Jacqueline Du Pré – Golden Girl of the Cello

By S. Stasov

Courtesy of Google Images

Jacqueline Du Pré made her debut as the beautiful Golden Girl of the cello when she was 16 years of age. Her playing had a richness and expressive depth made all the more potent by her charismatic stage presence.

In the 1960s, she and her husband, Daniel Barenboim, were among the most glamorous and talented musicians of the day. Considered the definitive cellist of that era, her playing went into noticeable decline in the 1970s. It was discovered that she had developed multiple sclerosis, and her performing career subsequently came to an end when she was only 28. Her life was tragically cut short at the age of 42 by that cruel disease.

Here she is at age 17 in 1962, performing Mendelssohn’s Song Without Words Op. 109, accompanied by her mother, pianist Iris De Pré.

Christopher Nupin’s legendary film of Du Pré, Daniel Barenboim, Pinchas Zuckerman, Itzhak Perlmanand Zubin Mehta performing Schubert’s Trout Quintet in A major D.667, written when he was 22 years old:

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