One of the world’s most gifted cellists, Mischa Maisky, shares stories from his extraordinary life.

The legendary Latvian cellist, Mischa Maisky, talks to Limelight Editor  Clive Paget about growing up in the Soviet Union, how Rostropovich became the father he’d lost, and why he counts himself the luckiest musician alive.

You grew up in Latvia – was it a musical upbringing?
Yes, very much so – even though my parents were not musicians. They never got the chance because they grew up between the two wars in very difficult circumstances in the Soviet Union. But they loved music and they were actually very gifted, particularly my father. It was their dream to give this chance to their children and my older brothers and sisters were studying already music already when I was born. So from that moment, or even nine months earlier, I was surrounded by music because it was all over the house. Actually by that time my mother said that she wanted to raise this one child normally, but in reality I was anything but normal.

So how old were you when you started to learn cello?
When people ask me that I always say it was...