our hearts and memories in devotion to Mstislav Rostropovich, through listening to music, the art to which he gave life-service.
He was called “a Soldier of Music”, and he himself used to say that in performing music he was defending human rights. He dreamt of happiness for all and for each and every one of us; – he did so much to help achieve this dream! I am sure that all who treasure the name of Mstislav Rostropovich, are pledged to continue his lofty mission, even if we are unable to achieve such supreme heights of artistry.
With my love to all,