U.S.-Russia relations may have been rough lately, but one recent cultural bright spot was the National Symphony Orchestra’s March visit to Moscow to honor cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich, who served as the NSO’s music director from 1977 to 1994 and would have been 90 years old on March 27. The occasion was Moscow’s Mstislav Rostropovich International Festival, established in 2010 by Olga Rostropovich, the conductor’s daughter and its artistic director. It was the NSO’s first time performing in Moscow since 1993. Pictured left, Music Director Christoph Eschenbach leads the NSO in Schubert’s Ninth Symphony in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, as a giant photo of Slava above the stage of reminds everyone who was being celebrated that week. The NSO also traveled by train to St. Petersburg, where they performed at the St. Petersburg Philharmonia’s Great Hall.