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Pittsburgh Symphony cellist featured in final Behind the Scenes program

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[March 18, 2013]  ATLANTA -- Cellist Mikhail Istomin will be in Atlanta on Friday, April 5, for this year's final event in the Atlanta Public Library's Behind the Scenes program. The event will be at the North Greens Golf Course.

Those attending can hear the musician's story of growing up in the former Soviet Union and adapting to a new life in the U.S. He will answer questions, talk about how musicians are selected for premium jobs in major U.S. orchestras, and also perform for the group "up close and personal."

Born and educated in Russia, Mikhail Istomin, known as Misha, holds a master's degree in music from the St. Petersburg Conservatory. While still in school, he became principal cellist of the State Hermitage Orchestra and later joined the orchestra of the Kirov Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre.

In 1987, he became the cellist of the Leningrad Conservatory String Quartet, and in 1989 the group won the grand prize in the National Soviet Union Competition of String Quartets. Later that year, Misha defected during the quartet's U.S. tour and was granted political asylum in the United States, where he went on to establish an exceptional musical career, including establishing the acclaimed Pittsburgh Piano Trio.

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Misha was appointed principal cellist of the Pittsburgh Opera and Pittsburgh Ballet Theater orchestras in 1991, and the following year, he joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Lorin Maazel.

In July 1998, Misha returned to St. Petersburg to perform in the Second World Cello Congress under the direction of the renowned conductor Mstislav Rostropovich.

The Atlanta event begins with a free reception at 6:30 p.m., and the program starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased in advance at the library or at the door on April 5.

Behind the Scenes is sponsored by the Atlanta National Bank and the City of Atlanta.


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