Mstislav Rostropovich(1927-2007), Russian cellist and conductor, learned to play piano from his mother at age of 4, and play cello at age of 10. In 1943 he entered Moscow Conservatory studing cello and conducting with Shostakovitch and Prokofiev. In 1945 he won the gold medal in the Soviet Union Competition for young musicians, then he won first prize at the International Awards of Prague, Budapest and won the Stalin Prize. He taught at St. Petersburg and Moscow conservatories. He is widely considered to have been one of the greatest cellists of the 20th century. He gave the premieres of over 100 pieces of works, some of them were dedicated to him.