National Symphony Orchestra Music Director (1977-1994), Conductor Laureate (1994-2007)
by Audrey Roll, 2007
Audrey Roll-Preissler is an American artist whose works embrace outdoor painting, portraiture, and humorist satire.
Her bust of Rostropovich was commissioned by National Symphony Orchestra Board member Austin Kiplinger and was installed in 2007.
Roll-Preissler is particularly noted for her work featuring musicians, including a series of busts of classical composers.
Mstislav Rostropovich (1927–2007) was a virtuoso cellist and one of the leading conductors of his time.
In 1943 at 16, Rostropovich entered the Moscow Conservatory. By the 1950s, he had won multiple competitions and was touring extensively. In 1956, he became a professor at the Moscow Conservatory.
Rostropovich began conducting in 1968. In 1974, after disagreements with the Soviet regime, he left Russia. He was the director of the National Symphony Orchestra from 1977–1994. During Rostropovich’s tenure at the NSO, he was credited with making the orchestra a world-class ensemble.
His passionate style made him hugely popular with audiences, and performances frequently sold out. He was also able to bring in many famous guests to perform with the orchestra. Rostropovich continued to give concerts and conduct leading orchestras around the world. He also recorded great cello works and gave cello master classes.
He died in Moscow.