A tribute to a sister

World-renowned cellist Mischa Maisky performs in concert with his children

Mischa Maisky with his children (photo credit: PR)
Mischa Maisky with his children
(photo credit: PR)
Mischa Maisky, one of the world’s leading cellists, will perform on November 14 at Einav Hall in Tel Aviv.
This will be a special concert in many ways. This will be the much-awaited Israeli premiere of the Maisky Trio, where he performs with his oldest children, pianist Lily and violinist Sascha. But the occasion for the musical evening is quite sad. In this concert, the cellist will commemorate his sister, Lina Maisky- Yacobson, who died a year ago.
“For me, this is a very special concert, said Maisky in a Skype interview from Italy, where he was vacationing with his family. “That said, for me all concerts are special. I believe that you should treat every concert as your last because you never know. Anyway, quoting Orwell, I should say that all concerts are special, but some are more special than others,” adds Maisky, who is known not only for his ultimate artistry but also for his easy-going spirit and sense of humor.
“Not only because I will finally perform in Israel with my family trio, with which I perform throughout the world, but also because the concert is dedicated to the memory of my sister, who passed away exactly a year ago after 12 years of struggling bravely with cancer – although doctors gave her just 18 months.
Lina, my only sister, almost 10 years older than me, was a very special person in my life. And not only mine. She was very friendly and helpful to everybody who needed support. That is why she had so many friends, who hopefully will attend the concert,” he says.
“In a way, performing with my kids is a dream come true,” elaborates Maisky. “When I am asked why I chose the cello of all instruments, I explain that it was probably the way to completing a family trio.
My sister Lina was a pianist, while my organist brother Valery [who died in a road accident years ago] started as a violinist and only later switched to organ, harpsichord and musicology out of his passion for Bach. But that never happened. I did not perform with my brother and sister, but now I play music with my children.”
Asked about his current activities, Maisky smiles and says that almost a year ago, after his wife gave birth to a baby girl, he became the father of six, “which probably brings me closer to J.S. Bach, who composed six suites for cello solo.”
But besides that, his globe-trotting career keeps Maisky constantly busy.
“Among other places, I recently gave four concerts in Belgium, where I live but do not perform often. This included a special concert in Brussels’ synagogue to celebrate 50 years of the local congregation. Soon I will go on tour with pianist Martha Argerich to celebrate 40 years of our close friendship and music cooperation. I also opened a festival in Beijing, premiering a piece based on a Chinese song that Puccini used in his Turandot. I hope this excuses me for not playing much contemporary music – but again, if reproached for this, I always say: ‘But I play Bach, and great music is great music.’ I’m never bored with playing Bach, Dvorak, Brahms and other outstanding composers, no matter when they lived.”
Two more Maisky family members will participate in the concert, playing clarinet: Lina’s son Daniel Yacobson and her granddaughter Rotem Yacobson.
The program features pieces by composers such as Schumann, Arno Babadjanyan and Rachmaninov. It includes Schubert’s Notturno D897; Prayer from Jewish Life No.1 by Ernest Bloch; and Piano Trio No. 2 Op.67 by Shostakovich.
The proceeds from the concert will be donated to the foundation to support musicians suffering from cancer.
For reservations: (03) 574-5005; www.pashbar.co.il/show.php?id=4193