The news just came across the wires early this morning. Here’s the obit from the A-P:
MOSCOW (AP) – Famed master cellist and conductor Mstislav
Rostropovich has died.
The maestro, who was 80, died in Moscow.
He had lived abroad for years in self-imposed exile and became a
courageous champion of the rights of Soviet-era dissidents. Later
he triumphantly played Bach below the crumbling Berlin Wall.
Rostropovich was hospitalized in Paris in February, suffering
from intestinal cancer. After he took a turn for the worse, his
family arranged for him to be flown back to Russia. Among those who
called on him to pay respects were Russia’s President Vladimir
He was well enough last month to attend a celebration at the
Kremlin honoring his 80th birthday.
Russia’s ITAR-Tass news agency reports he was hospitalized again
several days ago.