A lthough I don’t think I ever heard him play it live, I must have first heard Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No 1 played by Mstislav Rostropovich. I was first asked to play it, however, when I was about 20. I played it very badly, I remember, with a youth orchestra and a terrible conductor. After that, I gave it up for a long time until I started playing it properly.

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