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Mischa Maisky

Israeli Cellist

Personal Life

Mischa Maisky was born on the 10th of January 1948 in Riga, Latvia. As a child, he was surrounded by music as his older brother played violin, organ and harpsichord with his older sister playing the piano. Inspired by his older siblings, he received his first music lessons at the Children’s Music School and Conservatory.

Following in his brother’s footsteps, he enrolled at the Leningrad Conservatory in 1962. After completing his studies at the conservatory, he debuted with the Leningrad Philharmonic orchestra in 1965. Whilst playing with the ensemble, he earned the nickname Rostropovich of the Future while playing with the ensemble. He was a prize winner at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1966.


Following his win at the International Tchaikovsky Competition, he began his studies with Rostropovich at the Moscow Conservatory and pursued a concert career throughout the Soviet Union. He studied with Rostropovich for four years until he was imprisoned for searching the black market for a replacement tape recorder, being detained due to his sister’s immigration.

Following his release in 1972, Maisky moved to Israel. On a scholarship from America-Israel Cultural Foundation, he studied with Piatigorsky in the United States. He made his American debut in 1973 with a performance at Carnegie Hall and made his England debut in 1976 with a performance with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He returned to Russia in 1955 to perform and record with the Russian National Orchestra and Mikhail Pletnev.

Throughout his career, Maisky has worked with a variety of artists, including pianists Peter Serkin, Lang Lang, Radu Lupu, and Sergio Tiempo; violinist Itzhak Perlman, Janine Jansen,  Joshua Bell and Maxim Vengerov; and conductors Carlo Maria Guilinim, Riccardo Muti,  Daniel Barenboim and Mariss Jansons. He released his first recording, Johann Sebastian Bach: Six Suites for Solo Cello, in 1985 and his most recent recording, Cellissimo: an album of encore pieces, was released in the 2000s.


Did You Know?

Like many musicians, Mischa Maisky passed on his musical genes to his family. His daughters, Sascha and Lily, work with the violin and piano respectively.

Mischa Maisky

Mischa Maisky Recordings


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