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Putin unveils Moscow street monument to Slava Rostropovich

“I’m proud that I knew Rostropovich,” said the incoming Russian president. “Such people, without a doubt, made up and make up the pride of our country.”

The bronze and granite statue of Rostropovich with a cello in his hands was unveiled at the intersection of Bryusov Pereulok and Yeliseyevsky Pereulok in central Moscow, near where Rostropovich lived with his wife, Galina Vishnevskaya.

Putin (r.) also offered support for Vishnevskaya’s (l.) efforts to set up a Moscow-based Cultural Heritage Center named after Rostropovich.

photo: Ria-Novosti/Lebrecht Music & Arts


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  1. Anziano says:

    About time! If a city must have monuments erected to famous people (perhaps a somewhat dubious cultural tradition, but that’s a whole other debate), surely artists are a more appealing – and decidedly more pacific – symbol of what a country hopes to achieve than ferocious generals just waiting for the next revisionist movement to call them nasty names.
    With that in mind, a photo of the monument would have been more appropriate than this one. Several excellent shots can be seen at

  2. Linda Grace says:

    Thanks for the link, Anziano, and I have to say that seeing Vishnevskaya’s look in this photo next to the monument is so revealing…

  3. Robert Fitzpatrick says:

    Agreed that Rostropovich deserves such public recognition; but, if the sculptor really had courage, he would have included a chunk of the Berlin Wall circa 1989. That scene is my greatest personal memory of Slava and of almost any other recent performer. The next greatest memory was hearing Rostropovich and Richter play a full recital with encores, both performing from memory, in the Academy of Music in Philadelphia in the mid-1960s.

    If you want to understand why Galina might be frowning, please read her autobiography.

  4. John Hames says:

    And by the way, thanks for telling us which is Putin and which is Vishnevskaya :-)

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