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Jacqueline Du Pre (1945 - 1987)

Jacqueline du Pré’s earliest cello tuition was from her mother who was a pianist, composer, conductor and school music teacher. She continued, aged five, with Alison Dalrymple at the London Violoncello School, following which her main teacher (both privately and at the Guildhall School of Music in London) was the celebrated William Pleeth, a great chamber musician and himself a pupil of W.H. Squire. Succeeding Rohan de Saram, du Pré became the second recipient of the Guilhermina Suggia Award. After taking lessons with Casals in 1960 she made her London début, continuing to study with Tortelier in Paris in 1962 and Rostropovich in the USSR in 1966. In 1962 came her concerto début in London with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Rudolf Schwarz, playing Elgar’s Cello Concerto, a work that became pivotal in her short career. The following year she performed it under Malcolm Sargent at the BBC Proms and proved so popular that she repeated it in several further seasons (her 1964 performance is included here). Aged twenty she recorded it for EMI with Barbirolli in a recording that is often considered definitive and has never been out of print since its release. In the same year she performed the work with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Antal Doráti for her United States début at Carnegie Hall.




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