Born on this date in 1945, Jacqueline de Pré began studying the cello at five, first performed publicly at 16 and at 20 became internationally recognized after the release of her recording of Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E Minor. It is still considered the definitive version.
When she was 26, du Pré began to lose sensation in her fingers, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and was forced to stop performing in 1973. She died in London at the age of 42. Her two Stradivarius cellos were passed on to Yo-Yo Ma and Nina Kotova, Kotova’s having been renamed the du Pré Stradivarius.
Here, in happier times, are du Pré, her husband Daniel Barenboim, Pinchas Zuckerman, Itzhak Perlman and Zubin Mehta in a wonderful film by Christopher Nupen. It begins with this incredible collection of musical genius rehearsing Schubert’s Trout – the result is not only historic but joyful.