Maisky, Mischa

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Maisky, Mischa

Maisky, Mischa, Russian-born Israeli cellist; b. Riga, Jan. 10, 1948. He was a pupil of Rostropovich at the Moscow Cons. In 1965 he won 1st prize in the All Russian Competition and made his formal debut as a soloist with the Leningrad Phil.; in 1966 he was a laureate at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. Despite his successful career, he got into trouble with the Soviet authorities when he bought a tape recorder without proper permission. In 1969 he was duly arrested and spent a few months in jail. Determined to leave Russia, he approached a liberal-minded psychiatrist, who, like Maisky, was of the Jewish faith, and was committed to an asylum. He was finally permitted to emigrate to Israel in 1971, where he settled and became a naturalized Israeli citizen. In 1973 he captured 1st prize at the Gaspar Cassado Competition in Florence. He also pursued further studies with Piatigorsky in the U.S. From 1975 he toured throughout the world, appearing as a soloist with orchs., as a recitalist, and as a chamber music artist.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire