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SLAVA: REMEMBERING DEAR FRIEND. 90th anniversary of Maestro Rostropovich.

On March 27th, 2017, our dear friend Maestro Mstislav Rostropovich known to the world as 'the Cellist of the Century', according to impeccable Norman Lebrecht, would be 90.

Our thoughts went to that remarkable man: great musician, fantastic friend, unique personality. He was the embodiment of light, devotion, compassion and courage.

Slava was the Honorable Chairman of our first international charity, Arts Against Cancer ( AAC) that supported children cancer patients and their families worldwide. He was with us from the day of conceiving the organisation in 1989 and all the years of its intensive activities through early 2000s.

Slava was the one of very rare people who did beat the concept of age completely; he was the embodiment of youth in all and every sense.

Thinking on him today, with warmth and unbounded gratitude we remember our dear friend with his unique heart, and are sharing some mementos of those memories with our friends, clients and supporters:


 - Slava with his Stradivari rushing to the stage of the biggest and best in Scandinavia and the one of the best in Europe Tampere-Hall back in 1991 when he did flew for the inaugurating concert along with English Chamber Orchestra; the entire profit from that great concert went to support our AAC project of buying a special apartment for the families whose children suffered from cancer and were due to a long treatment in the one of the best hospitals in Finland;

- Slava with Inna at the press-conference before the event.


 - All 14 years of the AAC activities our logo was the same, created by Michael. It depicted Slava, his friend and hero, as the main character crowning our efforts to help those in utter and rather desperate need. All those years, every action of the AAC would it be charitable concert, exhibition, performance, auction, would be having our special poster, also created by Michael, with Slava there in a spotlight, being a beacon of hope for so many during all the years of his brilliant , and very far from easy one, life.

Michael Rogatchi (C). Slava. Portrait of Maestro Mstislav Rostropovich. Oil on canvas, 74 x 65 cm. 2009. The Rogatchi Art Collection.Michael Rogatchi (C). Slava. Portrait of Maestro Mstislav Rostropovich. Oil on canvas, 74 x 65 cm. 2009. The Rogatchi Art Collection.

-  Michael started to work on the portrait of Slava back in 2006, out of intuition; he just felt compelled without any special reason to his portrait. Very shortly after the start of the work, we have learned that Slava had contracted cancer which was really nasty one. Our friend fought very bravely, exemplary so. All the time of Slava's illness, Michael simply could not work on the portrait. It was just impossible thing to do for Michael, despite of his many attempt to return to the portrait.

It was not before a couple of years after Slava passed away ( almost ten years ago) when Michael was able to complete the portrait of our dear friend. Slava's wife, legendary singer Galina Vishnevskaya who was the centre of his life, is also depicted in the portrait. The portrait called Slava. Portrait of Maestro Mstislav Rostropovich, was called for the famous art competition of the National Portrait Gallery in London, but Michael has declined the honour being unwilling to depart, even temporarily, with the portrait of his dear friend. This portrait is always near Michael, would it be in his study, or in his studio. "In this way, I am still talking with Slava" - Michael says.

[ Excerpt from Inna Rogatchi's Human Connection (C). Twelve Portraits forthcoming book; and Niggun on Canvas. the Life and Art of Michael Rogatchi (C) forthcoming film].

In 2012, Inna Rogatchi and The Rogatchi Foundation has donated Inna's Melody Thread fine art photography series depicting rare original old musical instruments to the permanent Art Collection of the Academic Philharmonic of St Petersburg in memory of Slava Rostropovich. The St Petersburg Philharmonic has been the first concert hall in Russia where Maestro Rostropovich performed in 1988 after his exile.