Strings from eternity

Jacqueline du Pré would have been sixty-eight today, and of course the saddest words are “would have been”: the great British cellist was struck down in her prime by multiple sclerosis — she gave up performing at twenty-eight — and her musical achievements were gradually obscured by a memoir written by her estranged sister, which later spawned a film.

Jacqueline du Pré with her cello

Jacqueline du Pré in her wheelchair

The cheerful fellow behind the chair is du Pré’s husband, conductor Daniel Barenboim, who here conducts the London Philarmonic, circa 1967, in the first movement of her signature piece: the Cello Concerto in E minor of Sir Edward Elgar.

(With thanks to Tom Shakespeare.)


Leave a comment