The Soviet Regime’s Effect on the Musical Career of Mstislav Rostropovich

Topics: Russia, Soviet Union, Mstislav Rostropovich Pages: 13 (4483 words) Published: February 26, 2013
The Soviet Regime’s Effect On the Musical Career of
Mstislav Rostropovich

Subject: History
Word Count: 3,860
May 2009

Abstract
Mstislav Rostropovich was one of the most famous cellists in world history and a very famous conductor. He popularized the cello to a level it had never reached before, expanding the cello repertoire more than any other cellist has ever done. This investigation will be focusing on the effect that the Soviet Union’s regime had on the musical career of Rostropovich.

The Soviet regime oppressed every walk of life including music. This ruined the careers of many musicians but Rostropovich was able to continue to have a great career. This paper will only investigate the effect on his musical career. It will investigate how the Soviet Union pushed Rostropovich into deciding to leave the Soviet Union, which had a major effect on his career. One source that was used much throughout the paper will be Rostropovich The Musical Life of the Great Cellist, Teacher and Legend by Elizabeth Wilson. She was a student of Rostropovich and was able to interview Rostropovich. This book also has a large focus on his musical career.

I am also a cellist and am very interested in the life of Mstislav Rostropovich. I found through this investigation that the Soviet Union’s regime had a very large effect on Rostropovich’s musical career. They put restrictions on his career as a performer both at home and internationally to a point where he barely had any career as a performer anymore. Tired of the oppression Rostropovich decided to leave the country. Leaving Russia had a monumental effect on his career, allowing him the freedom to be able to do things he wasn’t ever able to do and letting his career reach it’s full potential.

Table of Contents
Abstract…………………………………………………………………...……Page 1 Extended Essay…………………………………………………………….…..Pages 3-16
-Introduction……………………………………………………...……Page 3
-Childhood……………………………………………………...…….. Page 3
-Decree on Formalism of 1948…………………..…………...………..Page 4
-Rostropovich the Composer……………………………..……...……..Page 5
-Advocacy for New Music……………………………………………..Page 6
-Rostropovich and Prokofiev…………………………….……………..Page 7
-Informants……………………….………………………………...…..Page 8
-The Ministry of Culture’s Control..………………………….………..Page 9
-Effects from the Russian Invasion of Czechoslovakia of 1968…...…..Page 10
-Housing an Enemy of the State………..……………………………....Page 11 -Leaving The Soviet Union…………………………………………......Page 14 -After Leaving The Soviet Union……………….……….……………..Page 15 -Conclusion………………………………………..…………..………..Page 16 Bibliography……………………………………………...……………………..Page 17

To what extent did the Soviet Regime influence the musical career of Mstislav Rostropovich? Introduction
The Soviet Union’s regime greatly affected the lives of many artists. It ruined the career of many great artists, placing Soviet idealism over the artistry of many great artists. One of these artists was the world famous musician Mstislav Rostropovich. At first, Rostropovich was a loyal Soviet citizen and was even awarded the Lenin Prize in Music in 1964. As Rostropovich moved along in his career, his discontent for the Soviet Regime grew with the growing persecution of many of his friends and idols. He spoke out against the Soviet Regime and for that was persecuted to the point where he had to flee the country. This paper will address the Soviet Union’s effect on Rostropovich’s career as a musician throughout his life. Childhood

During his childhood, one event that greatly affected the career of Mstislav Rostropovich was the death of his father, Leopold Rostropovich. During World War Two, in the spring of 1942, his father became ill and died. Up until his father’s death, Mstislav Rostropovich took music lessons from his father, who was a well-respected cellist in the Soviet Union. Before his death, Leopold wrote a note that was to be opened after he died, insisting that Rostropovich was to study with his...

Bibliography: Harris,Jonathan. The Split in Stalin 's Secretariat, 1939-1948. 1 ed. Plymouth: Lexington Books, 2008.
Mulcahy, Kevin V.. "Official Culture and Cultural Repression: The Case of Dmitri Shostakovich." Journal of Aesthetic Education 18, no. 3 (1984): 69-83.
Schonberg, Harold C.. "1917--The Russian Revolution--1967; Soviet Music, Long Restricted by Ideology, Sees a Modern Trend Emerging." New York Times, October 12, 1967,
Wilson,Elizabeth
[ 2 ]. Harris,Jonathan. The Split in Stalin 's Secretariat, 1939-1948. 1 ed. Plymouth: Lexington Books, 2008.
[ 3 ]. Mulcahy, Kevin V.. "Official Culture and Cultural Repression: The Case of Dmitri Shostakovich." Journal of Aesthetic Education 18, no. 3 (1984): 69-83.
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