After concerts, Slava got down and scrubbed the floors

Among the many memories shared with me by the sorely-missed Victor Hochhauser:

….After Oistrakh, there was Slava — the cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich who, when in London, insisted on staying at the Hochhausers. After the Soviets threw him out for giving shelter to the dissident writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Slava and his family lived in the Hochhauser office for a while, permanently wrecking Victor’s credit in Moscow. Victor eventually got him a flat in Maida Vale.

After concerts, coming down literally to earth, Slava would get on his knees and scrub the tiled floor. At his 60th birthday in Washington DC, with the Hochhausers and half of Hollywood in attendance, I saw Nancy Reagan take charge of the orchestra to conduct “Happy Birthday”….

Read on here.

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    • Brilliant documentary–had its premiere at Lincoln Center last year with the director and the Rostropovich daughters in attendance.

  • ==The ascetic French composer Pierre Boulez looked to Lilian to unfreeze Soviet resistance to his post-tonal music.

    Now that’s an interesting story I’d not heard before. I know PB managed to do Eclat in Moscow with BBC SO

    • I remember seeing a clip of the concert on tv years ago with a very stressed trumpeter counting like hell before a large audience which included Gennady Rozhdestvensky. Does anyone know if it’s resurfaced anywhere?

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