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About the Author

Elizabeth Wilson studied at the Moscow State Conservatory with Mstislav Rostropovich between 1964 and 1971. She has also written Shostakovich: A Life Remembered and Jacqueline du Pre. She lives in Italy.


Recommended for all music collections. -- Larry Lipkis, Moravian College, PA * Library Journal *
A definitive portrait of the master cellist certain to be greeted with a crescendo of applause. * Publishers Weekly *
Comprehensive biography of the late cellist brings together personal anecdotes and important insights into the larger-than-life musician. * Forecast *
Rich portrait of the artistic hothouse that encased Russia's postwar music world....Tale is lovingly told. * Russian Life *
Will help readers understand his teaching methods and playing psychology. -- Graham Pellettieri * Strings *
Readers will be persuaded that Mstislav Rostopovich was every bit as grand and wonderful and humane as [Wilson] portrays him. -- Michael Dirda * The Review of Higher Education *
Loving biography of a warm, caring teacher, performer, and family man who will long be remembered for...his music. -- Alan Hirsch * Booklist *
This is an extraordinary book about the musical and cultural environment in the Soviet Union that produced Mr. Rostropovich. -- Priscilla S. Taylor * The Washington Times *
Part memoir, part history...has a researcher's diligence mixed with an unapologetic personal touch and an artist's idealism. -- Kenneth Young * The Buffalo News *
A definitive and in-depth biography. * Midwest Book Review *
A fitting tribute to the greatest cellist of his time. -- Pamela Margles * The Whole Note, (Www.Thewholenote.Com) *
[Wilson] knows her music...This is an extraordinary book about the musical and cultural environment in the Soviet Union that produced Mr. Rostropovich .... [Wilson's] thorough research makes this biography an encyclopedia of an era. * The Washington Times *
Wilson thoroughly examines Rostropovich's rapid rise as a performer and prize winner, his career as a teacher at the Moscow Conservatory where she was his student (1964-71), his association with many leading composers of his time and the resulting significant enlargement of the cello repertory, and his ardent defense of artistic and intellectual freedom...The book's strongest feature is the author's treatment of Rostropovich the teacher....Recommended. * CHOICE, June 2008 *

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