An unnamed representative of the Moscow-based Rostropovich Foundation told the news agency RIA Novosti on Friday (April 13), "Mstislav Leopoldovich is feeling better. He is now in a sanatorium in [the Moscow suburb of] Barvikha. He has already been released from the hospital." The spokesperson would not discuss the maestro's diagnosis.
The revered 80-year-old cellist and conductor spent almost the entire month of February in a Moscow hospital, where he underwent what was termed as "a complex liver operation." His spokesperson refused to say where exactly he was or to disclose the nature of his illness, but several Russian newspapers reported that he was in the Blokhin Center, the country's leading cancer clinic, and that doctors there removed a tumor from his liver. Rostropovich was transferred from the hospital to a sanatorium in early March and had been there ever since, apart from last week's hospital stay. The maestro did attend a gala celebration at the Kremlin on his 80th birthday, though he appeared pale and weak.