Rostropovich has died

April 27, 2007

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.