During my formative years I listened to classical music day and night. It was the love of my life back then.  Among my favorite performers I had a “Special Three”, whose recordings I collected and enjoyed over and over.  I think their music got into my head and influenced me a great deal.  One of them was the Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, whose recordings during my college days were done on the other side of the Iron Curtain, the sound quality of which was inferior to recordings made in the west.  Sound quality notwithstanding, the wonderful artistry of Rostropovich shown through to me.  When I heard him play ‘live,’ his sound was really special.  I have never heard such a high level of musicianship on the cello.

I did not know then that my career would include recordings and performances with the maestro, and even the opportunity to spend time with him — even some special time alone  one afternoon with him and my two cello-playing children, Sarah and Jonathan!

This photo was taken the summer of 2001 after a Tanglewood concert during which we had again performed Richard Strauss‘ Don Quixote,  in which I played the tenor tuba part.