In 2007 Sotheby’s sold the art collection of two of Russia’s greatest musical legends, Slava Rostropovich and Galina Vishnevskaya. This November Sotheby’s will auction their private collection of jewellery, furniture, musical instruments and Russian works of art. Comprising items acquired over the course of three decades from their emigration in 1974, the auction shines an intimate light on their fascinating lives together.

Cellist Mstislav Rostropovich (right) and singer Galina Vishnevskaya (left), 1964

Elena and Olga Rostropovich, the daughters of Mstislav Rostropovich and Galina Vishnevskaya, said: ‘Our parents were avid art collectors. They were passionate about all things Russian and surrounded themselves with works of art that reminded them of their own history as they travelled around the world. The sale includes many items that were very personal to them, which they lived with and which we have very fond memories of growing up around. While we are holding on to the things that mean the most to us, it gives us huge pleasure, as it would have done them, to give other people the opportunity to enjoy these objects that my mother and father cherished so closely.’

Jo Vickery, Sotheby’s International Director of Russian Art and Head of the Sale, commented: ‘We are thrilled to be instructed by Olga and Elena Rostropovich to sell works from their parents’ personal collection.  We have a long standing relationship with the family having sold their legendary collection of Russian Art in 2007 which is now housed in Konstantinov Palace in Russia.  Mstislav Rostropovich and Galina Vishnevskaya both loved taking part in auctions and were frequent visitors to Sotheby’s in the 1990s and we are delighted to work with the family once again.  They were two of the greatest musical personalities of the 20th century who represented the spirit of their times and this collection brings to London not only a flavour of pre-Revolutionary Russia but also some of their most intimate possessions.’