Rostropovich was more than just a great musician, of course. He was one of a handful of well-known Russian artists who were willing to put their lives on the line to protest Soviet tyranny….
Talk is cheap, and modern-day America is full of artists who bloviate at endless and enervating length about public affairs. How many of them, I wonder, would be prepared to do what Rostropovich did? As I read of his passing last week, I looked out the window of my room at the full-size replica of the Mayflower docked across the street in Plymouth Harbor, and asked myself whether I had it in me to walk away from my comfortable life for the sake of freedom. I like to think I would, but I’ve never faced such a choice, and very likely never will.
Read the whole thing here.