Born in 1948 in Latvia, Maisky received his first music lessons at the Riga Children’s Music School and Conservatory.
Maisky continued his studies at the Leningrad Conservatory and later with the legendary cellist Mstislav Rostropovich at the Moscow Conservatory.
Maisky's debut at 17 with the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra earned him the nickname "Rostropovich of the future".
Rostropovich lauded Maisky as "... one of the most outstanding talents of the younger generation of cellists. His playing combines poetry and exquisite delicacy with great temperament and brilliant technique."
After being imprisoned in a labour camp near Gorky for 18 months in 1970, Maisky emigrated to Israel where he holds citizenship. He currently lives in Belgium.
After a 1973 Carnegie Hall concert, an anonymous admirer gave him an 18th-century Montagnana cello on which he still performs today.
In his performing and recording career, Maisky has worked in long-standing partnerships with great artists such as the pianist Martha Argerich, the violinists Gidon Kremer and Janine Jansen, and the conductors Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Mehta, Vladimir Ashkenaz and Daniel Barenboim.
In 1995, Maisky returned to Moscow for the first time in 23 years to give a concert and to record works by Prokofiev with Mikhail Pletnev and the Russian National Orchestra.
In 2000, Maisky performed a “Bach Marathon” in Zurich playing all of Bach’s works for cello in three concerts on one day.
Did you know?
Maisky's daughter Lily is embarking on a career as a concert pianist. His son Sascha is a concert violinist. They have performed piano trios in public with their father.
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