Who’s playing Slava’s £2m cello?

Who’s playing Slava’s £2m cello?


norman lebrecht

January 24, 2019

It has been disclosed that the purchaser of Mstislav Rostropovich’s Guadagnini at Sotheby’s for a record £1.9 million was a Norwegian cultural foundation, which has placed it on loan with Torleif Thedéen.

The Swedish cellist, 56, will play it for the first time on February 28 in Stockholm.



  • John Smith says:

    Whatever happened to his “Duport” Stradivarius?

    • Jack says:

      “The Duport, however, was reported to be his favorite, especially in his later years. After Rostropovich’s death the cello was initially reported in the press as purchased by the Nippon Music Foundation for $20 US million, but Mstislav Rostropovich’s heirs later commented that they remained the owners of the famous cello, according to a legal representative for the family. Its exact whereabouts remain unknown, and very little if any new information has appeared about it since the disputed article in 2008.”

  • Robert Battey says:

    Slava owned a number of instruments. He used the Guadagnini relatively little; as the instrument was slightly under-sized. All of his iconic recordings, until he moved to the West, were done on his Storioni. When he acquired the Strad, he did use it a lot, but those instruments require a lot of care & maintenance, and towards the end of his career he mostly used a modern instrument.