1.” Will you Change your Last Name, Sir?”

When Rostropovich registered his marriage with Vishnevskaya at the District Registry nearby the bride’s residence, the registrar Officer recognised immediately the soloist of the Bolshoi Theatre Vishnevskaya. The Officer-Lady wondered whom the great singer got married to. Having seen the bridegroom of unappealing appearance she smiled at Vishnevskaya with sympathy, kept on reading with difficulty his last name “Ro…stro…po…vich” said to him: “Well, comrade, you have the last chance at the moment to change your last name, will you?”

2.Rubinshtein in Vienna

When Anton Rubinshtein was on tour in Vienna, he ran into a very greedy entrepreneur.

Negotiations about the payment for the concerts were delayed so long, that Rubinshtein at long last said: “O’kay, I agree to receive half-payment for my concerts, but I will play also half softer than usual.”

3.We all sing…

Once Shalyapin left the Bolshoi Theatre after performance and sat into the Carriage driven by Driver. When they started moving, the driver asked him: “And you, Sir, what are doing for living?”.

“Well, I sing”, responded Shalyapin.

“I am asking about the other thing. I am asking: “What do you do? Singing is what that we all do. And I sing when I become sad. I am asking: “What do you do actually for living?”

4. Who is the Coach? 

In 1953 David Oistrakh was on tour in England, and the Ambassador of the USSR organised the reception in honour of the great musician. At the height of the banquet the Soviet Attache in Culture came up to Oistrakh, made lots of compliments to Maestro and then got interested asking:

“You’re playing violin so nicely for a long period of time, so I want to ask you:” What are by profession?

Oistrakh was perplexed.

“I am a violinist” he said.

“Well, well. And who is your coach?”

“The conductor.” Oistrakh answered.

5. In a very-very Russian Way. 

When thre was a fight against cosmopolitism in the USSR, the famous conductir Boris Khaikin was approached with an offer to change his last name.

He refused.

“The last name I won’t change but I am ready for the compromise (give-and-take). I agree to change the second letter in my last name, and then it will sound in a very-very Russian way.”

Listen to the beautiful music with a talented conductor Michael Tison Thomas:

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